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Installing Your New Chandelier

If you are daunted by the prospect of installing your new chandelier, just follow these four fundamental steps. Not only will you install your new chandelier, but you will learn some additional information to help you safely and correctly light up your ro

Posted in Chandeliers over 15 years ago, 0 replies

Most people install chandeliers in their dining rooms or entryways. Think of an entryway installation that offers a dazzling chandelier to welcome guests inside your home. Think of a dining room installation where the chandelier serves as a suspended mealtime companion while feasting on four-course meals. Chandeliers do nothing less than impact the ambience of a room.

Chandeliers vary widely in their styles, weights and designs. They vary in the quality of light they produce too. We have a tendency to think of chandeliers as only those opulent and ornate fixtures that have starring roles in soap operas. But technically any ceiling-mounted fixture that hangs from a chain or wire is a chandelier. That being said, hanging a new chandelier differs from installing a typical ceiling-mounted light fixture because chandeliers are often heavier than the average fixtures.

Weight and Size of Chandeliers

The weight of your new chandelier is important for one major reason: the ceiling junction box. The junction box contains all the wiring connections in the ceiling, and it must be strong enough to accommodate the weight of your new chandelier. If your new chandelier is around the same weight as the one you are replacing, the old junction box will most likely work. If the new chandelier is much heavier, however, you are going to have to replace the box with one that will adequately support the new weight.

When it comes to deciding what size chandelier you should install in your space, remember that a chandelier should be about 12 inches narrower than the width of the table over which it hangs. Total wattage of all bulbs should be 200 to 400 to provide sufficient light. Consider these tips:

Room size: 10' by 10' or less Use: Chandelier 17"to 20" in diameter
Room size: approx. 12' x 12' Use: Chandelier 26" or 27" in diameter
Room size: approx. 14' x 14' Use: Chandelier 24" to 36" in diameter

Tools You Might Need

Wire nut/connectors
Collar nut
Escutcheon plate
Threaded nipple
Mounting strap
Utility knife
Circuit tester
Two pliers (to twist chain apart)
Long-nose pliers
Insulated screwdrivers
Multipurpose tool

Four Steps to Installing Your New Chandelier

1. Turn Off the Power

First and Foremost: you must Turn Off the power to the circuit on which you intend to work.

2. Remove Old Chandelier

Now that you are sure no power is flowing to your circuit (use a circuit tester to be sure; inexpensive circuit testers are available in home improvement stores), you can disconnect and remove the old chandelier from the junction box. It is best that you have someone helping you, as you will need someone to support the weight of the old chandelier as you disconnect the lead wires from the junction box.

Important: Take notice of how the old chandelier is connected before you remove it. You could even sketch what it looks like, how it is wired, so that you can have it as a reference later. You should also mark the wires with tape and a pencil for reference. This will help you immensely when you begin step four.

3. Replace the Junction Box

You will need to replace the junction box only if, as previously mentioned, it is not strong enough to withstand the weight of your new chandelier. Once you have that determined, you can proceed with the installation by threading your new hardware onto the mounting strap. If there is no mounting strap for whatever reason, you will have to install one. You can either use the one that came with your new chandelier kit or purchase a new one from a local home improvement store. Use the existing screw holes to secure the mounting strap into the junction box.

4. Wire the Chandelier

Remember to wire in the new chandelier the same way the old one came out. Wiring in the new chandelier can be as simple as connecting white wires with white ones and black wires with black ones. Or it can prove more difficult with several wires to connect, for example, the introduction of a red wire.

Start off the wiring process by stringing wires through the last link on the chain, and then through the support nut, collar nut, escutcheon plate, and up through the lamp nipple, and finally into the junction box. Connect your wires by "tying in" to the home wiring using wire nuts (plastic connectors). You'll "tie in" by splicing the black hot wire from the junction box with your wire nuts. Then you will splice the white neutral wires. Connect the ground wires to the green grounding screw in the junction box. Use the manufacturer's instruction for the new chandelier to complete the rest of the installation.

Height Placement

In dining rooms, chandeliers should be mounted a minimum of 30 inches to about 36 inches over the top of the table, which is high enough to keep heads from bumping into them. Chandeliers mounted at least this height give off the best illumination, too. If your ceiling is higher than 8 feet, however, the chandelier might look better if it is hung higher than the 36 inches. You should keep the diameter of the new chandelier 12 inches less than the width of your dining table. And leave a distance of at least 48 inches from each of the dining room's walls to the closest chair, wall, table, buffet or any other piece of furniture.

When installing a chandelier in the foyer, make sure that the bottom of the chandelier is approximately seven or more feet from the floor to allow for door clearances and tall people.


What to do with the red hot wire?

I am installing a new chandelier and I have a red wire that was used previously for my ceiling fan. What do I do with this red wire; do I attach the black hot wire, red hot wire and chandelier wire together.





removing a chandelier

We want to remove a chandelier and not replace it with another one. Please give me STEPS to do this. Thank you.



How to remove a chandelier

I am not an electrician. But to prepare for the removal, I would take pictures of the chandelier, in case you want to sell it.

If it is crystal, remove all the crystals, clean (i like a weak ammonia water solution) and dry thoroughly. Wrap the crystals in white tissue paper. Long strands should be wrapped lengthwise, rolled up and stacked. Then wrap again in something stronger such as newspaper.

Do the same with the bobs, but make sure each is wrapped separately to protect them froms scratching each other. I would bag these. If the bulbs are decorative and you have no other use for them, include them in the packaging.

After the fixture has been removed, and wires secured with plastic nuts, you could place a decorative ceiling medallion over the hole. I have tried to close those types of openings and we were never able to make them completely blend into the smooth ceiling. (Please do not spray that textured ceiling stuff, it is a dust-catcher and people who have lived with it regret it.)

Best of luck to you. Are you sure you would not want to replace with a simple fixture? Lighting is a great thing, and it might be a shame to waste the wiring. Hope this helps.



PS: I am searching for a traditional fine crystal chandelier.








I am having the same problem replacing my ceiling fan with a chandelier.  I have a red wire that i'm not sure what to do with.....were you able to find the answer???  I'd love to know!

Installing Your New Chandellier

I have a question about the chandelier pictured in this article. 

I have been looking and looking for a chandelier like the one pictured.  Do you know where I would be able to find that chandelier?  

Thank you for your help.. Karen Krekelberg  (kkreker@fastpcpros.com)


Installing Your New Chandelier

What do you do with the Red Wire when installing a new Chandelier? Thanks




I am trying to remove my old chandelier and install a new one and am stuck on how to remove the top part of the chandelier that is attached to the cieling. It seems from the outside that there are no nuts bolts and it is stuck magically to the top. Any advice willto remove this part will be very useful. Thanks,







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