Introduction: DIY Ladder Light Fixture
Dining room light fixtures can be that statement piece in any dining room setting. While memories and meals will be shared at the table, the light fixture hanging above is what is going to set the tone for the evening.
Make a bold statement above your dinning room table with a 3 Chandelier light fixture. This will add extra light to darker rooms, while creating an elegant and cozy space for everyone to enjoy.
Step 1: Find a Ladder - Hang a Ladder
If you frequent local boutiques, antique markets, or flea malls, you will usually find ladders leaning against walls or tent post. Well there is something else you can do with antique ladders beyond an oversize towel rack, turn it into your light fixture base.
To hang the ladder I used 2 heavy duty swag hooks with toggle bolt anchors. Follow the instructors for the proper installation of a toggle bolt anchor and attach the swag hook.
Next evenly pre-drill 4 holes, 18 inches from each end of the ladder (this measurement will vary depending on size of ladder). Install wood eye bolts (lag shanks).
Using 40 lb Black 9 Gauge accessory chain, rated up to 50 LB, string the chain through the eye bolts and hang each of the ends on the swag hook located on the ceiling. Using a level check all planes to ensure the ladder is hanging level from each direction.
Step 2: Draw Up Your Electrical Plan
Before you even get the lights up, create your electrical plan to wire this lights from one light box. The complicated areas of the project I like to mentally process through, and visualize the end result before things get overly complicated.
I wanted to use a terminal block to safely bring in wires and create a tie point that is enclosed. The schematic shows the lights wired in parallel, with tie points located at the terminal box.
Step 3: Hang the Chandeliers
Using the rungs as spacing, start with the middle light. The middle light is actually just hanging through the ladder and not really touching it (with the exception of the wiring) at all. This will take the load off the ladder and ceiling anchors, as well as the chain.
Hang the middle chandelier just as you normally hang any light, however you will need to create a splice point right about the top of the light to allow wiring coming from the ceiling box to run to the terminal block.
The remaining chandelier will be hung using a threaded 1/2 inch rod drilled through the ladder. The rod is held in place with a nut and washer on each side, and the chandler's hook, that normally would be used to attach the down rod or chain, is now attached to the rod.
Step 4: Make Your Schematic a Reality
Mount the terminal block.
Install the live wires from the ceiling box to opposite side of the terminal block to reduce cross of the lines. From there follow your schematic.
One thing I added was the exposed raw "earth" wire, typically that is wrapped around the green screw, runs along one side of the ladder, wrapped around the base of the eye bolts and stapled into place. From each light I ensure their earth wire makes contact with the ladders earth wire.
Once terminal block is wired, run the outgoing wiring to each light and crimp together, preferably using a butt splice with insulation. Wing nuts could also be used, but they may be visible from the ground.
Zip tie the wiring coming from the top of the lights to the threaded rods for a sleek look, and using cable staples, staple down the wire running along the top of the ladder to help conceal them from view.
Step 5: Rusty.... Drum Roll!
Channel your inner Clark Griswold and turn on your light!
Swag Hook W/ Toggle Bolt: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Progress-Lighting-Blac...
Ladder: Unique Find Cable Staples: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Progress-Lighting-Blac...
Butt Splice: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Progress-Lighting-Blac...
Terminal Block: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Progress-Lighting-Blac...