Chandeliers are beautiful and elegant lighting options, but they can also be quite heavy. To minimize the risk of damage to your ceiling and the surrounding fixtures, it’s important that you choose a chandelier chain that is strong enough to support the weight of your fixture. A strong metal like steel is ideal for this purpose, and you can find a variety of chains in different finishes and lengths to suit your space and fixture style.
Chandelier chains typically feature a number of links that connect the fixture to a hook at the ceiling. A good quality chain should have a solid connection between the two ends and be free of any kinks or knots. The chain should also be free of any corrosion or other signs of wear, as this can impact how well the chain works and how long it lasts.
Many chandeliers come with more chain than needed, which can make it difficult to install the fixture in a suitable location. In addition, the excess chain can cause people to bump their heads on the fixture when walking by, or it may hang lower than intended, posing a tripping risk. It’s possible to shorten the chain on most chandeliers in a few easy steps.
Before you start working on your chandelier, always switch off the power. It’s best to use a tester screwdriver or voltage detector to ensure there’s no current flowing through the chain and wires. This will reduce your risk of being electrocuted as you work on the metal chain.
Once the power is off, remove your old light fixture and prepare to install the new one. Switch on the circuit that powers your fixture to be sure it’s off. Then, disconnect the wiring by unscrewing the canopy from the ceiling and unplugging the cords. There will likely be a white, black and copper ground wire, so it’s important to identify which is which before you work on the fixture.
When the fixture is removed, it’s a good idea to mark where you want the chain cut with a pen or pencil. This will help you get the chain back to a clean, straight length. After measuring the desired chain length, use pliers to remove any excess chain links at the marked point. You can use this same process to shorten a metal or plastic chandelier rod as well.
Some chandeliers have the option to include both chain and rod, giving you more flexibility in hanging height and a more decorative look. For example, Dutton Brown offers a combination chandelier with rods that attach to the fixture’s bottom and then loop onto each other, hiding any wires for a clean finish. Other options feature a fixed rod that screws into the fixture, but that doesn’t have any attachment points to other parts of the chandelier. This provides less flexibility, but it’s a great choice for small spaces or homes where you don’t want to see the wiring.