chandelier light fixture

A chandelier adds a touch of elegance to any room. It can make a dramatic statement in a dining room or living room, and is typically the focal point of the space. However, hanging a chandelier isn’t a simple project. Due to the weight and height of the fixture, it’s best to have a professional electrician install it. However, if you have prior electrical experience and an existing ceiling support that can carry the weight of a chandelier, you may be able to complete the project yourself.

Whether you’re replacing an existing light fixture or installing a new chandelier, first turn off the power to the existing lights at the circuit breaker. It’s also a good idea to use a voltage tester to ensure the power is completely off. After the power is off, remove the existing ceiling fan or light fixture and disconnect the wiring. The connections that you need to hook the chandelier up to are contained inside the ceiling box.

If the ceiling box is secured to a joist, it should be able to support the weight of a chandelier. Check the existing wires in the ceiling box to make sure that they’re in good condition and that the ceiling can accommodate a larger fixture. A chandelier is typically more than 50 to 75 pounds, so it’s essential to be sure the existing box can handle this weight.

Then, carefully unscrew the existing mounting bracket from the ceiling box. Remove the old fixture from the ceiling and inspect the wires for damage. The wires connected to the ceiling box usually have a black wire that carries current and a white wire that’s neutral. Often, there’s a label on the existing cable that can confirm which wire goes to which fixture. If not, use a wire stripper to cut off the insulated covering on each wire and identify the ends with color-coded tape.

You should also use a wire stripper to cut off and remove the insulating covering from the lamp cord wires. Strip about 1/2 in. from each end and then use a wire nut to connect the white lamp cord wire to the neutral wire coming from the ceiling box. Connect the black chandelier wire to the black ceiling box wire. Connect the bare copper ground wire to the chandelier’s corresponding bare copper ground wire using a twist-on connector.

Reconnect the ceiling box cover and reattach the decorative plate on top. If you’re installing a chandelier where a ceiling fan previously hung, consider using a “fan brace,” which is designed to support ceiling fans but is approved for chandeliers as well. This type of brace can be slipped into place from below the ceiling without cutting into the ceiling to make it easier to hang a chandelier. If you don’t want to use a fan brace, patch the hole from the old ceiling opening or cover it with a decorative ceiling medallion. If you’re converting a single-room ceiling into a dining room or other space where a chandelier will hang, install a centered ceiling medallion over the existing ceiling opening.

By Agnes