December 14, 2012

Project Philly: How to Hardwire a Chandelier

The prospect of undertaking any sort of electrical project can be a scary thought, but switching out a dated light fixture is a lot easier than you might think. And it is SO satisfying to go from:


The new light fixture is West Elm's Staggered Chandelier (the large version doesn't appear to be for sale online anymore). Originally $400, it was on clearance in the Center City store for $160. Score! 

First, cut off the power! Then remove your old light fixture and twist off the plastic wire connectors. You should be left with a few wires hanging from the ceiling. 


The black wire is usually hot and the white wire is usually neutral, but if your wires look different you can use a circuit tester. The grounding wire should be attached to a grounding screw in the center of the electrical box.

Our chandelier came with a bracket that screwed into the existing electrical box. This in was actually the most difficult part of the process. Thankfully, I was behind the camera instead of in the trenches :)


The light fixture will come with wires that correspond with the wires in the ceiling. In our case, the wires were labeled "L" for live (or hot) and "N" for neutral. It will also come with a separate grounding wire. 



Attaching the grounding wire.
Now you're ready to install! Twist the two hot wires together and screw the plastic cap back on. Do the same for the neutral and ground wires.


Tuck the excess wire into the electrical box and screw the light fixture onto its bracket.


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