Lighting has long been recognised as an essential element in any room. Choosing the appropriate chandelier or hanging fixture is one of the important tasks of any interior design. Though actually hanging the chandelier can almost be an after thought, it is an important part of the process and must be done carefully to avoid injury to people and damage to property.
Remove old fixtures if the new chandelier is going where another fixture currently resides. Because this involves disconnecting electrical wiring, turn off the circuit breaker controlling the room where you'll be working. Climb the ladder, remove the canopy of the old fixture and disconnect the wiring. The electrical connection between the old fixture and the house wiring will likely consist of a pair twist-on connectors that can be removed by hand.
Discard old electrical and support materials. With the electrical connection severed, the old fixture can be taken down from the ceiling and handed to a helper on the ground. Because the supports to which the old fixture was hung might be adequate for the new chandelier, it is recommended to remove them as well. This can involve removing screws with a screwdriver, cutting a support bar with a hacksaw, or prying loose fins. The result of this step should be a hole that is entirely empty except for the electrical wires.
Install the brace. The first step for putting up the new chandelier is to install the support brace. What exactly this consists of will depend on the chandelier itself, but it is likely to resemble one of the supports described above. If the chandelier is more than a few pounds in weight, a hexagonal fan brace with prongs that stick directly into the wood of the ceiling joist will probably be necessary for providing the proper support. Getting leverage to tighten the brace might require a wrench or vice grips.
Feed the new electrical box. Pull about 6 inches of each wire through the knockout hole in the new electrical box. Tighten the cable connector with a screwdriver to fix the wires in place. The cable connector should be nonmetallic and not overtightened so as to pierce the insulation of the wires.
Attach the electrical box. Once the wires are safely fed through the electrical box, it can be attached to the brace by a screws or, more commonly a bolt. This should be tightened fully to ensure proper support.
Remove chain links. With assistance from your helper on the ground, raise the new chandelier to set its height. Remove enough of the chain to hang the chandelier approximately 30 to 34 inches over a table, assuming an 8-foot ceiling. For higher ceilings add an additional 3 inches for each foot of ceiling.
Connect wires. With continued assistance from your helper, hold up the new chandelier so the house wiring can be connected. Attach the copper ground wire and shorten the other wires with the wire cutter as necessary to remove excess. Strip about an inch of insulation off the ends and connect to the chandelier wiring with twist-on connectors.
Attach the canopy. Carefully tucking the wiring up into the electrical box, slide the canopy of the chandelier up the chain and tighten to ceiling.
Add bulbs and shades. Finally, with the chandelier hanging safely, install the bulbs, shades, or other decorative elements to the chandelier. Flip the circuit breaker back on and test.