Hanging Candle Lanterns with Steel Chains

Candle lanterns add a touch of timeless elegance to a room, and they can be used both indoors and outdoors. Many homeowners like to hang candle lanterns in their outdoor porch areas to add soft lighting after the sun sets. Installing candle lanterns with steel chains is an easy project with some standard household tools, and they can be securely attached in a short amount of time.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Toggle bolts
  • Candle lanterns
  • Chains
  • Cordless drill
  • Size 8 drill bit 
  • Straightedge
  • Wall brackets

Step 1 - Select and Install the Correct Bracket

These types of brackets are hardware especially designed to be secured to the wall or ceiling as an anchor point for your candle lantern. Some ceiling-installed brackets allow the lantern to hang straight down from a shorter steel chain. Others can be used with a longer length of chain that is also secured to a wall bracket for added visual interest. Wall brackets for lanterns come in different grades that can tolerate different weights. Select one that can tolerate heavier rather than one meant for lighter weights. A good rule of thumb is to double the weight of your candle lantern. For example, if your candle lantern weighs 6 pounds, purchase a wall bracket that can hold 12 pounds; this information should be readily availbale on the wall bracket packaging.

Before attaching the bracket to the wall, draw a line the same length as the bracket on the wall with a pencil. Use your straightedge as a guide. Hold the wall bracket next to the line and mark where each of the screws will be installed. Drill small screw holes with the size 8 screw bit and cordless drill. Make sure that the holes in the bracket line up with the holes drilled in the wall.

Step 2 - Install Toggle Bolt

Attach the toggle bolt through the top hole of the wall bracket, and screw each end of the bolt into the wall. This can be done with either a screwdriver or your cordless drill. A toggle bolt is an additional piece of hardware included with the brackets, and it is needed to prevent the brackets from coming loose from the wall. A toggle bolt has 2 side pieces that clamp the rest of the bolt to the drywall, so you do not need to drill into a wall stud. Using this method of bolts and brackets saves the time of labor of using a drill to create screw holes to attach the chain. Install the second toggle bolt to the wall in the same way, and make sure both toggle bolts are even with the base of the wall bracket.

Step 3 - Attach with Steel Chain

The chains for your candle lantern should have either a hook or loop at one end; attach this to the hook on the wall bracket. If you have a steel chain that did not come with a hook for the end to be attached to the lantern, you can buy an inexpensive chain attachment clip at any hardware store. These are similar in design to the safety rope clips that are found in climbing gear.