How to hang multiple pendant lights

Updated February 21, 2017

Multiple pendant lights create a modern, cohesive lighting element but can be difficult to hang without drawing a lot of attention to their dangling wires. By hanging your plug-in pendant lamps from hooks attached to a curtain track, you not only corral the pendant's cords and clean up their general appearance, but you also can adjust your lights by moving them along the length of the track, creating more light wherever you need it.

Locate the joists in your ceiling by sliding a stud finder across the ceiling; it will beep or light up when it encounters a joist. Position the curtain track where at least two sets of its screw holes line up with your ceiling joists. Mark your the joist locations with a pencil along the area where you'll install the curtain track.

Pull out any extra "carriers" -- small sliding hooks -- from your curtain track. Leave only as many carriers as lights you're planning to hang.

Attach the curtain track directly to the ceiling joists with 2-inch wood screws wherever possible; this increases the track's ability to support the weight of the pendant lights. Drive the screws through the track mounting holes and into the studs, using a drill and screwdriver bit. Where there are no studs, use the screws that came with the curtain track to finish attaching it to the ceiling.

Hook the S-hooks onto the track's smaller hooks, which may be too small to support the width of your light cords. Thread each light cord into one S-hook.

Draw the ends of your pendants' shades or light bulbs down to a comfortable height -- usually about 3 feet over a surface, such as a dining table, or higher than 7 feet if anyone will need to walk underneath.

Organise the individual cords by threading them through the S-hooks until they meet at the final hook, closest to the wall. Work your way from the end of the track opposite the wall. Thread the dangling cord ends through S-hooks next to them. For example, the first S-hook -- the one farthest from the wall -- will hold one cord. The second S-hook will hold two cords, the third will hold three cords, on so on until you reach the last hook.

Twist the cord ends together and run them along the ceiling. Screw a hook into the ceiling where it meets the wall. Thread the twisted cords into this hook. Run the cord ends down the wall to an outlet.

Plug a wall-mount power strip into the outlet. Plug your cords' plugs into the strip and the open plug below it, if necessary, to complete your project.


Use a wall-mount power strip with only two extra plugs; larger power strips may look out of place on a wall outlet.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Ceiling-mount curtain track
  • S-hooks
  • Drill and screwdriver bit
  • 2-inch wood screws
  • Plug-in pendant lights
  • Ceiling hook
  • Small wall-mount power strip
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About the Author

Katherine Harder kicked off her writing career in 1999 in the San Antonio magazine "Xeriscapes." She's since worked many freelance gigs. Harder also ghostwrites for blogs and websites. She is the proud owner of a (surprisingly useful) Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas State University.