How to Convert a Swag Light Into a Hardwired Light

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Things You'll Need

  • Wire strippers

  • Wire cutters

  • Wire connectors

  • Canopy that matches light fixture

  • Ladder

  • Helper

  • Screwdrivers


When doing anything electrical, make sure the power is off at the light switch, and the breaker is off in the electrical breaker box.


When doing anything involving electrical wiring or fixtures, if you doubt your abilities, consult a qualified electrician.

You can turn any swag light into a permanent fixture.

A swag light is a hanging light that hangs from a hook in the ceiling and plugs into a wall outlet. Changing a swag light into a hardwired lighting fixture is not very difficult. It does take a bit of time and concentration, but the results are well worth the effort you put into it. After hard-wiring a swag light, you will no longer have wires hanging down using up an outlet space; plus, you'll be able to turn the light on and off with the flick of a switch.

Hanging the Light in an Existing Ceiling Outlet Box

Step 1

Determine if your ceiling already has a ceiling outlet box. If not, go to the next section for the instructions on installing a new ceiling outlet box.

Step 2

Remove the end of the swag light's power cord about an inch from the outlet plug using wire cutters. Do not remove the wire coating at this time; just cut the wire clean through.

Step 3

Determine how low you want the light to hang from the ceiling and measure the distance. Add 5 inches to the distance and cut the light's power cord wire to that length. Holding the canopy with the large opening pointing up, thread the wire up through the small hole on the bottom of the canopy. Using the wire strippers, strip approximately 1 inch of coating off the end of the wire.

Step 4

Make sure the light switch is off, and turn off the correct breaker at the electrical box. You want to make sure that the power is off to those wires so you do not get shocked.

Step 5

Have your helper hold the lighting fixture while you climb the ladder and position yourself so you are stable. With your helper still holding the fixture, match the same color wires to the same color wires (black wire to black wire, white wire to white wire), and use a twist-on wire connector to secure and cap the ends. To use the twist-on wire connectors, match up the two wires to join, place the connector on the end, push down lightly, then twist while continue to push down.

Step 6

Attach the chain from the hanging swag light fixture to the canopy. Feed the extra wire up into the ceiling electrical box. Using the hardware that came with the canopy, attach the canopy to the ceiling electrical box.

Step 7

Turn the breaker back on for that fixture and test the light. If the light does not turn on, turn the breaker and switch back off and try rewiring the light. If that does not work, consult an electrician.

Installing a New Ceiling Electrical Box

Step 1

Turn off all power at the electrical box. You will be cutting through the ceiling and do not want to accidentally snag a wire and receive a shock.

Step 2

Determine where you would like the new fixture to be hung from, and mark the location on your ceiling. Mark the shape of the electrical box onto the ceiling.

Step 3

Cut out the space for the electrical ceiling box in your ceiling. You do not want the ceiling box to wiggle and move around; therefore the cut-out section must be precise.

Step 4

Attach the ceiling electrical box to the ceiling joists as directed in the instructions for the box. The instructions vary depending upon the type of ceiling electrical box you purchase.

Step 5

Connect the feed wire located in your ceiling to the ceiling electrical box, securing with a cable clamp. Mount the ceiling electrical box in place. You are now ready to attach the hanging fixture.


Melody Gould

Melody Gould has been writing since 2004 for various websites. She has a degree in accounting and is currently pursuing a dual Associate of Science in computer programming/design and Internet service technology.