How to install a pendant light

How to install a pendant light

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

235 guides

The ultimate in interior lighting, pendant lights can be used to light up any room of the house. While these decorative lights are easy to hang, you will have to follow a few rules to ensure a safe and long-lasting installation. Read on for our step-by-step guide to installing a pendant light.

Important features

  • Preparing to install
  • Connecting the pendant light
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Pendant lights are suspended from the ceiling by a cable which can be adjusted in length to suit your needs.

These lights come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to match any style of décor, and to top it off, they can be really affordable. Another bonus: they can be installed by just about any DIYer provided you stick to a few basic electrical safety rules. You will also have to ensure that the fixings you use are appropriate for your ceiling structure and the weight of the fixture.


  1. Preparing to install
  2. Connecting the pendant light

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Before carrying out any tasks involving electricity, you must always switch off the power at the consumer unit (or fuse box).

You should also check that you have all the required tools and equipment ready for installation.

If you are fitting a light in an older house, you may need to install a ceiling hook or a electrical ceiling box.

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Position the end of the cable on the ceiling. This step is important as the length of the cable will determine the height of the pendant light.

Next, slide the cables inside the canopy and adjust the length of the cable until you reach your desired height.

Hang the electrical box onto the ceiling hook ensuring that the hook is firmly attached to the ceiling as this will support the weight of the fixture.

Use a screwdriver to unscrew the junction box in order to free the electrical wires.

If necessary, cut the wires and strip them using a wire stripper. If the ground wire is not required, simply fold it over.

Please note, however, that for all new installations, pendant lights (like all light fixtures) require an earth cable, with the exception of double-insulated class 2 lights.

Slide the wires into the correct position in the junction box and twist or clamp them into place. Be careful to pay close attention to the colour of the wires:

  • blue: neutral (N)
  • brown, red: live (L)
  • yellow with green stripes: ground.

Reassemble all the cables and replace the canopy to cover up the wires and fixings.

Quick tip: if the wires do not fit in the cover, you can gather them together using a cable tie.

Screw the lightbulb into the pendant light.

Be sure to check the maximum wattage of the light and to select the right lightbulb accordingly.

All that's left to do is to turn the power back on at the consumer unit and test out your new pendant light!

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Required skills

  • Knowledge of basic electrical safety rules
  • Reading assembly instructions
  • Using tools such as a screwdriver, wire strippers, etc.
  • Working on a ladder

Required time

1 hour

Number of people required

1 person

Tools and equipment

Personal protective equipment

  • Protective clothing

Please note: this is a non-exhaustive list; be sure to match your personal protective equipment to the job at hand.

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Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter, 235 guides

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Redo a roof with wooden beams? Check.Advise Mister everybody in the DIY shop? Check.Redo the bathroom plumbing? Check.Fit together, build the walls, paint a partition, throw my hammer in a rage thinking that it will fix the problem? Check. The DIY motto ? Learning is better than delegating… well, it's also a question about your wallet! The satisfaction? The beer at the end of the job! What do the best have in common? The influence of Gyro Gearloose, Mac Gyver and Carol Smiley depending on your generation, a good dose of curiosity, a average hand-eye coordination and a taste for risks… and if it doesn't work, try again! Advise you? I'll do my best!

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