How to hang a chandelier
A chandelier has the power to transform an interior. Not only can these items enhance the appearance of any indoor area, unlike some other statement pieces they also serve a functional purpose, improving the illumination of a space. However, due to their size and often delicate nature, installing a chandelier can sometimes be tricky, especially when space is at a premium or if the ceiling you are hanging it from is slanted.
In this guide, we explain the best ways to install a chandelier, as well as what you may have to do differently when hanging a chandelier over a dining table or from a slanted ceiling.
How to install a chandelier
No matter where you are planning to hang a chandelier, and what types of chandelier you are dealing with, the basic installation steps remain the same
1. Before anything else, the first thing you need to do is switch off the electricity to the area of your home where you are installing your light. This is usually done at your home’s main fuse box. Once the electricity is switched off, you should ensure that the power has been disconnected by turning the switch on and off to confirm no electricity is being sent to the light fixture you are dealing with.
2. Remove the existing light fixture carefully, noting down how it was installed, and apply adhesive electrical tape to the wires to keep them separate.
3. Install your new junction box. If you are using the existing box, this can be skipped. When installing a new junction box, ensure you are using a brace bar sturdy enough to hold the weight of your new chandelier. This information should be provided by the vendor when purchasing a new chandelier.
4. Connect the new light fixture to the mounting bracket (typically provided) and then attach this to the junction box.
5. Connect your new chandelier to the mains. To do this, connect your existing wires to the corresponding ones in your new light fixture - these are usually black and white. If you are dealing with an antique or another chandelier without colour-coded wires, call an electrician - guessing when it comes to connecting these wires can be dangerous. To connect wires, you will have to remove around half an inch of insulation from the ends of the new chandelier wires. Once connected, use wire nuts to secure the newly connected wires in place.
6. Remove all tools used to install your new chandelier, and then turn on the power to the area you have been working in. Switch the light fixture on and, if you have installed your new chandelier correctly, it should now be fully functional.
How high to hang chandelier in living room
As a rule, no matter whether you are installing an antique ceiling light or a contemporary chandelier, the bottom of the item should hang at least seven feet (2.1 metres) above floor level, if your living room has a standard eight foot (2.4 metres) ceiling height. If your ceilings are higher than this, chandeliers can be hung at eight feet above ground level.
When it comes to positioning a chandelier in a living room, it is also recommended that you place it at least four feet (1.2 metres) away from any walls.
How high to hang a chandelier over a dining table
When installing a chandelier over a dining room table or a kitchen island, the bottom of the chandelier should hang no lower than 30 inches (76cm) above the surface of the table. If you are only installing one chandelier, it should be centred above the table, while multiple hanging light fixtures should be separated by gaps of 30 inches (76cm) to avoid clustering.
How to hang a chandelier on a slanted ceiling
Although the vast majority of chandeliers are designed for flat ceilings, there are ways to hang your dream light on a slanted surface. The easiest way to do this is to use a sloped ceiling adapter. These clever pieces of kit are designed to work in tandem with your chandelier’s regular hardware, slotting in easily between the downrod cable/chain and the junction box, where the chandelier’s power fitting would usually touch the ceiling.
If you have a slanted ceiling, this simple stage can easily be slotted into the installation process detailed above to make hanging your chandelier on any ceiling surface as quick, safe and easy as possible. And remember, if you are unsure about any aspect of the process, or you find that something is not as described above, always call a qualified electrician for assistance.
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