Tips For Successfully Installing A New Hanging Light Fixture

Posted on: 25 April 2016

Replacing a hanging light fixture in your home isn't a task for the absolute novice, but if you've successfully replaced wall-mounted light fixtures and you're ready to step things up a notch, you should be able to replce an overhead fixture to give the room a new look. The challenge to this type of work, beyond the basic challenges of any electrical project, is that you'll consistently be working above your head. Doing so can be tiring and leave you with sore shoulders and arms, but you'll prevail if you allow for frequent breaks. Here are some tips that will increase your likelihood of making this job successful.

Recruit A Helper

While an experienced electrician can perform overhead work with precision and speed, you can't expect to possess these same attributes. You can, however, increase the ease of the job by recruiting someone to help you. The benefit of having a helper is that he or she can pass you tools to save you from climbing up and door your stepladder. It's also ideal to have a stepladder for the assistant, as he or she can climb up to your height and perform tasks such as holding the weight of the light fixture while you connect the wires.

Don't Leave The Wires Too Long

Although you don't want to cut your wires so short that getting enough slack to connect them poses a challenge, you want to be sure to remove any excess on your black and white wires before you make the connections. The available space in ceiling-mounted electrical box is at a premium, and if the wires are too bulky, you'll have trouble tightening the fixture against the ceiling. This will leave you with a gap between the ceiling and fixture. Measure your wires before cutting them and then snip off any excess wire with your cutters.

Make Sure There's No Pressure On The Cord

If your overhead light is the style that involves a hanging fixture, a length of chain and a cord, you'll be setting the chain and cord to a desired length and looping them through a ceiling-mounted hook. When you perform this task, it's important to ensure that the cord isn't positioned through the hook so that it's holding any weight. Long-term pressure can result in the cord being pinched and damaged. Instead, make sure that the chain is supporting the weight of the light and that the cord is simply passed through the hook lightly.

For assistance, talk to an electrician.