How to Install Pendant Lights

by Christine

Installing a pendant light is a bit more complicated than installing a more common light. The steps are very similar to fitting regular lights, but need to be carried out from the ceiling!

Pendant lights are typically more fragile and difficult to handle than other lights. Consequently, this makes it more difficult to install them. 

In this article, we’ll look at some of the main considerations when installing pendant lights. You’ll learn how to hang them, wire them and even shorten them if needed.


Read our article here if you're not quite sure exactly what is pendant lighting.

Read on if you would like to know more about how to install pendant lights!

Safety First

Before you even think about touching a pendant light, let alone installing one, you need to know some basic safety tips! The first and most obvious safety tip is to cut off the main breaker that powers the fixture you mean to install the pendant light into. Obviously, you should never install a pendant light or any other light when there is still power flowing through the circuit. 

You should also make use of a socket tester. A socket tester will determine if there is still any power flowing through the circuit that you mean to work on. If there is, then you should find the source of the power and cut it off before you continue.

On top of that, make sure to test your completed installment with the same socket tester. This is necessary just in case there’s an unusual buildup of energy from an imperfectly installed light. This way, you can avoid a power surge.

How to Hang a Pendant Light

Pendants always use a single bulb fixture. They hang from the ceiling via a rope or chain. Whether the connection is a rope or a chain, hanging the light works the same way.

Let’s assume for a minute that you’ve already assembled your pendant light and it is ready to be installed. The first thing you will need to do is hang it up. If there was already a fixture where you plan to install your pendant light, make sure to remove this first. Again, please ensure that there is no power running through it before you start!

Once you’ve removed the old fixture, you can attach the fixture for your brand new light. You will need to measure the length of the pendant light. It is nice to have a low-hanging pendant light, but you don’t want it to hang so low that you hit your head on it or break it when you lift your arm by mistake. 


Attaching and hanging the pendant light is quite simple after you’ve determined these things. However, it’s also necessary to sort out the wiring.

How to Wire a Pendant Light

You should first attach the mounting bracket to your pendant light with the screws that come with the purchased the light.

After this, you need to attach the wires correctly. The typical pendant light will have three main wires which are white, black and copper. 

Attach the copper wire to the green screw in the new fixture. There will be two black and white wires, one in the electrical box and one in the light fixture. Connect the black wires together using the provided nut screw. Do the same with the white wires. 

Carefully arrange the wires inside the box and secure them before closing it. Place the box in the pendant light collar and proceed with fastening the pendant light to the fixture.

How to Shorten Hanging Pendant Lights

If you didn't measure your light before hanging it or you made a small miscalculation, you may need to turn off the power again and make adjustments if it turned out too low.

Generally, you want to keep your pendant light about 75 centimeters away from wherever the light will be aimed at. If you or someone in your family is a bit taller than most, you may want to make that a little higher. 

You can easily adjust the height of your pendant light by pulling the rope or chain into the mounting bracket. But please do not attempt to do this once the power has been turned back on. You may get injured should a loose connection connect with your hands!


You will need to balance convenience with efficiency. The closer a pendant light is to the surface it will light up, the more efficient it will be. However, if it's too close, it can be a nuisance for anyone at the same height. Also, consider what other lights you have in the room - for example, pendant lighting can clash or compliment different types of kitchen lighting.

Make Sure You Secure the Light Bulb

You can use the same bulb that was already there before you added a pendant light. However, you might want to buy a new bulb that has a higher number of watts in order to better light up the surface below. 

Do not connect the bulb until you are certain that you have hung and wired the pendant light perfectly. Attaching a light bulb to a poorly wired fixture will likely blow as soon as you turn the power back on. 

As we mentioned earlier, you can use a socket tester to determine if everything is correctly set up. If there are any power surges, no matter how infrequent, you need to recheck everything and make sure none of the wires are loose. 

Once you’re certain that the pendant light is perfectly installed, you can fit the bulb and switch the power back on. Stand clear of the light when you first turn it on, just in case. When you’ve determined that all is well, sit back and enjoy your brand new lighting fixture!