Whether you've bought a new pendant light or sacrificed your weekend to DIY one of your own, deciding how to hang
From coffee shops to home kitchens, pendant lights have become a chic addition to any well-designed space. Like recessed lights, pendant lights are also one of the easiest lighting upgrades you can make to your home. Assuming you are replacing a fixture that already used a junction box, it will only take four steps and about half an hour to install your fashionable pendant light.
Installing a Kitchen Pendant Light in 6 Easy Steps
The fluorescent 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 go up.
The process of installing the new pendant light was going to be quite easy after a little ceiling repair work was finished. 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.
Licperron Industrial Pendant
What you also probably noticed in the ceiling where 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). You can use a perfect industrial pendant light for your kitchen that you can get from Amazon.com.
The paint 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 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.
Ceiling repairs checked off the list, the actual light installation was quite a breeze.
I had stopped into Ikea to pick up my new pendant, a 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).
Step 1: Power Off. Breaker Off
If you’re nervous, turn the main power switch OFF too.
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 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. If you need a longer pendant you should go for the VILUXY Modern Kitchen Island Pendant Lighting, 5W LED Crystal Hanging Lighting Fixture Chrome Finish with Seeded Glass, for Dining Room, Kitchen from Amazon.
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 markets to secure the hardwired connection and then wrap the connection with black electrical tape to further reinforce. However, if you want an easy fix you should get the Pendant Hanging Hood Light from Amazon.com.
Step 4: Jump Off The Countertop
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. Ifit doesn’t, double-check your connections and/or consult with an electrician.
Step 5: The Fixture Distributes The Weight
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.
What I like best about this encasement is that you can actually leave yourself a little wiggle room in pendant length and hide the extra cord inside the encasement easily, so if next week I decided 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.
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 at this time).
A Shorter Step By Step Guide
Before you begin, make sure to cut off the power to the room at the circuit breaker and assemble the needed tools and equipment. You won't need many tools--just a screwdriver, a pair of wire strippers, and some wire nuts. It's also a good idea to wear a mask and goggles to shield your face from drywall debris and insulation. If you are looking for a rustic design, you can get the Pipe Chandelier Vintage fixture from Amazon.
Step 1: Remove the Existing Fixture
Most ceiling lights and chandeliers are mounted in the same way and are easy to replace with a pendant. Remove the canopy that covers the junction box, disconnect the wires, and dismount the fixture by removing the screws from the mounting bracket.
Step 2: Mount the Pendant Light
Unscrew the threaded rod that attaches the old fixture to the mounting bracket, and screw the rod from the pendant to the mounting bracket. Using your screwdriver, replace the mounting bracket. Your new pendant is nearly finished!
Step 3: Make Electrical Connections
Attach the wires from the pendant to the wires in the junction box using wire strippers and wire nuts. Connect green to green (usually the ground--may also be bare copper), black to black, and white to white. Stuff the wires into the junction box and attach the canopy.
Step 4: Finish the Installation
Finally, install the shade and the bulb, then turn the power back on. Congratulations! You've now installed a pendant light.
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.