How to Hang a Lantern

Written by katherine harder
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How to Hang a Lantern
Hang your lantern indoors or outdoors, depending on its type. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Hanging lanterns add soft light and can give the room a rustic, sophisticated or romantic ambience, depending on the lantern's style. Many lanterns are meant to house candles, but some lanterns, called pendant lanterns, contain electric lights. Candle lanterns may be lightweight or disposable, while pendant lanterns tend to be heavier. Hang your lantern's chain, cord or string from a ceiling hook installed in your ceiling or any space with a ceiling-like overhang, such as plank porch eaves or wooden outdoor structures.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Drill and bits
  • Toggle bolt, ceiling hook or screw ceiling hook

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  1. 1

    Find the best place in the room or outdoors for your lantern. For instance, centre the lantern in front of a window if you can see it clearly through the window.

  2. 2

    Measure the distance in inches between the floor and the ceiling, or the ground and your structure's ceiling. Subtract 78 inches from that distance to determine the maximum length of your lantern's string, cord or chain.

  3. 3

    Install a toggle bolt hook if the lantern is heavy and you will be installing it into a ceiling without a joist. Drill a pilot hole with a drill bit matching the circumference of your toggle bolt hook. Tap the pointed end of the bolt into the hole until it pops open inside the ceiling, then tighten it to the ceiling.

  4. 4

    Screw in a ceiling hook if you are hanging a lantern from a wooden ceiling. Drill a pilot hole using a drill bit that is just a little smaller in circumference than your ceiling hook. Make sure the hole isn't quite as deep as your hook. Screw your ceiling hook into the hole by hand.

  5. 5

    Measure the string, cord or chain emerging from the top of your lantern. Remove extra chain links to match your predetermined length from Step 2, or tie a loop at that height if your lantern has a cord or string. Hang your lantern's cord or chain from the hook.

  6. 6

    Install another hook in the ceiling, directly over the nearest electrical socket, if your lantern has a cord and plug. Thread the cord through this second hook and down the wall to the outlet.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose a ceiling hook that is rated to carry the weight of your lantern.

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