How to Put a Pulley on a Chandelier

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Historically, chandeliers demanded pulley systems so that the candles could be lit more easily before being hoisted aloft. With the advent of electricity and increasingly elaborate chandelier designs, a pulley system has continued to prove useful, making it easier to clean the often ornate structure of glass and metal. If your chandelier doesn't have a pulley system already, it's fairly simple to rig it for easy hoisting and pulling down.

Things You'll Need

  • Chandelier
  • Scale
  • Measuring tape
  • Fixed or movable pulleys
  • Plastic-coated or braided wire or rope
  • Stud finder
  • Ceiling box

Pulleys for Adjusting Height

  • Measure the height of your chandelier and the distance from eye level to your ceiling, to determine the ideal position for the chandelier in your room. Position it lower if aligned with a table, or higher up in a heavily trafficked area.

  • Weigh the entire chandelier with all of its glass bangles attached. Avoid damaging the piece or scratching any crystal parts by weighing yourself while holding the chandelier, then subtract your body weight from the result.

  • Select a pulley that is designed to support the weight of your chandelier. Opt for a slightly stronger pulley, if in doubt, as the wire that suspends the chandelier will add on some extra weight. Select a gauge of wire or rope that can also support the chandelier weight and that fits within the groove of the pulley.

  • Use a stud finder to identify a ceiling joist. Select a spot along the joist where you can hang your chandelier conveniently. Install a ceiling box into the joint at that point.

  • Install the fixed pulley instead of the chandelier's standard mounting bracket into the ceiling box, where you will hang the chandelier. Run the wire or rope through the pulley system. Affix a second pulley to the uppermost part of the wall, directly opposite your chandelier. Run the wire through the second pulley so that the excess wire hangs down to the ground.

Pulleys for Adjusting Position

  • Select two pulleys that, together, are strong enough to support your chandelier and its support wires. Select wires that are narrow enough to fit in the pulleys' grooves.

  • Run wires through the two pulleys with long dangling ends on each side. Affix the loose ends of the wires to four points on the chandelier, so each pulley supports one side of the chandelier.

  • Support the two pulleys with the same type of wire. Affix the loose ends of the wire to a hook suspended from the ceiling box. Check that the hook is secured directly to the ceiling joist for stability.

  • Stand on a ladder to reach the chandelier easily. Gently shift the chandelier from one side to the other until the piece is oriented in a pleasing way. Make adjustments, as necessary, if you prefer a more asymmetrical look.

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