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How to Convert a Pendant Light to a Plug-In

Updated February 21, 2017

A pendant light consists of a single light that hangs straight down from the ceiling. Pendant lights are powered in several different ways: Some pendants are hard-wired into the ceiling and have a canopy, some are hung from hooks and plug into the wall, and a small percentage are battery- or solar-powered. If you want to move your existing hard-wired pendants to a location without ceiling wiring, or you've fallen in love with a set of pendants with hard wiring but want to hang them with hooks, you can convert them to plug-ins.

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  1. Remove your pendant's bulb before you begin the conversion so you don't break it.

  2. Lay your pendant on your work surface. Pull the canopy off as well as any other fixture components located at the top of the pendant's cord. Two wires, one white and one black, should emerge from the cord's top. Discard the fixture components and canopy or set them aside for another project.

  3. Strip off an inch of insulation from the cord-only end of your lamp cord; this action should expose about an inch of two wires, one white and one black. Use a grasping and pulling motion with your wire strippers to cleanly remove the cord's insulation.

  4. Twist together the two white wires emerging from the wire ends of the lamp cord and the pendant cord. Twist together the remaining two black wires. Cap off both sets of twisted wires with wire nuts and cover your work with electrical tape. Wrap shrink tubing around all the areas you worked with on the cords and heat shrink the tube with a hair dryer or heating gun; this creates a smooth, professional-looking appearance.

  5. Locate a stud in your ceiling using your stud finder; look close to the area on the ceiling where you've planned to hang your pendant. Find the closest wall outlet. Install a threaded hook in the ceiling near the wall by this outlet as well as into the ceiling and the stud beneath. Hang your converted pendant from these hooks. Replace your pendant's bulb.

  6. Tip

    Choose a lamp cord and shrink tubing that match your pendant cord's colour. If you can't find matching cords and tubing, you may want to make a cord cover from a long tube of neutral fabric.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pendant with hard wiring
  • Wire strippers
  • Lamp cord with plug end
  • Electrical tape
  • Shrink tubing
  • Heat gun or hair dryer
  • Stud finder
  • 2 threaded end ceiling hooks

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.

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