8 Easy Tips on How to Install a Pendant Light Fixture

To install your pendant light fixture, you just need a DIY attitude. Photo courtesy of Quoizel.
To install your pendant light fixture, you just need a DIY attitude. Photo courtesy of Quoizel. http://www.quoizel.com/

If you've decided to add some elegance to your home lighting design with pendant light fixtures, you might be wondering how to install them. Luckily, pendant lights are not extremely difficult to install, and most avid do-it-yourself people can get it done within an hour or two.

Here are eight easy steps to install a pendant light fixture:

1. Cut the Power
Remember, if you're not comfortable working with your home's electrical wires, you should contact a professional for help. However, for those who are up for the challenge, the first thing you need to do is turn off the power through your fuse box to the room you'll be working in. Always make sure to test the power outlets for a current before you start doing anything.

2. Take Out Your Old Fixture
More than likely, you have a ceiling light already in place, and this makes it easy to simply remove the light fixture and base or trim. Once you have an empty hole in the ceiling, you're ready to put in your new fixture. If you don't have a ceiling fixture, you will likely want to speak with a professional before cutting into your ceiling.

3. Check for the Support Beam
In the hole, you want to make sure there's a support beam that can hold the pendant light fixture. If not, you're putting too much weight on your ceiling, which could collapse. If you do not have a beam, you will have to forego the installation process on your own because it could be a building code violation.

4. Connect the Wires
Inside the hole where the old light fixture once was should be the wires that were previously connected to the other fixture. You can follow the guidelines on the light fixture's installation instructions, which usually means connecting black wires to black wires and white to white. You may need to cut and strip the wires to give optimal connection space. Make sure wire connectors hold the two leads together. Your fixture should come with these connectors, but if not, they are available at any hardware store.

5. Find the Ground Wire
Before you finish the wiring, it's critical to find the ground wire, which is usually green or copper colored. Attach the ground wire to the ground screw on the junction box, and tighten the screw to hold it in place.

Ensure all wires are connected or secured through wire nuts before pushing the wires back into the ceiling.

6. Add Your Mounting Bracket
To ensure your pendant will not fall, add the mounting bracket to the support beam. This can be attached with screws, and it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions to set up the light correctly.

7. Finish Installing the Canopy or Base
Once you have the support bracket and the wires connected, you want to finish by installing the canopy or base. This piece likely requires screws to hold it in place. Try to set it up like the previous base you removed earlier in this process.

8. Add a Bulb and Test Your Light
Once the pendant is able to hang freely, you want to install a light bulb and test the fixture to make sure it works by flipping the fuse box switch back on. If the light does not come on, you need to turn the power off again, and check your wiring, as that is usually the most common problem.

Visit your local ALA showroom or go online to americanlightingassoc.com to learn more about pendant light fixture options.

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