So you’ve made the decision to install a chandelier in your home. You’ve thought carefully about the design of the chandelier, and you’ve bought the bulbs to go with it – now, all you have to do is install it.
Installing a chandelier is relatively easy, but you must be careful, especially since you’re working with an electrical circuit. Usually, you’ll need to use a ladder or at least a stepladder.
Most chandeliers are wired into a junction box in the ceiling. However, plug-in chandeliers are available that need the cable running to an outlet. The most important thing is using the right mounting kit to hold the weight of your chandelier to the ceiling.
In this guide, I’m going to explain the following:
- How to hang a heavy chandelier using a hook (and why chains are useful)
- Why some chandeliers come with plugs
How To Hang A Heavy Chandelier With A Hook?
Most chandeliers hang using a hook mechanism or at least using something to attach to a stem or loop installed on the ceiling.
This means the chandelier will come with a hook or hanging option ready to go, and you’ll need to make sure it has something in the ceiling to attach onto.
For chandeliers under 15lb, that will be a bracket with which the chandelier will come. You can attach that directly to the mounting box.
These screw directly onto the junction box, and because of the relatively low weight of the chandelier, they won’t pull down your ceiling when it is hooked on.
But what about heavy chandeliers above that weight?
For those, you’re going to need a separate mounting kit, which is rated for the weight of your chandelier.
You can ensure your chandelier is safe by using a kit that attaches to the joists in your ceiling.
Flat mounting kits can be used when the chandelier is installed directly underneath a joist. All you need to do is screw the flat mount onto the joist.
Otherwise, you’ll need one with a mounting bar. You would insert this bar into the ceiling and then turn it, so it is perpendicular to your ceiling joists.
By then twisting the mounting bar, it will extend.
The bar will have teeth at each end to dig into the wooden joists, holding it in place and providing enough strength to support the chandelier’s weight.
Once you have your bracket or mounting kit screwed, you can attach the hook if it is not already pre-welded. It may just need to be screwed onto the bracket.
When that is done, you are ready to wire the chandelier and add the cover to hide the hole in the ceiling before hooking it in place.
Ensure you are always safe whenever you are installing a chandelier too:
- The power should be off
- Any ladders should be on level surfaces, fully opened out
- You should have a second person with you to support the ladder and to help with the weight of the chandelier
How To Install A Chandelier With Chain?
The rope from the chandelier to the ceiling will vary – you should pay attention to this when buying your chandelier because it’s not just the light fixture that matters.
Some may come with a cable or multiple cables depending on the shape of the chandelier, while others may use a rod. Rods are good because they are sturdy and stop your chandelier from twisting.
But many come with a chain, and this can be one of the better options for two reasons:
- You can adjust the length of the chain easily to get the chandelier at the right height
- A chain can be used to mask the wire needed to power the chandelier
That first one is handy because it’s not just about shortening the chain – you can also lengthen it.
Depending on your chandelier, it may come with additional links or already have a long chain attached with the option of shortening it. Of course, you could always buy more links if needed, trying to match them in looks.
Shortening a chain is usually easy since the links will have a break in them – use pliers to pull the link apart once you have measured the length of chain you need, then remove the unneeded links above it.
The last link is a carabiner, which acts as the hook to attach to the bracket on the ceiling.
The second point is a nice feature but not entirely necessary.
If you have an ornate chandelier, most people aren’t going to stare at the wire above it.
But the fact that you can weave the wire into the chain links is still a benefit since it does tidy up the effect.
You should weave the wire in and out of the links all the way up the chain before you hook it onto the ceiling. Then you can attach the wire to the wires in the ceiling.
If the wire is longer than you’ll need, measure it to be the length of the chain and then add around a foot extra – this gives you the length of wire you need to interweave with the chain and enough slack to connect to the wires in the ceiling.
Why Do Some Chandeliers Come With Plugs?
Most chandeliers are designed to be wired into your main lighting circuit, but some may come with a plug attached instead.
They aren’t common, but they are designed for installation in a room where you don’t have the lighting circuitry already running up to your ceiling – or at least to where you want the chandelier to be installed.
These chandeliers are versatile – you could hang them from surfaces other than the ceiling or a freestanding lighting stand – sort of like an overhanging table lamp, but more ornate.
But you must deal with the fact that you need to plug them in somewhere.
If you’re installing the chandelier on the ceiling, the neatest option would be to run the cable along the ceiling and down a wall to the outlet and then cover it with a concealer channel, painted to match the ceiling and wall.
If you’re hanging the chandelier from a stand, you can instead wrap the cable around the stand to the floor and then run it to an outlet on the wall.
Hanging a chandelier is relatively easy once you know about securing the mount to the ceiling in the right way.
You have to make sure your mount is designed to bear the weight of your chandelier and that it’s installed correctly.
Otherwise, you may have a crashed chandelier, exposed wires, and a large hole in the ceiling!
Have you installed your own chandelier at home, or are you considering buying one?