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How to Install a Chandelier: A Guide for Homeowners

By David Lawrence , in Home Improvement , at September 22, 2021

Did you know that 4% of all residential electricity use in the US is used for lighting? Good lighting in your home is a great way to set the ambiance and add to your home’s decor in a functional way.

Chandeliers, specifically, are a very popular home lighting option, because they offer a dramatic eye-catching detail to your home. If you’re ready to upgrade the lighting in your home, it helps to learn how to install a chandelier yourself.

Unsure how to get started? We’ve got your back! Keep reading to learn the most important steps to remember when installing a chandelier.

Turn Off the Power

First things first, before you do anything involving electricity in your home, you need to turn off the power to the room. If you fail to do this crucial first step, you could risk injuring yourself when dealing with the live wires.

To turn off the power, find the electrical box in your home and turn off the power to the room in which you’ll be doing the chandelier installation. Once you do that, double-check that it’s really off by turning the light switch on and off in the room. If it’s off, then it’s safe to continue with the installation process.

Remove the Old Fixture

Next, you’ll need to take down the old fixture. Start by loosening the screws on the fixture’s base plate. Then, twist off the plastic wire connectors so you can disconnect the wires in the ceiling box. From there, you can loosen the grounding screw on the mounting bar so you can pull out the grounding wire.

Once you’ve done that, you can remove the fixture from the ceiling and either dispose of it, donate it, or sell it.

Before continuing on, be sure to double-check to see if the existing ceiling box can hold your new chandelier. Generally speaking, most ceiling boxes can hold between 50 and 75 pounds. The box for your new fixture should list its weight so you can verify.

Assemble the New Chandelier

Now you’re ready to put together your new fixture. Large chandeliers, especially, often come in pieces instead of fully assembled. Read through the instructions to correctly assemble your new fixture.

Once it’s put together, wipe off any fingerprints before you hang it, to make sure it looks perfect once it’s hanging up.

Determine the Chain Length

Most chandeliers come with a chain for hanging. But, you’ll need to determine how long the chain should be depending on your space. When deciding on the length, there are two important things to consider:

  • The distance from the bottom of the chandelier to any furniture that will be beneath it, like a table
  • The height of the room in which it will hang

Start by measuring the height from the ceiling to anything that will be beneath the chandelier. For this example, we’ll say you’re hanging the new fixture in the dining room, so there will be a table beneath it. Then, measure the height from the ceiling to the floor.

As a good rule of thumb, if your ceiling is less than 8 feet high, then your chandelier should hang between 30 and 34 inches above the table. If your ceiling is higher than 8 feet, then it should hang between 36 and 40 inches above the table.

Attach the New Fixture

Next, you’re ready to attach the new chandelier to the ceiling box. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific details you may need to know.

Then, you can attach the chandelier mounting bracket to the ceiling box using screws. Next, you’ll insert the hook at the end of the chandelier into the bracket. From there, you can thread the mounting stem on the chandelier to the mounting bracket on the ceiling box.

Connect the Wiring

One of the most important steps of this process is reconnecting the wiring for the new fixture. While it can vary, generally speaking, you’ll see a white wire that’s neutral and a black wire, which carries the electrical current in your ceiling box. These should correspond with wires on the fixture.

Before you get started, put on some insulated rubber gloves to protect yourself. Then, check to see if the wires are frayed. If they are, you’ll need to use a wire stripper to cut the frayed ends and remove the insulated covering. Now, you can connect the stripped end of the black ceiling wire to the black chandelier wire by twisting them together. Do the same thing with the white wires.

Once you’ve connected the wires, gently place them in the electric box so that they’re secure. Finally, cover the box with the chandelier’s decorative plate, making sure it’s securely in place.

Read: Home Improvement Tips: How Can I Improve My Home Fast?

Choose and Install Light Bulbs

Now that you’ve mounted your chandelier, you can install the light bulbs to complete the fixture. In most cases, you’ll want to look for LED light bulbs, which are energy-efficient and long-lasting. There are a variety of different LED options available, so you can choose bulbs with nice, warm lighting, depending on the look you’re going for in your house.

Before deciding which light bulbs to use, be sure to check the chandelier’s wattage requirements so you don’t choose something too powerful for the fixture.

Turn the Power Back On

Once you’ve chosen and inserted the light bulbs, it’s time to double-check your hard work! Go back to your home’s electrical box and restore power in the room. Now, go turn on the light switch and admire your handiwork. Isn’t it amazing what a difference good lighting can make in your home?

Now You Know How to Install a Chandelier

After reading through this step-by-step guide on how to install a chandelier, you’re ready to find the best chandelier on the market and install it in your home. Time to get to work!

Are you interested in reading more like this? Browse through our full collection of articles before you go.

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