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A change of a lighting display is one of the easiest and most affordable decor updates. A chandelier is one lighting option that adds style and visual appeal.
Chandeliers come in many different styles and sizes. The traditional ornate crystal chandelier is a centerpiece in many homes, but modern chandelier designs of metal and glass are adaptable for smaller living spaces. This guide shows you the steps of how to hang a chandelier, from calculating how far it will hang from the ceiling to the choice of light bulbs to use.
Turn Off the Power
Working with electricity means taking extra precautions. You’ll be working with wiring that is connected to the power supply in your home, which can be hazardous. The electrical power to the room needs to be interrupted before you can begin your DIY project.
- Find the electrical panel in your home.
- Turn off the power to the room you will be working in by flipping the main circuit breaker to that room into the "off" position.
- As a precaution, turn the light switch off and on in the room to make sure the electricity is off.
Prepare the Ceiling Box
The ceiling box, commonly called an electrical box, holds a room’s light fixture or a ceiling fan and any connected wiring. It is securely attached to a joist or wood block. Most ceiling boxes can hold 50 pounds to 75 pounds, so make sure the box is rated to support your chandelier fixture.
- Remove the existing light fixture or ceiling fan. Make sure the ceiling box is securely attached to the ceiling by tightening any screws.
- Disconnect the wiring from the light fixture and place the fixture to the side.
Assemble the Chandelier
Most chandeliers come in sections for assembly. Before assembling one for installation, follow the manufacturer’s directions for putting its many parts together. Make sure to wipe down any fingerprints on the glass and metal as you go to maintain the chandelier's appearance.
Measure the Length of the Chain
Two factors determine a chain’s length when hanging a chandelier: the height of the room and the distance from the dining table to the chandelier’s bottom. This requires some calculation to ensure the bottom of the chandelier does not descend too far from the ceiling.
- Use a tape measure to determine the height from ceiling to floor and from the ceiling to the table. A chandelier’s chain should be 3 inches long for every foot of ceiling height. For example, the fixture should hang from an 8-foot ceiling 30 inches to 36 inches above the table, depending on the size of the chandelier.
- Make sure your chain measurement includes the 4 inches of the chandelier’s hanging loop plus one chain link.
Attach the Chandelier
There are two common ways of hanging a chandelier from the ceiling box. Consult the manufacturer’s instruction sheet for specific details.
- Install the chandelier mounting bracket by attaching it to the ceiling box with screws. Take the hook at the end of the chandelier and insert it into the bracket.
- Thread the fixture's mounting stem into the existing mounting bracket on the ceiling box.
Connect the Wires
Most fixtures, especially newer models, have a black wire that carries the current and a white wire that is neutral. The wires correspond with the wires to the chandelier. These steps show you how to wire a chandelier; for this task you will use a wire stripper.
- Check the condition of the wires. If the supply wires are frayed, use the wire stripper to cut the damaged ends and strip the insulated covering from the wires.
- Connect the stripped end of the black ceiling wire that carries the current to the stripped end of the black wire of the chandelier. Twist the ends together with a wire nut.
- Do the same with the white light fixture wire and white neutral supply wire.
- Place all wires snugly in the electric box. Cover the box with the chandelier's canopy or decorative plate.
- Turn the mounting stem into the mounting strap until the canopy or decorative plate is securely in place.
Insert the Bulbs
Whether you’ve installed a fixture of shimmering glass or a retro-inspired candelabra, the bulbs you choose will determine the final ambience of your chandelier.
Incandescent bulbs create a warm glow, but you have other lighting solutions for a chandelier. Halogen bulbs produce clear and bright light and maximize the sparkle of crystal or glass. LED bulbs are common in chandeliers of modern design. They produce a glow similar to incandescent builbs, but have a longer life and are more energy efficient. When choosing the bulbs for your chandelier, check the fixture for the correct bulb wattage.
Insert the light bulbs after the chandelier wiring is done and the fixture is securely attached to the ceiling. Restore the electrical power to the room to complete the hanging of a chandelier.
Follow these steps for how to hang a chandelier and you will create a lighting centerpiece that becomes a focal point in any room. When you are ready to begin your chandelier installation project, download The Home Depot Mobile App and search its inventory to find the tools you need.