Hanging Kitchen Lighting Fixtures

What You'll Need
Lighting fixture
Wire cutters
Wire nuts
Voltage detector
Light bulbs
Masking tape

You can learn to hang kitchen lighting fixtures yourself as long as you care special care when working around electricity. More homeowners are injured each year in electric-related incidents than any other do-it-yourself projects.

Step 1 – Type of Illumination

What is the purpose for your hanging kitchen lighting fixture? Is it an accent to enhance the room's ambience? Is it for general room illumination or for specific tasks needing directed lighting? Answer these questions before heading to your favorite home improvement center. Choose from a variety of design ideas including a chandelier fixture (three or more lights hanging from a single source) a pendant light (one bulb) or combination fixture displaying two or three lights on a single bar suspended from the ceiling. Wall-mounted lighting also comes in a variety of single and multiple light devices. Try to match the fixture the style of your home. If you have an historic house or traditional home, choose a light fixture that evokes the style of the period in which the house was built. There are many modern functioning light fixtures that mimic historic designs.

Step 2 - Power Off

Locate the breaker to the wiring where you will hang your new kitchen lighting fixture. If the panel is not clearly marked, with the assistance of a helper, turn breakers off and on until you locate the correct one. Label it clearly but turn it off and place a piece of masking tape over it so no one turns it back on while installing the new fixture. Use a voltage detector to make sure no live current is present before proceeding.

Step 3 – Support Bracket

Secure the fixture support bracket or base to either a ceiling or wall stud where you are installing the hanging kitchen lighting fixture.

Step 4 – Wire Connection

Follow the manufacturer’s wiring diagram that should accompany the purchase of the new fixture. If not available, always connect same color wires together: black to black, white to white. Make sure to connect the ground wires also. These will either be bare copper wires or covered with green plastic. Check to make sure the connections are secure by using wire nuts.

Step 5 – Fixture Connection

Follow the manufacturer’s directions for connecting the new kitchen lighting fixture to the bracket, brace or base. Make sure all connections—screws, twisted on, plugged in—are secure and tight.

Step 6 – Install Bulbs

Install the new fixture’s bulbs making sure they are securely connected. Remove masking tape on the breaker and turn the switch on. Inspect the new hanging kitchen lighting fixture to make sure it operates properly.

Tips to Remember

  1. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions about wattage requirements when attaching to existing wiring. Most household fixtures operate on a 110 current.
  2. When using directional lighting, make sure the fixture can be adjusted to properly cover the area you want to illuminate.
  3. Always work when installing lighting fixture with the power turned off.