How To Replace And Install A Pendant Lighting Fixture

November 12, 2018 8:36 am by sandiego
Convert a recessed light into a pendant fixture
How To Replace And Install A Pendant Lighting Fixture

Yes, you should be able to find one at Home Depot or a good hardware store.

Materials:ScrewdriverWirecutters/strippers (or if you’re handy, a pair of scissors)

Pendant lights can add style and personality, and come in a variety of styles that will allow you to customize any room to your liking.[1] Replacing an old light fixture with a pendant light is a basic home improvement project that even a novice can master. The change in lighting can transform the character of a room in a matter of minutes.

No, unless the breaker is a safety GFI type of breaker; then all wires must be connected.

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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.

Install a bulb. Screw a light bulb of the correct voltage and size into the pendant light fixture.

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What wiring do I need for a new kitchen pendant light, and can I connect that wiring to wiring on another switch?

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How far above a raised countertop should a pendant hang from a 9 foot ceiling?

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Will an unconnected ground wire pendant light to junction box cause the breaker to trip?

My new pendant lights came with 3 wires and a ground. All 3 wires are silver. I have no Manufacturers instructions. How do I connect those 3 wires to the black and the white wires?

Secure the wires. Push or fold the wiring up into the junction box, making sure that all wires remain secured together with the wire nuts.

We just moved into a new place and even though we’re renting, we wanted to swap out the pendant above the dining table for a nice upgrade we can take with us when we go. I was going to call an electrician until a friend mentioned that I ought to be able to handle it myself. So I did, and was a lot simpler than I expected!

Attach the ground wire. Find the ground wire on the pendant light. Depending on your wiring, you’ll either wrap it around a ground screw located in the junction box or attach it to a protruding ground wire.

[11] The ground wire is usually either a green wire or a bare copper wire.[12] If you have a ground screw, tighten the screw to hold the wire in place.

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.

Is it possible to buy a replacement mounting bar for a pendant light?

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.

3. Measure the length you want the new fixture to hang (standard is for the fixture to hang about 3 feet up from the table top). Cut the cord to your desired length and strip about an inch of the rubber casing off of each wire so you have exposed wires to work with.

4. Screw the fixture into the ceiling with the two screws that should have already been in place from the last fixture so you don’t have to hold it while you wire it up.

  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

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.

Complete installation. If your fixture has a trim, a cover, or any other remaining parts that still need to be installed, install them now, and make any final adjustments to the light’s height.[19]

Add a polished look to your kitchen. Install a light rail to your kitchen cabinets to hide under-cabinet lighting.

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6. Finish screwing in the fixture so the cap is flush against the ceiling.

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.  

Check the junction box. Make sure the screws holding the electrical box in place are tight and the box is secure. Tighten screws if necessary, but do not over-tighten.[7]

Attach the power wires. Have an assistant hold the light fixture up to the ceiling while you connect the wires from the light fixture to those hanging out of the junction box. Connect wires according to the directions provided with the light.

Usually, this means connecting black to black and white to white. Wrap the exposed ends of the wires together.[8] If there is not enough exposed surface on each wire, you may need to use wire strippers to peel back some of the wire insulation.

[9] Screw on wire nuts/connectors to cover the exposed connections and secure them tightly.[10] These should be provided with the fixture, but if not, can be purchased cheaply at any hardware store.

Solar-powered lights are a good option when there’s no electrical source nearby.

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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. 

Turn the power back on. Your light should now be functional.[17] If your light does not function, turn the power back off and check your wiring.[18]

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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2. Unscrew the cap fitting for the old fixture and unscrew the wires so you can take the fixture down off the ceiling.

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Hang the light. Attach the canopy of or base of your light to the mounting screws or bracket.[14] This process will also vary depending on the style of pendant light you are installing, so it’s a good idea to check your directions before you start.

In some cases, the process is as aligning your mounting screws with some small holes in the fixture, and turning the fixture about a quarter turn.[15] In other cases, you’ll have to screw the fixture into a mounting bracket.


Check old wires hanging from junction box for wear or fraying before installing your new light. Don’t attach your new light fixture wiring to any old wiring that shows signs of wear, including frays or burn marks.

This may be a fire hazard and may also necessitate calling an electrician.

Don’t throw out those large white wine bottles left over from your last party. Use them to create amazing upcycled kitchen lighting.

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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.

Installing low-voltage landscape lights is both simple and inexpensive, plus the lights enhance the appearance of your home and increase safety.

For the best lighting results, pendant lights should be hung at a height of roughly 60 to 66 inches above the floor, or 30 inches above the surface of a table.[20] Never install pendant lights from a ceiling where they will hang low enough for people to walk into them.

Many pendant lights allow you to adjust their height. If you are installing pendant lights in an area where there was no light fixture to begin with, or if you are installing several mini pendants where there were fewer fixtures before, you will need to add some new wiring to your home.

Unless you have experience with this, you should contact an electrician, as this task is considerably more difficult than installing a light fixture.[21]

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Two Parts:Preparing for InstallationInstalling Your Pendant LightCommunity Q&A

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Remove the old fixture. Unless you are installing your pendant light in a new or recently remodeled house, you’ll probably need to remove an old light fixture.[4] Detach the fixture. This process will depend on the type of fixture you previously had installed.

If possible, have someone hold it up while you detach it from the ceiling to decrease the likelihood of dropping it. Remove the old wire connectors. These are the small plastic caps covering the connections between the fixture wires and the house wiring.

Usually they can be removed by twisting them counterclockwise until loose. Before disconnecting the wires, it’s a good idea use a voltage checker to make sure the wires have no electricity running through them.

Finally, disconnect the wires and remove any remaining parts of the old fixture that are still attached to the ceiling, such as a base or trim.[5]

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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.

Turn off the power. Find your home’s circuit breaker or fuse box and turn off power to the room or area of the house where you’ll be installing the light.[3] Failure to turn off the power before beginning work may result in serious electrical shock.

Check your support. Make sure your installation location is structurally sound.[6] Your electrical junction box should be supported by a beam or other support system, not simply screwed into drywall. If the electrical box and light fixture are not adequately supported, it may fall.

Further, this is likely a building code violation. If there is not adequate support to hold your fixture up, do not proceed with the installation.

5. Twist white wire with white wire and black wire with black wire and cap each of them with one of those red things

Recessed “high hat” lighting or “can” lights provide excellent illumination and give a room an elegant appearance.

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This DIY Basic will provide tips on how to install inside cabinet lighting.

Additional Notes: This was fairly simple since there was already a fixture in place. We wouldn’t have attempted anything more complicated with electricity since it can be risky. We made sure the power in that circuit was off and that the switch was off (and that everyone knew not to turn it on) before starting. If you have any concerns about your wiring, etc. don’t try this, call a professional!

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. 

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.

Русский: установить подвесной светильник, Español: instalar una lámpara colgante, Italiano: Montare un Lampadario, Português: Instalar uma Luminária Pendente

Unpack your new fixture. Carefully lay out the parts so they are easily accessible.[2]

Install the mounting bracket and/or mounting screws. Your new fixture should have come with a bracket and/or mounting screws needed to firmly attach the pendant light to the junction box.[13] This will vary depending on the style of light you are installing.

Follow the manufacturers instructions.

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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