How to Assemble Your Chandelier
Chandeliers arenâ€™t ordinary light fixtures that can be simply bolted into place. They need to be installed carefully to ensure they are well-balanced, and remain in place on the ceiling.
Poor installation can weaken the chandelierâ€™s anchor point, make the fixture appear lopsided, and cause problems down the line. Depending on the size, shape, and cost of the chandelier, you might want to hire a professional for the job.
Professionals are well-trained and experienced. They know how to create a solid anchor for a chandelier, assemble all of the delicate pieces, and install them securely.
However, it is possible to carry out a DIY installation with the help of winches if the chandelier is small and not very fragile. So here we discuss the assembly process in detail, should you want to attempt this on your own.
1. Unpack The Chandelier
Most chandeliers will be delivered securely packed, with the component pieces in a disassembled state in a box. Manufacturers pack different components of delicate crystal chandeliers separately, to ensure they donâ€™t become damaged during shipping.
It is a good idea to unpack the entire chandelier before the installation.
You can spread a large, thick blanket on the floor at the installation site to ensure the parts rest on a soft surface. The blanket will also protect the more delicate components if they slip from your hands and drop to the floor.
2. Read The Instructions
The next step is to read the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Most chandeliers will come with a detailed guide with pictures and text to explain the assembly process. Make sure youâ€™re familiar with the different components of the chandelier and have a clear understanding of the assembly process.
There are several tutorials on YouTube on how to complete the full assembly, and these can help you get a better idea of what to expect. Every chandelier is a bit different, so the general tutorials online might not provide exact instructions.
However, they can familiarise you with the assembly process. You will be more confident and comfortable with the task if you watch a few videos.
3. Make Sure The Ceiling Can Handle the Weight
Chandeliers are usually heavy, and can place a lot of load on the ceiling. Standard ceiling mounting boxes are designed to support around 20 kilograms of weight. If your chandelier is heavier than that, the ceiling may need some additional reinforcement to provide support for a heavier fixture.
It is a good idea to hire a professional for this job. They will be able to install a secure brace and ensure the ceiling is capable of handling the load. DIY installations arenâ€™t as secure, which can lead to a risky situation. The last thing you want is for the mounting brace to come loose and the chandelier to come crashing down while you are installing it. Or later, with someone underneath it!
4. Assemble The Chandelier
If you have a lightweight chandelier thatâ€™s isnâ€™t too big or wide, you can assemble the entire piece on the floor. Follow the instructions provided in the manual to assemble the arms, crystals, and other components of the fixture. Once the assembly is complete, place a ladder under the mounting location and hoist the chandelier to the ceiling.
It is a good idea to have someone help you during the installation process. You can ask the person to hold the chandelier while you climb to the top of the ladder. Make sure you use a sturdy ladder of the right height. If the ladder is too short, you will have to stretch your arms to install the fixture and that can be taxing.
If the chandelier is too big, it isnâ€™t a good idea to assemble it on the floor. The weight of the fixture might unbalance you when you attempt to hang it up and that might lead to serious injuries. The best way to install a large chandelier is to do it in steps. Attach the topmost part of the fixture to the ceiling mount and then keep adding the other ones.
If you have a multi-tiered chandelier, make sure you assemble the base tier first, followed by the next, and so on. This installation process might take some time and can be more physically taxing, but it is safer. Take some breaks during the installation process because your arms will become fatigued and cramped if you work for too long.
5. Work With an Electrician
It is a good idea to work with a qualified electrician during the installation process, especially if youâ€™re assembling the chandelier in steps. You can finish assembling the first tier, ask the electrician to wire it, and then work on the second tier, and so forth. It is more difficult to wire and connect a large, entirely assembled chandelier.
Working with a professional electrician is necessary because chandeliers are complex light fixtures. You donâ€™t want any loose wires and connections in the installation because they are a potential fire hazard.
Why Hire A Professional For The Job?
While DIY installation is a fun and rewarding experience, itâ€™s not always a good idea. Here are some reasons why itâ€™s best to hire professionals for chandelier installation:
- Weight â€“ If the chandelier weights more than 20kgs, you will need considerable upper-body strength to install it, even if you install it in stages. If you donâ€™t know how to handle the load while working from an elevated position, youâ€™re likely to sustain injuries.
- Professional Tools â€“ Professional installers have access to a wide range of tools and equipment such as hydraulic winches and other automated systems to help lift or lower the chandelier as required. Most DIY installers donâ€™t have access to these tools, which can make the task extremely tedious and time-consuming for them.
- Insurance â€“ Most professional chandelier installers also have insurance. In case the chandelier sustains damage during the installation process, the insurance will cover it. DIY installers donâ€™t have this kind of protection.
As you can see, it is best to hire a professional installer for the job, especially if you have a large chandelier and want the job done safely and efficiently.