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Aug 23, 2014

Lighting Tips

Your Detailed Guide to Installing Outdoor Chandeliers

If you are planning to install an outdoor chandelier at your covered porch, gazebo, or deck, make sure that you purchase one that is for outside use. Choose a chandelier that is made of weather resistant material or even sealed glass, and is UL approved for outdoor wet locations. Your outdoor lighting fixture should come with sealed circuitry to avoid moisture from going through the lights. It must also have a rubber coated switch and heavy duty cord. Once these are all checked, then you are ready to start installing your exterior chandelier. Here are the steps:

Steps in Mounting a Chandelier

Step 1: Assemble the base of the chandelier fixture

Before anything else, switch off the power to the circuit where the chandelier will be located. Screw all the parts of the chandelier together, excluding the canopy which will be mounted to the ceiling. Don’t install the light bulbs at this point yet. It will be easier and safer to install the chandelier without the bulbs.

Step 2: Adjust the chain if necessary

If your chandelier has more chain than you need, use a pair of heavy pliers to open the link at the chosen point of the chain and remove the excess length. Take note that the base of the chandelier should be at least 30 inches (76 cm) above the table surface to avoid bumping into them and also to provide good illumination. As this is an outdoor installation where a large number of people is anticipated to be passing through the space where the chandelier will be mounted, the fixture should be hung at least seven feet above the floor and out of the way of tall doors.

Step 3: Install a mounting strip to your mounting box

Screw the mounting strip it into the junction box at the existing screw holes. Use screws of appropriate size to ensure a tight connection.

Step 4: Thread the chandelier wires

Thread all of the chandelier’s wires into every other chain link. Continue to thread the wires through the metal canopy that will cover the electrical box, the small chain holder that connects to the top of the chain, and the thin metal nipple that holds the wires together.

Step 5: Install the chandelier

The chandelier should be stable in place near the ceiling so you can attach each of the wires. Have someone help you hold the chandelier in place or you can hang the chain or chain holder from a sturdy hook hanging from the mounting strip.

Step 6: Wrap the bare copper wires around the grounding screw

Your chandelier and home electrical system should both have a bare copper grounding wire. Wrap each of these around the grounding screw which is attached to your junction box. Make sure the two wires are in contact with each other. The screw is usually green.

Step 7: Strip the ends of the chandelier’s insulated wires

With a wire stripper, remove about 0.5 inch (1.25 cm) of each wire’s insulation, exposing the bare wire.

Step 8: Connect the neutral wires together

Look for the chandelier wire that has an identifying mark, like a ridge, lettering, or groove. Join the bare end of this wire with the end of the white insulated wire from the junction box, then twist them together using a wire connector. Alternatively, you can splice the wires and cover the connection with electrical tape.

Step 9: Connect the hot wires together

Join the black insulated ceiling wire with the insulated chandelier wire the same way that you connected the neutral wires. Use a plastic wire connector to twist the bare ends together.

Step 10: Mount the chandelier into place

Secure the chandelier onto the ceiling, following the instructions that came with your light fixture.

Step 11: Test the chandelier

Attach the light bulbs, switch the power back on, and test the chandelier. If it does not come on, switch the power off and try to check the wire connections and make the necessary corrections. If, after doing this, the chandelier still does not come on, contact an electrician.