How to Connect Ground Wires in Light Fixtures

Grounding is a safety feature used in electrical wiring. Grounding reduces the risk of serious electric shock by distributing displaced electrical current throughout the grounding system in your home and finally into the ground via the "grounding rod". A grounding rod is a six foot copper rod that is driven into the ground outside of your home. All of the ground wiring in your home leads to this ground rod. If for some reason a live electrical wire comes in contact with a metal portion of your homes electrical system, or with a person and metal parts of the electrical system, the grounding system will distribute the electrical current so that the person who comes in contact with the electrical current doesn't receive the full blast of the electrical shock. connecting the ground wire in light fixtures is a relatively simple step that can be performed by just about anyone and will ensure the safety of your homes electrical system.

Step 1

Locate the green ground screw that will either be on the light fixture itself or on the mounting bracket used to hang the light fixture. Sometimes the light fixture will have a green wire coming from it. This green wire is the ground wire and if it is present there will be no ground screw.

Step 2

Locate the ground wire coming from your home's electrical box where the light fixture is to be installed. The ground wire will be either green or bare copper wire. If the wire is covered with green insulation you will need to strip 1/2 inch of the green insulation off of the tip of the wire.

Step 3

Make a "screw loop" on the tip of the wire by gripping the very tip of the wire with your needle nose pliers an twisting the pliers to form a hook on the tip of the wire in the shape of a letter "J".

Step 4

Hook the screw loop around the green ground screw on your mounting bracket or light fixture and tighten the screw to hold it in place. If your light fixture has its own green ground wire you will need to connect the two ground wires using a wire nut. To use the wire nut simply insert the tips of both wires and turn the wire nut in a clockwise direction until tight.

Step 5

Finish mounting your light fixture according to the manufacturer's instructions.