Nothing exudes elegance quite like a chandelier, but hanging them can be a painstaking process. However, you can hang a chandelier safely and quickly with the right tools and a basic understanding of electrical components. With more than 60 years of lighting experience, Antique Lamp Supply can provide the knowledge you need to hang your chandelier successfully.
How to Hang a Chandelier
Chandeliers can add a touch of grandeur to any room. However, hanging a chandelier can be as difficult as it is daunting to do on your own. Follow these eight simple steps to get started!
1. Turn off the power on the breaker box.
While working with any kind of electrical component, you can verify whether there’s a current by using an electrical tester. If you skip this step, you increase the risk of electric shock. Flip the room’s light switch on and off to test and confirm that the power is off. We also recommend leaving a note to let the other members of your household know not to turn the power back on while you’re working.
2. Get a ladder of scaffolding.
A chandelier is always hung from the ceiling, so they can be cumbersome to hang on your own, especially at an inconvenient height. Find a ladder that is tall enough to ensure a comfortable working height. Scaffolding might be necessary if you’re hanging a chandelier from a two-story foyer or entrance with vaulted ceilings.
3. Remove the old light fixture.
Take the existing chandelier apart piece by piece. Start by removing the bulb or any detachable glass parts. Without all these small components weighing the chandelier down, the fixture will be much easier to remove. Use a screwdriver or wrench to loosen any bolts or locks that hold the old fixture in place. Never let the old light fixture dangle from the wires, because they can easily snap. Once the old fixture is detached from the ceiling, you can safely separate the chandelier from the wires.
4. If the chandelier’s heavy, get additional support.
Chandeliers that weigh more than 50 pounds will require additional structural reinforcement. Standard electrical boxes are only designed to sustain up to 50 pounds. If the new chandelier is the same size as your existing unit, you likely will likely not need to install anything new. If the chandelier will be hung between ceiling joists, you will need to buy a fan brace that can hold at least 150 pounds. If it will be hung under a ceiling joist, you will need to buy a mounting box instead.
5. Install the fan brace or mounting box.
Place the fan brace through the hole where the former fixture was so that both ends connect with each ceiling joist. Use a wrench to fasten the brace to the ceiling joists. Otherwise, attach the mounting box directly to the ceiling joist. Slide the wires through the hole in the side of the box, so they are still accessible. Use a screwdriver to fasten only the screws that come with the mounting box or your new chandelier.
6. Assemble the new chandelier.
Build the new fixture while you’re still on the ground. Put every component together except for the light bulb. Now, you can determine whether you want the chandelier to hang down all the way or you need to shorten the chain to the desired length. If the chandelier is especially heavy, consider buying a motorized lift.
7. Mount the chandelier to the ceiling.
Thread the wires through the new chandelier and then safely mount it to the ceiling. This will be easier if you have some to provide a second set of hands to ensure stability. Secure the wire connections and bolt the new chandelier to the ceiling.
8. Test the new light fixture.
Once the chandelier has been installed, double check that everything is secure and correctly in place. Turn the breaker back on to test your new chandelier.
If you are at all unsure about what you need to hang a chandelier, contact us anytime. A member of our customer service team will happily help in any way we can.