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Locate your electrical panel and turn off power to the junction box and confirm no power is flowing. A previously mounted light should be removed with care to avoid damage to wiring. Three wires should be visible; two for power and a third wire is used as an electrical ground. Remove any previously used mounting bracket.
Ceiling repairs checked off the list, the actual light installation was quite a breeze.
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Once wiring is complete, cap the junction box with the cover, using mounting bracket posts and screw caps. Tighten until cover rests firmly against the ceiling, making sure no wires are pinched or exposed.
The process of installing the new pendant light was going to be quite easy after a little of ceiling repair work was finished.
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Shop around. There are many sources for dining room lighting, including websites, home improvement stores, retail department stores, yard sales, specialty lighting stores and classified ads. Be sure to ask about installation before you make a purchase.
The flourescent light that I revealed last week came down over the weekend. It was a happy day, although like many “easy fixes” I decide to take on, there was a surprising amount of repair that needed to be done before the light could actually go up. Cue the dramatic music.
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A pendant light often hangs by its own electrical cord, making the fixture itself fairly basic, distinguished mostly by color and size. The style of simple light lies in the shade, which can be chosen to match any decor, space or use. A flared shape or transparent shade will throw more light into a room, whereas an opaque or solid shade may focus light on a task surface.
Take the size of your dining room table into account. A good rule of thumb is to choose a hanging light that is half of the width of your table.
The paint obviously needed to be touched up too; when I painted the kitchen a few years ago, I had edged around the light and avoided taking it down to do the job well (the whole fixture was actually hidden at that time, only exposed when I removed the kitchen cabinets), but once the compound had been dried and smoothed, I finished off the soffit with a nice coat of flat white ceiling paint.
Before hanging your new light, adjust the height at which it will hang by releasing the set screw and pulling the cord through the cover to the desired length. The excess cord may be cut using wire cutters or left a little long, with the excess hidden behind the cover when mounted. The height at which it will hand is a matter or preference, but consider the throw of light and potential head-bumping when determining the length of the cord.
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You’re done. What’s next? Rejoice. If your pendant is over the kitchen sink, maybe follow that urge to hand wash your dishes more often. And consider adding a dimmer switch to make your new pendant act a little moody – it’s always a nice touch.
Step 3: Follow your own fixture’s instruction manual. Ikea’s graphic tutorial guided me through matching up the wires that would sit within the ceiling box, and also instructed me how to affix the supporting pieces of the pendant directly to the box. I always use marretts to secure the hardwired connection, and then wrap the connection with black electrical tape to further reinforce.
Before beginning any type of electrical project, be sure the power is turned off at the home’s main circuit box. Cover the switch with tape to make sure it doesn’t get turned back on while you are working. Use a circuit tester to ensure that the power is off before you touch any of the electrical wiring.
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What you also probably noticed in the ceiling were an abundance of holes (those were left by the florescent fixture’s toggle bolts). Patching those is what has been consuming me all week. If you’ve played with drywall compound before, you’ll appreciate the patience required in watching skim-coated compound dry (not once, but three times in this case, repeatedly sanding and coating the ceiling to perfection).
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Introduction Step 1: Select a Fixture Step 2: Prepare Junction Box Step 3: Attach Mounting Bracket Step 4: Adjust Hanging Height Step 5: Attach Wires Step 6: Affix Cover Step 7: Attach Shade Step 8: Selecting a Bulb
Step 6: Install the shade. Don’t accidentally drop and shatter it in the sink (just something I always imagine happening). Turn the power back ON (you can leave it on this time).
Take this opportunity to make certain the junction box is sturdy and properly attached without defect. Use a screwdriver to attach the mounting bracket that came with your new pendant light to the box using provided screws. Make sure this bracket is snugly attached and rests level.
Step 2: Before wiring the light, consider the length of the pendant. My Ikea purchase came with a wire six-feet long, which I decided to shorten to 10-inches so that the pendant would hang about this far down. With some pendants, you’ll have to actually cut the cord to length and re-strip the wires before you install, but with mine, the excess cord will tuck into a ceiling encasement.
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Step 1: Power OFF. Breaker OFF. If you’re really nervous, turn the main power switch OFF too.
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Installing a new pendant fixture into an existing junction box is fairly easy. They’re available in a wide variety of styles and colors making them an afforable update.
Depending on the task, portions of your project can easily be tackled yourself to save money.
What I like best about this encasement is that you can actually leave yourself a little wiggle room in pendant length and hide extra cord inside the encasement easily, so if next week I decide it needs to be lowered three inches, it’s an easy update. Like I mentioned in Step 2, if your pendant doesn’t have a substantial encasement, you’ll have to trim your cord to length.
Measure your dining room. Your dining room lighting should be to scale in relation to the size of your room. The following guidelines may be used as a reference, although factors like the table shape and size and the décor/style of the dining room should also be taken into consideration: For a room that is 10 feet (3.
0 m) by 10 feet (3.048 m by 3.048 m), choose a light that is somewhere around 18 inches (45.72 cm) in diameter. For rooms that are 11 feet (3.4 m) by 11 feet (3.35 m by 3.35 m) to 13 feet (4.0 m) by 13 feet (3.
96 m by 3.96 m), then you should find a hanging light that measures about 24 inches (61 cm) in diameter. Rooms that measure between 14 feet (4.3 m) by 14 feet (4.27 m by 4.27 m) and 18 feet (5.5 m) by 18 feet (5.
49 m by 5.49 m) can visually support a lighting fixture that measures anywhere from 26 inches (66.04 cm) to 36 inches (91.44 cm) in diameter. Your dining room lighting should also be height proportionate.
For each 1 foot (.3048 m) of wall height, give 2.5 inches (6.125 cm) to 3 inches (7.62 cm) to your fixture. For example, a dining room that is 9 feet (2.74 m) high can house a lighting fixture that is 22.
5 inches (57.15 cm) to 27 inches (68.58 cm) tall.
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Consult the manufacturer’s instructions when selecting a bulb for your fixture. Wattage, shape and “light appearance” can all have a significant impact of the look and functionality of your ceiling fixture. If using a dimmer switch, make sure the bulb is dimmable and look for warmer colors for living spaces. Although a single pendant light isn’t usually the best choice for large spaces.
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Recessed “high hat” lighting or “can” lights provide excellent illumination and give a room an elegant appearance.
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Dining room lighting serves both functional and aesthetic purposes. Lighting fixtures that hang over a dining room table should provide enough light to amply illuminate table settings, and should also fit into the dining room in terms of shape, size and style. Hanging dining room lights come in a wide variety of designs, so there are a number of considerations to make when choosing the right fixture for your space. Follow these guidelines for how to buy a hanging light for a dining room.
Step 5: The Ikea fixture has a nice built-in hook system that distributes the weight of the light over the wire so it’s not pulling straight from the wire in the box. It’s also designed to be capped right off by an encasement that screws right into place, so the hard work has already been done.
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Recessed or “can” lights can be used as task lighting, accent lighting or to illuminate an entire room. They’re easy to install into existing wiring and the best part, recessed light don’t go out of style.
For one thing, the obvious absence of an electrical box meant that I needed to install one to contain the wiring; it’s only right for electrical safety to contain sparks and properly anchor the wires. Fortunately for me, all other wiring has passed previous inspections, and aside from carving out a little round hole for the existing construction box to pop into, new holes needed to be made and no new wires needed to be run, so I called it an easy day.
Choose a style that complements your dining room décor. Decide between pendant lighting or a dining room chandelier. Pendants are hung by stems, as opposed to chandelier chains, and are typically a simple stem and bulb housing design.
Chandeliers are more traditional dining room lighting fixtures, and are generally circular in shape and more complex in design than pendant lighting. Pendant lighting provides a streamlined, modern effect, while chandeliers are more ornate.
Pick a finish that matches the hardware throughout your house. For example, if your buffet knobs are a brushed nickel, then you should choose a lighting fixture in the same brushed nickel finish. Counter the weight of the furniture with your hanging light.
If your dining room set is dark and bulky, then opt for a simple lighting fixture with a lightweight feel.
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Unthread the nut on the shade mount over the bulb socket, slide the shade over the threads and replace nut to secure. Make sure pendant light shade hangs level when released. Straighten the cord by which the light hangs by hand, if necessary, but expect the cord to straighten more thoroughly over time under the continuing weight of the fixture.
Consider the visual weight of the hanging light when choosing a size. Once you have the approximate parameters for the size of your lighting fixture, it is important to assess the design of the fixture itself in order to determine the appropriate choice for your dining area.
For example, a bulky, ornate dining room chandelier has a visually heavier feel than a simple pendant light, and takes up more space aesthetically. You should therefore choose a visually heavy fixture that is at the smaller end of your diameter guidelines, or a visually light fixture that is on the larger end of your diameter guidelines.
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Solar-powered lights are a good option when there’s no electrical source nearby.
Use light bulbs that are between 200 and 400 watts for your dining room lighting, and use a dimmer for added control over the ambiance. Dining room lighting fixtures should hang 30 inches (76.2 cm) to 39 inches (99 cm) above the dining table.
For a small room, hang the light lower, and vice versa for large rooms. Just remember not to block the line of sight for those seated at the table. When choosing lighting for an over sized room with an over sized table, you may opt to hang more than 1 fixture.
Divide the table into the number of fixtures you plan on hanging, then divide each of those spaces in half to find the midpoints.
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Attach the grounding wire to the mounting bracket at the marked screw and marry power wires by color or as recommended my manufacturer. Twist the bare ends of the wires together and then cap using wire nuts to cover and secure ends.
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I had stopped into Ikea to pick up my new pendant, an 365+ LUNTA (glass pleated model, not to be confused with the smooth metal model that I accidentally bought first – long story), and was ready to begin the install. I happen to love these pendants (glass, pleated, so pretty, and so affordable at $30 for the whole kit – plus, it’s the smaller version of the pendants I have hung in the adjacent dining room, so the whole first floor of the house would feel a little more cohesive with the new addition in the kitchen).
Whether hanging over the kitchen table or used as a task or accent light, pendant lights bring style to overhead lighting without spending a fortune.
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Step 4: At this point, jump off the countertop or the sink or wherever you’re balancing on your kneepads, and turn the power back ON to that room. Turn on the light switch. Make sure that it works before you finish the install (it’s always a little easier to find out before you complete the install, in my experience). If it works, go turn the power back OFF at the breaker box just to be safe while you finish the install. If it doesn’t, double check your connections and/or consult with an electrician.
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