Can I Make A Three Pendant Light Fixture With Only One Electrical

October 28, 2018 4:05 am by sandiego
1 light black vintage plug in hanging pendant with black woven cord and black
Westinghouseindustrial one light adjustable mini pendant with handblown clear seeded glass oil rubbed
Can I Make A Three Pendant Light Fixture With Only One Electrical

So, not sure if this step was necessary, but I took that plate pictured above and I screwed it upside down into the underside of the wood fixture and still used the green ground screw to secure the copper wire for each of the three fixtures. Here is a close up of what I’m trying to explain (but I’m sure I lost y’all a while back!)

So connecting all of the white wires (easy!) as one, all the black wires (also easy!) as one and all of the copper/ground wires as one (WARNING! VERY HARD!) in order to then connect them to the single electrical box wires.

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So, I needed to figure out a better way, without knowing what I was doing at all.

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First step here is to shut down the power for the electrical outlet from your electrical box thing-a-ma-jig. You do not want to get electrocuted. Second step is to make sure the old fixture that was there is removed.

 Third is to have a 2 person team get up on the island (or table) and get ready to secure all of this and hope that it works! Ha!

The ugly yellow lights connected to some track lighting connection thing…

I talked to a nice elderly gentleman (who looked like he himself was present for the invention of electricity) who assured me that the thick ground copper wire could be connected to the 6 inch thin copper wire by simply using wire nuts. 

I place 4 connection pieces in the back to hold all the pieces together. This would be easier if you weren’t using random scraps like me! Also – do you just love my “work bench”? AKA the speakers that no longer work.

(Disclaimer: This was the hardest/most annoying part of this whole project.)

Sorry for the blurry picture, but you get the idea. Tiny copper wire!

This was not easy to do since the copper wire I got from Home Depot was so thick and not easy to work with. But it worked. It ended up looking something like…

My husband went off of blind faith for this project. He truthfully had no idea what I was doing but still was willing to help me install. He is the best!

So, I am not an electrician. My wonderful husband is not an electrician. BE WARNED!

We then carefully screwed the whole wood piece up into the ceiling using predrilled holes in the wood. (I already had the beams in the ceiling marked so I knew where to screw in.) I used 4 inch screws to make sure it was very secure through the wood and that this thing wasn’t going to move once installed. And we screwed the wood real quickly into the studs/beams in the ceiling. 

This doesn’t work for the 3 fixture-in-1 lighting that we are building.(Image is from makeit-loveit.com)

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We used tweezers to reconnect the black wire…tried again…and this is what it looked like:

But, moving into our new home and redesigning our kitchen did not allow for the room, concept, or budget to purchase an electrician and my sanity did not allow living with this nasty yellow island lighting one. day. longer.

So after all of this was secure, we carefully moved our wooden-3-light-fixtures-in-1 creation to the kitchen island and got ready to install.

I based the size of this overall piece upon my island size and the beams in the kitchen ceiling (use a stud finder) that I will be screwing this into. So in total, this wood piece ended up being a little over five feet. I made sure my little scraps of wood connecting the back were where the studs were in the ceiling (mine was about 46 inches apart) just to give a little more oomph to screw into the beams in the ceiling. I marked the distance of the two beams and pre-drilled holes into the wood piece where I would be securing it to the ceiling. Still with me?

Something like this is what you’re looking for the end result to be:

Again, not totally sure if this part was necessary, but I thought “What the hey! I have these included pieces, might as well figure out a way to use them!”

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The white wires and black wires were plenty long enough to twist together and create one single white/black wire….problem with this image is that the copper/ground wire was TINY. I needed it to be 20 inches like the other wires were but each copper wire was only about 6 inches.

Most home wiring is either 12 or 14 gauge, corresponding to either a 20 amp or a 15 amp circuit, respectively. The maximum “design capacity” is 80% of that. Let’s say you’re using a 20 amp breaker with 12 gauge wire. This circuit should run at no more than 16 amps. Let’s assume you’re using 100 watt bulbs at 120 volts. Using watts/volts = amps, for 600 watts/120 volts = 5 amps. So this would work fine on a 15 amp breaker, depending on what else is on that circuit. http://www.thecircuitdetective.com/ is also a superb reference for novice electricians to get an idea of how things work.

Also known as twist on connectors, wire connectors, cone connectors, or thimble connectors.Image from www.idealind.com

So, out of blind faith (and some YouTube video help) we worked to connect all the wire mess from my wooden-3-light-fixtures-in-1 creation to the single electrical box. We “simply” connected the white wires, black wires and all of those annoying copper wires together with XL wire nuts. I say simply because the copper wires were so hard to work with and it took about 10 times (not exaggerating!) to finally get each copper wire neatly screwed together into the large wire nut. (These terms KILL me!)

Once it was all connected, my husband actually held it in place just hanging like you see in the diagram above and I ran to turn the power back on and had lightbulbs in the fixture to make sure it worked great and that nothing sparks or lights on fire! And Viola! No fires and all light bulbs were a go!!!

Luckily, we had just a little bit of a gap in the middle of the light fixture where we could still see/adjust the wires and my husband used his handy iPhone flashlight to find out the black wire from one of the fixture became undone. And here I was thinking the copper wires were going to be our downfall!!!

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So imagine for a second you have three (or two or four) light fixtures but only one connection/electrical box. You need to connect all of the like-colored wires together to recreate what you would be working with with a single light fixture.

See those pretty green dots in the diagram above? Those are actually representing the ground screw for the copper wire. Usually when you are working with wiring up one fixture, there is a metal plate that has a green screw used to attach the ground (copper) wire to the fixture.

Basically, you want to start with a switch. You run a black and white wire in from the bottom of the switch box (from the panel). This will take the form of 12/2 or 14/2 cable. You run another 12/2 or 14/2 cable from the top of the switch box to the first light. You connect the black wire to the switch. You connect the 2 white wires together, and then connect the other terminal on the switch to the black wire of the cable leaving this junction box towards the first light. The ground wire should also be connected together in this manner, but to the ground terminal on the switch. Each light will have a cable “entering” (from the switch) and “exiting” (away from the switch). At each light you’ll connect the entering and exiting black wires together, as well as 1 terminal on the light. Do the same with the white wires. If there is a ground terminal on the light, do that as well, otherwise just connect the incoming and outgoing ground wires together. At the last light, just connect the incoming black wire to 1 terminal on the light, and then connect the white wire to the other one. This method is called wiring in parallel, so if one light blows, the current can still continue to the other lights to light them up.

I am remodeling my basement, currently I have 5 light fixtures and each one has its own switch. I would like to make it so when I turn on the switch at the bottom of the stairs all the lights turn on. I would also like to add several more light fixtures. I am new to electrical work. I have a solid background with framing and drywall. The basement is not finished so I have great access to all ceiling joints and current fixtures. I have been reading online about 2 wire nm. I am curious though how you run wire to one fixture, hook it up, and then run the wire to the next fixture.

As a beginner myself, using a book, an electrician friend for advice, great caution and 1/2 brain, I wired a complete panel in my home, added garage lighting and several other circuits for appliances. I saved myself thousands of $ at the rate of $80-90 per hr electricians in our area. Electricians went through much training and OJT in order to become licensed. But like anyone in a trade that took much training, we often feel self inflated and feel that no one else can or should do our work unless they go through the same. But the bottom line is, if its your home electrify away and don’t worry about possessive electricians. Just do it safely in order to protect yourself, family, others and property. For the simple stuff like wiring a planel and adding circuits for switches/outlets its a breeze. Save yourself much money if your state allows you to do it on your own.

I was so excited to see the lights on with the fixture in place, so I ran to turn the switch on….and…..!?&*!?….the stinkin’ middle light wasn’t working!!!

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I bought my pendant lights from Amazon and I LOVE THEM! They have those expensive looking bubbles in the glass so they are so pretty when on, reflecting a design on the ceiling. I also just love the industrial look.

I had my wonderful hubby drill three large holes into the wood for my light fixture.

Any way, I chose some wood and I thought it would look good with points at the end (like the arrow look that is so in right now). So I grabbed 4 different pieces (since they were so short) and screwed them together using more scraps. It ended up looking like…

And then I took the light fixture and fed the wires through those holes. I used the previous (UGLY!) light fixtures to measure how long I would want my pendant lights to hang and I made sure to feed the wires appropriately to be that length. I used black screws secure the light fix to the top-side of the wood and just screwed right on into the wood.

Can I Make a Three Pendant Light Fixture with Only One Electrical Connection?

I inherited some old random barn wood from my church that really are just scraps. But really, you can use any pieces of wood you have lying around. Because I was working with reclaimed barn wood, I chose to not stain the final product, but if I was working off of newer wood (like my trusted $3 14 ft untreated white lumber from Home Depot) I would simply stain it to look more rustic.

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