How to Install a Pendant Light: Add Modern Decor and Curb Appeal with a Classy Swag Light Fixture

What’s hot in the home illumination market right now? Pendant lights. These lighting fixtures add grace, elegance and curb appeal to the home. The housing bubble has burst due to bad mortgage decisions (think sub-prime loans coupled with adjustable rate mortgages, or ARM’s). Since it’s no time to sell, it’s a great opportunity to do things to boost home equity – design and build a backyard deck, remodel a bathroom, or learn how to install a pendant light.

These are also referred to as swag lights, and although they have been around for a while, their appeal is timeless. Some say that they are a more modern adaptation of the ornate chandeliers of long ago that only the wealthy could afford.

Tools Needed to Hang a Pendant Light

  • Ladder
  • Wire cutter/stripper
  • Screwdriver
  • Digital Multimeter or other testing device such as a Fluke VoltAlert

Light Placement Considerations

It’s important to consider the location of the new lamp. Certain areas require a lot of light for reading, entertaining, or preparing and eating meals. Other places in the home utilize lighting for accent or modern décor. In most cases, these areas already have an overhead light fixture. But in other cases, there is no existing source of light.

Note – Before engaging in any electrical work make sure the circuit breaker has been flipped off and the circuit tests dead with either a digital Multimeter or a Fluke VoltAlert!

In the second case, with no light to replace, a little more work is required in preparation. It will be necessary to go in the attic and use Romex to tie into an existing power source. Usually there will be some sort of light fixture; just a simple bare bulb for utility purposes. Then, an electrical box should be secured to a joist, or a cripple between two joists.

Hint – To get the right location, poke a long nail through the ceiling from down

Installing the New Pendant Light

If there is a can light where the new swag light will go there is a great option. There is product called the “instant pendant light” by Worth Home Products. For installation, simply unscrew the can light bulb or floodlight, adjust the length of the hanging wire, screw in the instant fixture, and push up the cover plate.

If this is a replacement light, the first thing to do is flip the breaker off and test it. If the breaker isn’t clearly marked on the circuit breaker box, turn the light on and test the circuit breakers until the light goes off.

Next, remove the old fixture. Install any mounting bracket supplied with the new fixture to the electrical box. Match up the wires on the pendant light fixture with the old wires and connect the ground to the electrical box or the bracket, whichever the instruction manual indicates. Use electrical wire nuts to connect the wires. Screw in the bulb (consider a compact fluorescent bulb or a halogen bulb for lower wattage use and energy efficiency), turn on the circuit breaker, and test it out!

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