How To: Adjust Chandelier Height

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Before baby came to be, the room getting all my attention lately has been the kitchen. Now, I’ve realized my bedroom and the nursery need to be ready in just 6 short months. That may seem like a long time, but, I tend to move at a very slow pace. I’ve really done nothing to our bedroom since we moved in other than painting the walls that same color as the rest of the house. The thing that really drove me crazy was the huge Tommy Bahama style ceiling fan that just didn’t go with any of my décor. So, I decided that would be the first thing to go.

I bought this Rustic Wire Chandelier light fixture at World Market yesterday, and it happened to be great timing because they are having their Friends & Family event with 30% off your purchase through Monday 5/2.

When I got the light fixture home, removed the ceiling fan and took the new fixture out of the box, I realized the chain/cord on the chandelier was so long that the fixture would basically be sitting on my bed if I hung it as is. Now, could I hang the fixture at the right height and somehow drape the cord around the top of the fixture? Yes. Am I too much of a perfectionist for this? Yes. Since I’ve had to adjust the chain/cord length on every hanging light fixture I’ve installed, I decided to show you all how to adjust to the proper height.

Step 1
The first step is to figure out how long you want the chain to be by determining the height of the bottom of the chandelier. For a chandelier hanging over a bed, the bottom of the fixture should be approximately 7 feet from the ground. My bedroom ceiling is 9 feet high so that means the bottom of the chandelier to the ceiling  should be 2 feet. However, that actual chandelier is almost 2 feet tall so the fixture ended up hanging about 6 1/2 feet from the ground.

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Step 2
Now that you’ve determined how long the chain should be, it’s time to adjust the length. The electrical cord can be fed through the ceiling cap and adjusted in step 3. For now, you will focus on the chain (if there is one). I pulled the electrical cord through the ceiling cap until it was the length I wanted. The excess chain should be hanging around the bottom of the cord. Starting at the bottom of the chain, I pried the bottom chain link open and removed it from around the top of the chandelier. Every 5 links or so, the chain will be attached to the electrical cord. I worked my way up the chain links, unattaching them until the chain was the same link as the electrical cord. Once you have the desired length, you will need to reattach 1 chain link to the bottom of the chain and to the top of the chandelier to reconnect the two.

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Step 3
Now that the chain is the correct length, you have extra electrical cord above the ceiling cap. You should have the ends of the white, black and copper wires exposed to connect to the electric box in the ceiling. (that additional white string you see in my photo is just that, a string that you cut away) You only need a few inches of this wire exposed so you will remove the outer layer of the electric cord (the black plastic outer layer) by making a tiny cut vertically, without cutting through any of the internal wires. You’ll be able to pull the wires apart in order to remove the outside layer down toward the ceiling cap. Remove the outer layer until you are approximately 2-3 inches from the ceiling cap.

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Step 4:
Now that the outer layer of the electrical cord is cut away, you can shorten the wires connection wires. Each wire has a colored covering protecting it and also distinguishing which wire is for which connection. You need about 1″ to 1 1/2″ of copper wire exposed from under the wire covering. About an inch from the end, use a wire stripper to remove the outside layer. A wire stripper will allow you to do this without cutting any of the actual wires. (I did this with scissors, but if you do this…be very very careful to not cut through any wires). Once cut the covering, you should be able to pull it away to exposed the end of the interior wires.

IMG_5635  Your chandelier height should be adjusted! Now time to remove the old fixture and install the new one for an updated look! See my post How To: Change A Light Fixture for those steps.

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3 thoughts on “How To: Adjust Chandelier Height

  1. Hi! I just bought the exact same chandelier to hang in my breakfast nook. Our ceilings are only 8 ft, so this is a super helpful tutorial! My only question is: do you think that’s too low for a chandelier of this size? Since hanging it requires modifying it in a way that makes it no longer returnable, I have to decide beforehand.

    • I’m so glad this was helpful! I don’t think that’s too low at all, especially because it will be sitting over a table so no one will be walking directly under it. If your ceilings are 8ft and you get the chandelier to 2ft, that leaves a 6ft distance between the fixture and the floor. This is exactly what happened in my breakfast nook. Ceilings are 9ft, fixture is 3ft, leaving 6ft between fixture and ground. Here is a link to the post on my breakfast nook so you can see for reference.
      https://justlikeplayinghouse.com/2016/06/29/breakfast-nook-table/
      I think you will be just fine with a 6ft clearance. Good luck!

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