x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

How to rehang a ceiling light fixture

A step by step guide to replacing a pendant light fixture.

Here you can see the wires have been pushed through a whole in the top of the lamp.
Delores Johnson / The National
Here you can see the wires have been pushed through a whole in the top of the lamp. Delores Johnson / The National

The ceiling light fixture in my aparment is crooked, which means the lamp won't hang straight. How can I fix this?

The first thing you need to do is turn off the circuit breaker. To do this, you can turn the light on, then flip the appropriate breaker. You will know you have turned the proper one when the light goes out.

What you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Electrical tape
  • Ladder

Step 1 Remove the cover plate with the screwdriver. Gently pull the wires out of the recessed outlet so that you can have enough slack to work with. Remove the electrical tape and then disconnect the wires that lead to the fixture. Once the wires are disconnected, it can be remove from the hook that was installed to hold it originally.

Step 2 Now that it is removed, adjust the light to fix its balance. Here you can see that the wires have been pushed through a hole in the top of the light fitting. Because the cord is extra long, you can adjust it to see how much can be removed if there is too much wire. This will make sure that the light bulb hangs in the middle of the light fitting.

Step 3 If the light bulb is too low or too high in the fixture, it will not shine through the glass as effectively. If the cord is too long, tie a couple of loose knots in it to take up slack until it hangs just right inside the fixture. Alternatively, the cord can be cut and stripped to a shorter length.

Step 4 Make sure that the cord inside the fixture that attaches to the outlet is sufficiently long so that it can attach to the outlet wires. Also, it should be able to be pushed into the recess where the cover will hide the connections. Hang up the lamp on the hook so you can work on the wiring without needing to hold the lamp at the same time. Then, follow the directions in reverse: reconnect the wires from the fixture onto the wires in the outlet, then use tape to secure them together.

Step 5 Push the wires and the electrical taped connections back into the recess. Replace the plastic outlet cover and tighten the screws. After you have the fixture replaced and secured, turn the circuit breaker back on and see your lamp glow.