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How to Wire a Pendant Light

Updated February 21, 2017

A pendant light or drop light is a fixture that hangs from the ceiling via a cord or chain attached to the electrical box in the ceiling. They are popular in kitchens and bars to provide lighting across the work surface. Wiring a pendant light requires understanding what each wire does. The black wire delivers the electricity from the source. The white wire provides the path back to the source, creating the circuit. The green or bare wire is the ground connection.

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  1. Turn off the power to the box you are working on by flipping the breaker switch or removing the fuse at the distribution panel.

  2. Confirm the power is off by touching the end of a non-contact voltage detector to the wires.

  3. Strip 3/8 inch of insulation off the three wires coming from the box with wire strippers.

  4. Twist the black wire from the box with the black wire on the fixture with pliers. Install a twist-on wire connector on top.

  5. Twist the white wire from the box with the white wire on the fixture with pliers. Install a twist-on wire connector on top.

  6. Loosen the grounding screw in the back of the electrical box with a screwdriver. Wrap the green or bare wire from the fixture around the screw and tighten.

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Things You'll Need

  • Non-contact voltage detector
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Pliers
  • Twist-on wire connectors
  • Screwdriver

About the Author

Bob White began his writing career in 2006. Working in sales, he was a technical writer tasked with responding to requests for proposal. White has a Bachelor of Arts in computer science and a diploma in home inspection. He has also worked in construction, landscaping and the pool industry for more than 15 years.

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