How to Lengthen a Hanging Light Fixture

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape

  • Chain

  • Downrod

  • Ladder


Select a length for your chain or downrod that will allow the fixture to hang low enough to provide enough light to the room, but high enough not to interfere with the people and activities in the room.


Always work on lighting with the power off. Electric shock can result in serious injury or death.

Most hanging lighting fixtures hang from either a chain or a hollow pole called a "downrod" that houses the fixture's wiring. Varying the length or height of a hanging light fixture can alter the apparent size of a room as well as its atmosphere. Chains and downrods come in numerous lengths and can be easily resized according to your needs.

Step 1

Decide the length at which you want your lighting fixture to hang. To determine how long your new hanging apparatus should be, measure from the point at which the current chain or downrod attaches to the ceiling mount to the point where you want the bottom of your fixture to reach and subtract the height of your lighting fixture.

Step 2

Buy a chain or a downrod and cut it to the desired length. Purchase chains and downrods at any hardware store, and most stores will cut them for you. Purchase the same type of hanging material currently used by your fixture. If your fixture currently hangs by a chain, buy a chain of the same or greater thickness. If it hangs by a downrod, buy a downrod made of the same type of material. Keeping the materials consistent will ensure that your new hanger is strong enough to support the fixture.

Step 3

Turn off the power to the lighting fixture by moving the circuit breaker for that room to the "off" position. Remove the lighting fixture from the chain or downrod and detach the chain or downrod from the ceiling mount. Connect the new hanging apparatus to the ceiling mount and attach the fixture to the apparatus. Restore the power to the room and test the fixture.

Mike Andrew

Mike Andrew has written business and legal articles for "850 Magazine" since 2008 and covers college football for several websites. Andrew is a freelance writer, attorney and music producer based in Florida. He received his Juris Doctor from Florida State University.