Table of Contents
- Step One: Prepare Your Work Area
- Get Your Fix of All Things Home DIY Right Here
Chandeliers have a grand history. Back in the day, they used to represent wealth and status, but today, just about any homeowner can hang a chandelier in their home without having to be royalty! Chandeliers come in all shapes and sizes — there’s almost always an option to suit all budgets.
But hanging a chandelier is a little more complicated than hanging any old lighting fixture. There are certain heights, dimensions, and weight elements you’ll have to consider.
If you’re looking to learn more about the basics of adding a chandelier to your dining room for a touch of sophistication, just keep on reading.
Step One: Prepare Your Work Area
Before you get started on the project of erecting a chandelier, safety must come first. You want to turn off the main power throughout your home while you carry out this task.
Next, you’ll need to prepare the ceiling box for the fitment of your new chandelier. If you had a smaller light fixture before, you want to ensure that the electrical ceiling box and the ceiling itself can bear the weight of your chandelier. This is especially important for large chandeliers.
Make sure the ceiling box is flush against the ceiling and secured by tightening all the screws.
It’s also a good idea to check the electrical box wiring, specifically the black and white supply wires. Make sure they are still in good condition. You don’t want any wire fraying. If they are damaged, use a wire stripper to neaten things up and strip away frayed wire and insulation.
Step Two: Assemble Your Chandelier
Newsflash: your chandelier does not arrive as a fully assembled lighting fixture. You’ll have to put it together yourself (most of the time). It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions as closely as possible instead of winging it!
You might want to have a microfiber cloth handy so that you can wipe off any grubby hand and fingerprints before you hoist your completed masterpiece.
Step Three: Important Measurement Considerations
Most chandeliers come with a chain that hangs from the ceiling box mount — not many chandeliers, if any, sit flush against the ceiling. For this reason, you’ll have to take some important height and dimension measurements into consideration before you hang anything:
1. Measure the Chain
The length of your chandelier chain depends on two factors: the height of your dining room, and your preferred distance from the dining room table. A good rule-of-thumb is this: your chandelier chain should be 3-inches long for every foot of ceiling height.
So, if you have an 8-foot ceiling, your chandelier chain should be roughly 30-36-inches above your dining room table. But, you’ll also need to make provision for the size of the room, as well as the chandelier’s hanging loop (which should be an extra 4-inches).
2. Other Height Recommendations
In some cases, your ceiling might be much higher than 8 feet. So, if your ceiling is higher than this, you want to hang it about 3-inches higher per foot of ceiling height. For example, if your ceiling is 10 feet high, you’ll then hang your chandelier 6 inches higher than an average 8-foot ceiling.
However, this is an average range suggestion. It does depend on the size of the room and your table size. If your room is very large, you might want to hang your chandelier lower so it does not get ”lost” in the size of the room.
This will also help with the illumination of light. The higher your chandelier, the fainter the lighting will be in the room. The lower it is, the warmer and brighter the cast of illumination.
3. Consider Room Dimensions
Some designers argue that chandelier height is actually not an important factor. But rather, you should consider the size of the room and the purpose of your chandelier together. Most chandeliers serve as a lighting source, and an item of décor as well.
With this in mind, you want to think about how the fixture looks best in the room as a whole. Not only when you’re sitting at your dining table, but when you enter the room, and whether your dining is room is part of an open-plan home.
For larger spaces, it’s always best to hang the chandelier lower and closer to the table. But keep the height of your guests and other family members in mind. You don’t want anyone bumping their heads on it when getting up from the table.
On the flip side, if your chandelier is large and elaborate, you might want to hang it a little higher than the standard recommended height so that it does not totally consume the room.
4. Think About the Size of Your Dining Table
You also need to think about the size of your dining table and how the chandelier will hang over it, in terms of width. You don’t want your chandelier to exceed the limits of your dining table as it could look very out-of-proportion.
Ideally, this is something you’d need to think about before you actually buy the chandelier though. Remember to keep this rule-of-thumb in mind: your chandelier should be about one-half to two-thirds the width of your dining table. So in other words, it should hang over the center of the table, but not exceed the edges of the table.
Step Four: Attach and Hang Your Chandelier
For this task, you’ll need a step ladder and possibly the help of another person. You’ll also need these tools:
- Needle-nose pliers
- A multi-purpose screwdriver
- A wire stripper
- A voltage and non-voltage tester
In order to attach the chandelier to the electrical box, you must closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions which should outline specific details. You’ll need to install the chandelier in parts. First, install the chandelier mount bracket to the electrical box. Then, insert the hook at the end of the chandelier into the bracket.
This is the simplest way to install the mount. After that, attach the chandelier itself, connect all the light bulbs, and turn your power back on for a test run.
Get Your Fix of All Things Home DIY Right Here
Hanging a chandelier is a simple, DIY task you can do without the expertise of a professional. However, this does depend on the size and weight of your chandelier. For chandeliers of a certain size and grandeur, you might want professional installation help!
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