How to Install a Hanging Light Fixture

black hanging light
  • 1-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-500
What You'll Need
Stud finder
Hanging light fixture
Mounting strap and screw support
Junction box
Insulated wire caps
Rubber handled wire cutters
Insulated electrical pliers
Portable plunge saw

The right hanging light fixture adds beauty to the room it illuminates. Follow these directions to install a hanging light fixture in any room of your home.

Step 1 - Choose the Location of Your Hanging Fixture

Select the location of your hanging fixture, and ensure it will be suspended from a ceiling joist for security. Switch off the applicable circuit breaker to cut the electricity to the room.

Step 2 - Obtain Your Materials

For a heavy hanging light like a chandelier, get an extra-long (four inches or longer) mounting strap and screw support rod. The support must be the exact length needed to fit the light into its canopy. Also purchase a strong junction box that can hold the weight of the chandelier or other pendant light.

Step 3 - Install the Junction Box

hanging light centered over a dining table and chairs

Choose a junction box that can handle both a light and a ceiling fan. You may want to install one in the future if your home does not have central air conditioning. Measure and cut the hole in the ceiling carefully with the plunge saw. Don't cut through the ceiling joist or existing wiring in the ceiling. Fasten the junction box to the ceiling stud with the screws provided.

Step 4 - Install the Mounting Strap and Screw Support Rod

Fasten the mounting strap precisely across the junction box, centering the screw support rod. Wind the ground wire around the junction box ground screw, and from the junction box around the green ground screw on the mounting strap.

Step 5 - Connect the Fixture Wiring to the Junction Box

Chandeliers and other hanging lights usually have a strong chain for support. Wind the electrical wires from the fixture up through the chain to the junction box. Lift the hanging light onto the paint tray of your stepladder, under the junction box. Thread the wires through the fixture's hanging loop and up through the canopy. Feed the wires through the screw support rod, over the mounting strap and back down to the light fixture. Strip 1/2 inch off the wires in the junction box and wind them around the fixture wires, made of lamp cord.

Step 6 - Cover the Ends of the Joined Wires

Place insulated wire caps, usually yellow, on the ends of the wires that are now twisted together. Tuck them up into the junction box.

Step 7 - Attach the Canopy and Hanging Loop

Press the canopy of the hanging fixture up against the junction box hole and secure it into place with the screws supplied. Thread and turn the hanging loop onto the screw support.

Step 8 - Attach the Fixture to the Hanging Loop

Use the pliers to spread open a link on the hanging fixture chain. Slip the link through the hanging loop and squeeze it shut with the pliers.

Step 9 - Insert Bulbs and Restore Power to the Fixture

Put in the correct sized bulbs and turn on the electricity to the room again. Turn on the wall switch and admire your new hanging light fixture.