How to Install a Chandelier
Do you love all the light fixtures in your home? If not, do you wish you knew How to Install a Chandelier, so you don’t have to hire an electrician to do it? Today your wishes will be answered!
You know that moment when you see the perfect light fixture and you know you HAVE to have it in your home or you won’t be able to live another day? Okay, well maybe not the “live another day” part. But, you do know how it feels to fall head over heels in love with a light fixture. For me that light fixture was Magnolia Market’s chandelier. I wanted it, but the price tag was more than I wanted to pay. One day I got an email from Joanna (yes, THE Joanna Gaines from HGTVs Fixer Upper) letting me know that her store was having a lighting sale. I could not click on the link fast enough. Within a few days my lovely new chandelier arrived.
It was time to say goodbye to our old chandelier…
…and install my new chandelier.
Ready to learn how to install a new ceiling light or chandelier? Grab these few items:
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- Screwdrivers (flat and philips head)
- Wire strippers
- Needle-nosed pliers (need two)
- Non-contact voltage tester
- Tape Measure
- and the Chandelier (of course)
Turn on your light fixture and shut off the power to the fixture. Check to see that the light is off.
Remove the light bulbs from the old fixture and set them aside.
Support the chandelier on a ladder or have a helper nearby to hold the fixture. Remove the canopy from the ceiling to expose the wiring.
Touch the voltage tester to the wires to make sure the power is off. (You should do this before removing the wire nuts.)
Remove all the wire nuts from the connections. Unscrew the mounting bracket from the ceiling fixture box.
Lower the old chandelier and set it aside. Your ceiling box should look like this:
Measure the length you want the new fixture to hang to. Typically chandeliers hang between 30 – 34″ above your table (for 8 foot ceilings.) Each additional foot ceiling height, raise the chandelier another inch higher than the table.
Measure the height of your chandelier and determine how much you need to remove from the chain. Use two needle-nosed pliers to pull one chain link apart (twist in opposite directions as shown below.) Remove the extra links and re-close the open link.
Cut the excess chandelier wire, be sure to leave about 8-10 inches more than you need. Split the ends apart. (If they don’t want to pull apart easily, gently cut in the middle into the insulation being careful not to cut into the wires.)
Strip about an inch off the end of each wire.
Unscrew the green ground screw on your light fixture.
Connect the ground wire first: Attach the ground wire from your light fixture to the bare copper ground wire from your home and wrap the wire around the green ground screw.
Attach the light fixture mounting bracket to your ceiling box.
Connect the neutral wire second: Connect the white neutral wire to the ribbed or marked wire from your chandelier.
Twist them together clockwise and then twist a wire nut onto the ends.
Next connect the smooth (or unmarked) wire from the chandelier to the black (or hot) wire from your house.
Twist them together clockwise and add a wire nut to cover the bare wire ends.
Gently tuck each wire up into the ceiling junction box. Be sure to push the black wire onto one side of the mounting bracket and the white wire on the opposite side.
Attach the canopy cover to the mounting bracket.
Turn on the power to make sure your fixture is wired properly.
I love my new light fixture!
Happy chandelier installing y’all!
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First of all thank you so much for such clear photos and directions-so helpful!! I just took down our ceiling fan to replace it with a new chandelier, however the wires are red, white, and black-there is no plane copper wire? Is the red my ground wire? Thanks!
No, the red is a second power line. Ceiling fans with a light may have one black and one red wire (one controls the light and one the fan.) If you don’t have a green or bare wire your fixture won’t be grounded. I’d consult with a licensed electrician.
My chandelier has one wire that looks like speaker wire no markings whatsoever? How do I know?
Great tutorial with clear pictures! I have a new chandelier where the wiring is all the same color. One side has writing, the other side does have not writing but has ribbing. It seems both of these are considered to be markings, so which would be considered the neutral (the ribbed side or the writing side?) Thanks!
I’d treat the ribbed wire as your neutral wire. Now get to it and hang your new chandelier ;-).
Thanks! I got it installed and it looks great!
Thanks for the tutorial Brittany, it was very useful and helped me throughout the installation! Although a number of extra components were needed when it came to the mounting bracket as it wouldn’t go back into the ceiling properly.
Hi, Brittany! I just bought this chandelier. It was $295.00 + $30.00 shipping. I found it at http://www.gracefullyrestoredfurniture.com. Sue has many available and in several different custom colors.
Thanks for the referral Sindy! Hope you are loving your new piece 🙂
I just purchased a chandelier for my dining room yesterday on an online yardsale. I’ve hung lights before, but there has always been a black and white wire. They’re not ribbed or smooth – they’re exactly the same, so I was going to call an electrician. Any suggestions? P.S. Love your blog and I am in Raleigh too.
Look closely and see if there are any markings or anything different about the wires. If there is, that’s the neutral. If there isn’t you can connect one to the white and one to the black.
Thank you! I hung it this morning and it looks great! Next project is a ceiling fan 🙂
Would the instructions be basically the same if replacing a recessed bulb with a chandelier? There’s a light in my stairway that I’d love to replace with a chandelier.
Sara, no, recessed lights have a different junction box. But, you can convert it using a kit like this: https://prettyhandygirl.com/5-minute-light-upgrade-convert-recessed-to-pendant/
Great tutorial Brittany! I don’t have any chandeliers to hang right now but what a great keeper for when I do. Thank you!