How to Convert a Pendant Lamp to a Swag Lamp

Updated February 21, 2017

Swag lamps are most often used in areas where pendant lighting is needed and the attic cannot be accessed to allow for wiring the pendant light in the ceiling. Swag lamps are designed to hang from the chain hooked to the ceiling and plug into the wall outlet. Any pendant light can be converted to a swag lamp with minor adjustments.

Disconnect the chain from the pendant lamp. Use pliers to open the link holding the chain onto the chain loop at the top of the light fixture. Remove the link to release the chain. Slide the chain off the lamp cord.

Unscrew the socket cover from the socket inside the lamp fixture. Grasp the interior socket in your hand and turn it counterclockwise, pulling it from the socket base to expose the socket wiring. Loosen the copper and silver screws on the socket, using a Phillips or flathead screwdriver, and remove the lamp wire from beneath them.

Install a new chain to the lamp, at least 6 feet long or longer. Attach the chain by opening the end link and closing the link around the chain loop at the top of the pendant lamp. Wrap the chain length in a soft cloth to prevent damaging the finish on the chain.

Thread a new lamp cord through the chain and into the light socket. Use a lamp cord pre-made to your desired length with the plug and in-line switch already installed. It is just as cost-effective and you will save time by not having to add these two parts yourself.

Wire the new swag lamp cord to the socket. One side of the cord is rigged; wrap this cord around the silver screw. The remaining smooth wire wraps around the copper screw. Tighten both screws with a Phillips or flathead screwdriver, and replace the socket cover by screwing it onto the socket base.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Phillips or flathead screwdriver
  • 6-foot or longer decorative chain
  • Swag lamp cord with plug and switch
  • Soft cloth
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About the Author

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.