How to Hang Ceiling Lights From a Chain

Posted on: May 31, 2018, by :

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Hang a Decorative Object From the Ceiling

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A hanging ceiling light is both stylish and functional. A hanging light is typically installed in a dining room or kitchen over a table. The light is suspended from a long chain that can be shortened to suit your needs.

Weave the lamps wires through the links and cut the excess length off the wires, leaving them approximately 8 inches longer than the chain. Strip the ends of the wires so 1/2-inch bare copper is exposed.

Emrah Oruc is a general contractor, freelance writer and former race-car mechanic who has written professionally since 2000. He has been published in The Family Handyman magazine and has experience as a consultant developing and delivering end-user training. Oruc holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a minor in economics from the University of Delaware.

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Oruc, Emrah. (n.d.). How to Hang Ceiling Lights From a Chain.


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Tuck the wires into the back of the electrical box, then thread the canopy over the finial loop. Secure the canopy by tightening the finial nut. In some instances, the finial loop does not have a separate nut. The instructions that came with your particular model will show the exact order of assembly.

Thread the chain and wires through the finial nut and canopy. Lift the entire assembly and hang the top link of the chain from the finial loop. Close the open link with pliers.

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Never work on a light or any other electrical appliance without first turning off the circuit breaker.

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Push the lamps wires through the center of the finial loop until they emerge from the top side, into the electrical box. Make the electrical connections by twisting the bare ends of the wires together. Black (hot) with black, white (neutral) with white, and bare copper to bare copper (or green). Secure the twisted connections by twisting them together with wire nuts. Some lamps may not have black or white wires; they may be clear, ribbed or some other color. Refer to the instructions to determine which wire is which.

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Oruc, Emrah. How to Hang Ceiling Lights From a Chain accessed May 31, 2018.

If you are uncomfortable on a ladder or working with electricity, or not knowledgeable about electricity, hire or consult a certified electrician.


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Remove the lamp from the packaging and assemble it according to the manufacturers instructions.

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Make a Pendant Light Plug Into a Wall Outlet

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A hanging light adds class and illumination to a room.




While some lamps have enough slack that allows them to hang while you make the electrical connections, others do not and are quite heavy and cumbersome. An assistant to bear the weight and lift the lamp into place is helpful.


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Lay out the lamp and chain in a straight line and measure the total length. Measure down from the ceiling to the height at which you want the light to hang to determine how many links to remove from the chain. Use two pliers to open the link and remove the excess chain links.

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Oruc, Emrah. How to Hang Ceiling Lights From a Chain.


Install the light bulbs, then turn on the circuit breaker. Turn on the switch to test the light.


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Install the crossbar, sometimes called a mounting plate, on to the electrical box. Screw the top finial loop into the center of the crossbar. The finial loop is the threaded rod with a looped end from which the light will hang.

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Turn off the circuit breaker feeding the circuit to the lights electrical box. Remove the cover from the electrical box (or remove the old light fixture) and touch the voltage tester to the wires to verify that they are not live. The voltage tester will light up and beep if the wires are live.

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How to Hang Ceiling Lights From a Chain

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