How to Convert a Pendant Lamp to a Swag Lamp

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
How to Convert a Pendant Lamp to a Swag Lamp
Image Credit: TRAVELARIUM/iStock/GettyImages

Whether a chandelier is awkwardly placed in the room or you prefer the look of a swag lamp, converting a pendant lamp to a swag lamp can solve several design issues. With a swag lamp kit, you can avoid purchasing a new swag light fixture and instead convert an existing chandelier.

Advertisement

Video of the Day

What Is a Swag Lamp?

Swag lamps are pendant lamps suspended by a hook with a length of chain that leads to the power source. These types of lamps are usually hardwired into the ceiling like a traditional chandelier. However, other varieties, such as swag pendant light plug-ins, can be plugged into electrical outlets.

Advertisement

Swag lamps were popular in the mid-20th century. Like many other trends of the last 100 years, they have recently made a comeback.

Remove the Light Fixture From the Ceiling

Before beginning the conversion process, ensure that you shut off the power to the chandelier. This step is critical because it will protect you from electrical shock. If you are uncomfortable with or inexperienced performing electrical work, hire a certified electrician to perform this process instead. To convert a pendant lamp to a swag lamp, you will have to remove the light fixture from its original location, determine the new swag location and finally, lengthen the chain and lamp cord.

Advertisement

The first step is to loosen the canopy nut and drop the pendant light or chandelier's canopy to reveal the electrical wiring. Disconnect the wires and remove the chandelier by unscrewing the box screws that anchor it to the ceiling. Ensure you are prepared when the chandelier is no longer supported by the screws, as it may be heavy. Once removed, carefully set the chandelier aside and turn your attention towards the swag hook found in the swag lamp kit.

Advertisement

Determine the Swag Hook Location and Measurements

Once removed, determine the proper location of the swag hook. This hook is the one from which the swag light fixture will hang. Mark the location and install the swag hook from the swag lamp kit, making sure it is securely in place.

Advertisement

Next, hang the pendant lamp from the swag hook with its existing chain to determine the light fixture's height from the table or surface over which it will hang. Measure the length of the light fixture's chain, the length necessary for the chain to form an appealing curve from the hook to the power source, and the length of wire needed to reach the pendant light in its new location.

Advertisement

Rewire Swag Light Fixtures

Remove the light fixture from the hook and carefully lay it on a stable surface over a towel. To rewire swag light fixtures, you will need enough lamp cord to reach the bottom of the light fixture from the canopy box. Remove the fixture's bottom cap to reveal the wiring. Take apart the existing wiring, then fish in the new lamp cord and ground wire until both wires emerge from the bottom. Splice the neutral lamp cord wire to the white wires, the black cord to the supply lamp cord wire and the two ground wires together.

Advertisement

Tuck the wires back in and install the light fixture's bottom cap. Then, take the lamp cord and ground wire and weave them through every other chain link until you reach the canopy.

Once you reach the canopy, secure the lamp in place with the box screws. Then, feed the lamp cord and ground wire through the bracket's tube, hook the final link and make the necessary splices to connect the lamp cord and external ground wire to the existing wire. Tuck the wires in and reinstall the canopy.

Advertisement

references