Here is my latest attempt at installing some pendant lights for the soon-to-be kitchen bar.
This will be a step-by-step on finding lights online that fit your space style, hopefully finding it for a decent price, re-painting it a different color if the only one they have is oil-rubbed bronze, and installing it. Hope this provides some information that’ll be useful to you!
Please read through the entire project and all comments before starting this project; plan ahead. Making preparations for safe and efficient work will prevent a lot of headache. Clean the area as you work and lay down some covers if you have a nice surface that you don’t want getting scratched. Try to plan ahead for drawing in the ceiling box locations as distances and symmetry is key to looking decent. In the attic or crawl space, lay the electrical cables so they are easy to access. Also, preparing the bag of tools and consumables to avoid running around trying to find them helps with stress levels.
Wear masks if you will be in contact with dry wall dust and/or attic insulation. Please wear the appropriate PPE for working with electrical and turn those breakers off. These tips should help you keep safe and having fun doing your own projects~
Two wire cable with ground (length you need)
Wire twist caps (medium size) for additional wires
Ceiling electrical box – CARLON 20-cu in 1-Gang Plastic Ceiling Electrical Box
Choosing the type of pendant light:
I can’t really give much pointers on choosing the correct type of design or style but in this instance, I am proud to say that I correctly chose something that would go with our farmhouse style lighting. The intention I had was to choose a color/style/size that fits with the other furnishing that Megan had in mind. We of course talked about what would go well with our overall goal for how we want an inviting but slightly modern look. This simple mini bell by Allen + Roth fit the bill (figuratively and financially).
If everyone did not already know, Lowe’s is a great place to buy things if the price is similar elsewhere; Amazon, Home Depot, etc. The reason why I bring this up is because unlike all of the other retail stores, you can stack many benefits with them. You can use the website ebate, extra values from e-gift certificates rewards through your credit card (chase rewards, discover rewards and many others), and lastly find a coupon that gives you the most discount (search slickdeals lowes).
I was ultimately able to get the three pendant lights for ~$33 including tax, shipping, and paint.
Painting the lights:
As with many repaints, first sand down with a high grit sand paper. Making sure to get all of the small nooks and crannies and then wipe it down with a clothe to get all the dust off. I preceded to do the preparation and painting in sets of three so that I could make best use of the time needed to be able to handle the paint dry time. After one was painted I moved to sanding/cleaning the next set, painted, and repeated. Make sure to tape off any areas you do not paint on, such as threads, wires, and inside electrical components.
For this project, I used the Rustoleum hammered metallic grey paint. Please note that these paints specify that temperatures should not exceed 200 deg F during use. Before making this paint choice, I made sure that the light bulbs I had would not get too hot (google is a wonderful friend. Apparently LED lights typically approach 195 deg F as the highest temperature, where larger wattage bulbs have better heat dissipation, resulting in cooler temperatures: ~170 deg F or so).
Any who, after painting, wait the appropriate time for proper curing.
Locating and cutting out electrical ceiling boxes:
First locate the area you want to light. The purpose of pendant lights or lighting for bars is to have nice even coverage starting at a height ranging from 30-36 in. You of course want symmetry as well (rule of three) and pendant lights are typically spaced 30 in apart.
Once you start poking holes into the ceiling (which you can patch later if necessary) you will find out if there are joists in the way. Once I penciled in the middle of each ceiling box location, I used a file to poke a hole and stuck a kabob stick into it. We then can cut out a circle the size of the ceiling box from a piece of paper or cardboard and check whether the box has enough space for it to be secured. For this instance, the two side lights had to be adjusted by an inch to fit in properly between joists.
Using the same circle from above, draw in the outline of the hole that requires cutting (centered on the kabob sticks) and proceed to saw from the bottom.
Ceiling box installation and wire preparation:
With the holes made, crawl into the attic to hammer in place the boxes. We then can measure out the length of our two wire cable with ground to fit into the boxes. This can be eyeballed as long as there is enough slack for any adjustments needed later (or mistakes that need to be fixed!).
Remember that you will want to daisy chain the wires to each pendant light from the source switch. If you are unsure of the proper procedure on this, please watch youtube tutorials and google images of wiring lights. Mine was a fairly straight forward with a two wire lead with a ground coming from a normal switch left from the previous install.
You can see the two ceiling boxes to the right having two sets of wires coming out for daisy chaining.
Putting it all together:
You have the hardest parts done so now all that is needed is to construct your lights, tie the wires together using twisty caps, shoving the wires into the ceiling box and sticking them all onto the ceiling. Follow the instruction provided by the light manufacturer and you are done!
Give us your thoughts on this project! Also feel free to ask any questions and we’ll try to get back to you.
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