How to hang a Chandelier
Changing up the light fixtures by hanging chandeliers in your home is an easy way to give any room a fresh, updated look. Yet many people avoid the task because they believe that hanging chandeliers is a difficult process that should be left to professionals. Actually, you may be surprised to learn that hanging a chandelier is a relatively simple DIY task that can be completed in just a couple of hours.
So, how do you hang a chandelier? In this guide, we’ll cover the ins-and-outs of chandelier installation, and by the end, you’ll be ready to hang your new chandelier like an expert.
Before you get started, check to see how much weight your current ceiling mount can hold to ensure it can support the new lighting fixture you’ve selected. If your new chandelier is too heavy, you’ll need to install additional supports first.
Now, let’s get started.
Hanging a Chandelier With a Chain
The most common way to hang a chandelier is with a chain that attaches to the ceiling. Follow these steps to successfully install yours.
Step 1: Turn Off the Electricity
Since you’ll be working with electrical wires, you’ll want to turn the power off in the room where you’re working. This is easily accomplished by turning off the main circuit breaker. Before you proceed to do any work, flip the light switch to ensure that the power is off.
Step 2: Take Down the Old Chandelier
If an old hanging chandelier is still in place, you’ll need to remove it.
First, you’ll need to unscrew the canopy or remove the decorative plate against the ceiling so that you have access to the electrical box. Once you have access to the electrical box, untwist the connecting wires and remove the chandelier from its mount.
Step 3: Inspect and Prepare the Ceiling Electrical Box
Before you hang your chandelier, you’ll need to inspect the electrical box and make any necessary adjustments. Start by tightening all of the screws to secure it to the ceiling. Next, examine the wires that will power your new lighting fixture. If they are damaged or frayed, you’ll need to cut back the wires and insulation by using a wire stripper to prepare the connection.
Step 4: Assemble Your Hanging Chandelier
There’s a good chance your chandelier will need to be assembled before it’s installed. Follow the manufacturer’s directions as you put it together.
Step 5: How to Hang Chandelier Chain
You’ll need to take two different factors into consideration as you measure the chain. First, measure the ceiling height of your room—there should be 3 inches of chain for every foot of ceiling height. That means that a chandelier in a room with 10 foot ceilings should have about 30 inches of chain length.
If your new chandelier will be hanging in the dining room, also consider the size of the chandelier in proportion to the dining room table. If you have a large chandelier or tall table, the standard practice of 3 inches per foot may cause it to hang too low. You’ll want to factor in an additional 4 inches of chain for the hanging loop as well as one chain link.
Once the chain is trimmed to the desired length, the wire should be threaded through every other chain link going up to the ceiling.
Step 6: Attach the Chandelier to the Electrical Box
Your chandelier will come with instructions from the manufacturer on how to attach it to the ceiling. It will likely be one of two processes:
●Mount the bracket to the electrical box and hook the end of the chandelier into the bracket.
●Attach the mounting stem to the mounting strap on the ceiling box. This is then covered by the canopy.
Step 7: Connect All Wires
Your chandelier will likely have a black and a white wire. Attach the end of the black wire from the chandelier to the black wire from the ceiling and repeat the process for the white wire. Tuck the wires neatly into the electrical box and cover it with your chandelier’s canopy or a decorative plate.
More detailed wiring instructions can be found below.
Step 8: Choose Your Bulbs
Finally, select the type of bulbs you want to install in your new chandelier. Different types of bulbs give off different types of light and can change the feel of your room. If you’re looking for a bright, direct source of light, LED bulbs will be your best choice. But if you prefer a warmer natural light, halogen bulbs will give you the ambiance you desire. Your chandelier may even be compatible with smart lighting systems.
Finally, you can restore the electricity to the room you’re working in and enjoy your new chandelier.
How To Hang A Chandelier With A Hook
Hanging a chandelier with a hook can give the lighting fixture some extra style, but it does change the installation process slightly. Follow these steps to successfully install a hook and learn how to hang a chandelier.
Step 1: Consider the Weight of Your Chandelier
Before you begin the work, determine how heavy your chandelier is. You’ll need to ensure the hook and supporting hardware is able to safely hold the weight of the lighting fixture.
Step 2: Use the Correct Installation Hardware for Your Mounting Surface
Manufacturers usually include a few different types of installation hardware for different mounting surfaces. These include:
●A pointed insert with threads intended for use in wood and plastic
●A butterfly nut intended for use in hollow surfaces like cinder block
Step 3: Drill the Hole
Use a stud finder to locate wood strapping or joists in the ceiling that can support your new chandelier. Next, drill a hole into the wooden surface. Drill a hole that’s smaller in diameter than the screw itself so that the threads will have plenty of material to hold onto and safely support the hanging chandelier from the ceiling.
Step 4: Install the Insert
First, you’ll want to thread the insert into the hook. Then, twist the insert into the ceiling as far as you can. The base of the hook should be firmly against the ceiling.
Step 5: Test the Hook
Pull down on the hook with a force greater than your chandelier will put on it. If the hook comes out, you’ll need to reinstall it using an even smaller threading hole. If it holds, you can proceed to install your chandelier and hang it from the hook.
How to Wire a Chandelier
For most people, wiring the new chandelier is the most intimidating part of the entire process. But once you know what you’re looking for, the wiring process is simple and quick to complete.
There are usually two or more wires that connect the lighting fixture to the electrical box. Typically, these wires are color-coded or have letters on them to make them easily identifiable. If you don’t see any distinguishing marks on your wires, simply use pieces of colored tape to mark them through the installation process.
Once you’re ready to begin wiring the chandelier to the electrical box, follow these steps:
Step 1: Wrap the Grounding Wires to the Grounding Screw
Both your chandelier and your electrical box will have a bare copper grounding wire. Locate the grounding screw (which is usually green) and wrap both of the bare copper wires around it, ensuring that they are in contact with one another.
Step 2: Prepare the Insulated Wires
Next, remove about half an inch of insulation from the chandelier’s wires to ensure that there’s enough room for a secure connection.
Step 3: Connect the Wires
Using the colors or letters as a guide, attach the wires from the chandelier to the wires in the electrical unit. Twist the ends around each other multiple times to create a secure connection.
Hanging Your Chandelier Outside
If you’re planning on hanging a chandelier on your patio or deck, you’ll need to purchase one that has specifically been constructed for outdoor use. These chandeliers are made to hold up against the elements and can handle getting wet.
Look to see that the outdoor chandelier has the following characteristics:
●Made of weather-resistant material
●Heavy, coated cord
●Rubber coated switch
Other than the chandelier itself, the installation process for an outdoor chandelier is the same as for an indoor chandelier.
Hanging Chandeliers From Different Materials
In some cases, the material of your ceiling may differ from the standard indoor ceilings found in most homes. This is especially true if you’re installing one outdoors or in a basement.
Regardless of where you’re installing your chandelier, the process for hanging it will remain largely the same. However, if you need to drill new holes or add additional support, the tools needed may differ. And of course, you’ll need to ensure that the material you’re hanging your chandelier from is able to support the weight of the new lighting fixture.
The Bottom Line
Installing a new chandelier isn’t nearly as intimidating a job as many people make it out to be. When you take your time to assemble it according to the included instructions and complete every step with care, you’ll have a new chandelier to spruce up your space.
Still searching for the perfect chandelier? We have a huge selection of lighting fixtures for every space and style. Browse our collection of chandeliers, ceiling lights and wall lights or reach out today and let us help you find your ideal chandelier.