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Pendant light: how to make this one Answered

I need a creative lighting solution to replace an old pull chain fixture-there is no switch in the wall to turn it on and off.  I would like to safely build a light similar to the ones pictured.  I have rewired lamps in the past and this seems like it might be a similar project, but with a few adjustments like the addition of strain relief components.

I have found several companies that sell keyed sockets with uno threads to attatch shade holders. There are also great reproduction cloth covered wires available. I have 2 great glass 2 1/4" shades I would love to use.

Ideally I would like to have 2 lights that can be operated by a key in their sockets so that the can be turned on and off individually.  I would like to run the wires through the same canopy and have them connected to the same box where the previous light was.

Can anyone help me with this?



6 years ago

You  fear  too  much.
I was being flippant.
The wires you hang your heaviest light will work.

If you need a convincer take four feet of the wire and tie three pounds
to it and let it hang to see how the wire can support your lamps.

People also use chains to hang lighting fixtures.

The sketch is self explanatory study it, show it to an electrician. 

Of course, Do Nothing Always Works........ . . . . .  .  .  .  .  .  


Phew! So no helmet!?! I wasn't really keen on that idea.
I got it (wink wink) I was kidding too....sort of.
Your sketch rocks. Thanks again


6 years ago

You certainly have a fuse box that can disable the light.
Then you can install a prepared matching diameter or larger cover.



Thank You Iceng!
My electrician has updated most of the wiring in out 90 year old house. He removed the old light and updated the wires, It will be easy for me to cut the power. He didn't put in a switch though.
I was thinking I would feed both the wires through the same hole in the canopy (like the 3rd and 4th pix) but I would swag them from hooks in the ceiling.
I need some help with the mechanics. I have rewired old lamps and replaced a chandelier in the dining room. So I have a basic understanding of the big picture.
What parts do I need? And how do I go about assembling it? The guy at my local lamp store (who is kind of a jerk) told me that to construct a light like this I would "need 40 different parts." What am I missing?

Yea he's a self centered one.  Depending on the kind of wire you use
tying a knot in each lamp socket and a two wire knot in the ceiling
fixture to hold the wire in tight ( called an Underwriters Knot ) from
sliding out and putting no tension on the wire under the screws.

Besides the individual fixtures and wire you need 10 assorted wire nuts
to join the bare wire ends in the ceiling some plastic electrical tape  and
the tools you used before join the three white together and the three black
wires together.



Thank you Iceng, I love your pix. If you don't mind I have more questions.

I am planning on using a socket like the one I posted.
Will a underwriters knot be sufficient? I'm planning on using rayon covered wire-not sure if it slides. If not what type of bushing would you recommend for stress relief? I've included some from the grandbrass lamp supply company where I plan on gettting all the parts.

Secondly, I will have twisted double strand wires coming from each socket, so there will be 4 ends total that I run through the canopy (2black/hot and 2 white/neutral.) Now what do I do with them? Do I connect the blacks to each other? Or both to the box in the ceiling? I'm confused about where the number 10 comes from.

I've also included a picture of a canopy kit for pendant lights. Its not like the canopy I used for the chandelier I installed, (no holes to secure it to the crossbar) but would it be better for what I'm trying to do now?

Thanks again for your help. I'm surprised I haven't been able to find any tutorials online.


10 assorted wire nuts of different sizes some will be lost some will be too big.

The white nylon wire crimps work for chassis with precise holes only.
It looks like you are planing to pass 4 wires from two lamps through the threaded tube and through a washer then tie an underwriter knot.

Then the 3 BLACK WIRES are twisted together and 3 WHITE WIRES are
twisted together.

If you carry a ground then two more wires feed up with the other four to make
the single knot and a third wire nut joins the green or bare wires together.

Attaching the lamps also use underwriters knots, nay be a suitable washer
gets used or your black tapered attach cones may work to hold the wires.


Can we talk about the ground wires? That seems advanced for me, but the last thing I want to do is burn my house down or hurt somebody.
I would need 3 strand twist wire? What exactly do I do with it? My box has white, black, red and bare wires.

I decided that I don't think I'll need to worry too much about strain on the canopy because I'm going to swag the lights apart from each other.

Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it!!

Also, do I need to worry about the socket coming apart from the weight of the shade? I have on shade that is 10oz and another that 1lb 6oz. I'd like to use one of each. WIll a pound and a half be pushing my luck?

It should work.
You could be ready for rewiring in 11 years ;)
You could add a heavier gauge ground wire for strength.
Or hang the contraption over a door with a pillow for safety first,
That is what Wolowitz would do..   .    .    .   A


Um, I'm not a rocket scientist like Howard. I'm not sure if you mean I'm in over my head? Yikes, I don't want to burn my house down. Is this a bad idea?
This light is for over my desk, I quess I could wear a helmet, but I'd really rather not.

Do you have an IKEA near enough to you? Check there as they have kits/lamps you can put together yourself. In our 104 year old house, we had a need for a hanging light in the dining room where there were only unswitched outlets. Went to Ikea and found a hanging lamp we liked, ran wire, a switch and put the lamp through drop ceiling. Been there for over 20 yrs. and works great. Last time there, they still had the lamp we bought. I believe they also have a version with a built in switch, though they are easy enough to swap out if you can't find one ready made.

Once you find what you want, follow iceng's diagrams, instructions and tips. You'll get there quite easily.


PS - Ikea is usually a much more friendly place than a specialty shop. ;)

Thank you for your suggestion. Ikea was one of the first places I looked. I didn't have any luck though.