How To Convert A Hardwire Fixture To A Plug In Pendant

How To Convert a Hardwire Fixture To a Plug In Pendant
How To Convert a Hardwire Fixture To a Plug In Pendant

Every once in a while, I am looking for a pendant light and I find the perfect one…only to realize that it is supposed to be hard-wired and I want to be able to plug it in to an outlet.  I used to continue my search trying to find the perfect plug-able pendant light until I learned this trick…and it is so easy, you don’t need to be an electrician to make it happen.

Want to see the bedroom where this pendant was used?  Click here to go to the post.

Click Next to find out how to convert a hardwire fixture to a plug in pendant.

What You Need


Lamp cord switch (optional)



Step 1: Prepare the Wire

Strip wire ends
Strip wire ends

1.  If there is no exposed copper, use the wire stripper to remove about a 1/2″ of the wire outer covering to reveal the copper.

Twist the end wires
Twist the end wires

2.  If the wire is made up of multiple wires, twist them together to make it easier.

Make a hook with the wire
Make a hook with the wire

3.  Make a hook in the wire end.

Step 2: Attach the Plug

Undo the screw on the plug
Undo the screw on the plug

I like this plug design because the wires are screwed onto the casing.  This is a more secure design than some of the plugs that are available…if someone happens to pull the cord, the plug should stay attached.

1.  Undo the screw on the plug casing and open plug casing.

Wrap wire around the screw
Wrap wire around the screw

2.  Wrap the hooked wire around one of the screws on the inside of the plug, and tighten the screw.

3.  Repeat this process with the wire and screw on the other side of the plug.

Wire the plug
Wire the plug

4.  Make sure the wires are lined up in the slot at the bottom of the plug.

Tighten the screw in the plug
Tighten the screw in the plug

5.  Close the plug casing and tighten the screw closed.

6.  Plug the light in and make sure that it works.

Step 3: (Optional) Add A Switch

Lamp Cord Switch
Lamp Cord Switch

I like to install a switch so that I don’t have to plug and unplug the light every time I want to turn it on and off.

This type of switch works better than than the little ones with the rotating wheel because the wiring is securely attached to the switch…in my experience the little rotating wheel switches are difficult to install and do not always work consistently.

NOTE:  Make sure the light is unplugged before doing this step!

Prepare the wires for the switch
Prepare the wires for the switch

1.  Cut one of the wires in the location where you want the switch to be.  Strip both ends of the cut wire, twist it and make a hook in the wire similar to step 2 above.

Switch
Switch

2.  Open the switch cover by undoing the screws.

Attach wire to one of the switch screws
Attach wire to one of the switch screws

3.  Attach one of the cut wires to one of the screws inside the switch and tighten the screw.

4.  Repeat the process for the other wire and the other screw.

Wire the switch
Wire the switch

5.  Feed the non-cut wire through the other side of the switch.  Then make sure the wires on both ends line up with the open slots at each end of the switch casing.

Installed switch
Installed switch

6.  Put the switch casing back together and tighten the screws on the outside.

7.  Plug the light back in and test that the switch is working.

Step 4:  Hang the Light Fixture

Plugged In Light Fixture
Plugged In Light Fixture

Hang the light fixture from the ceiling with a hook.  I usually try to install it close to some curtains so that I can run the cord down behind the curtains where you can’t see it.

Enjoy your new light fixture!

Have comments or questions on How to Convert a Hardwire Fixture to a Plug In Pendant?  Tell us in the section below

Sharing is caring!

You Might Also Like

4 Responses

    • Hi Susie…I just cut it off. Plug-in light fixtures aren’t required to have a ground wire. If you can find a 3-prong lamp plug, you could connect the ground wire…but I’ve never been able to find one.

  • And to think I paid the lighting store to make the conversion! How do you lengthen the cord? Your instructions are very precise. i love the fixture.

    • I have not tried lengthening the cord on any of the ones I have done. I don’t think you would want to join more wire on to the cord that’s already there (especially for a hanging light) since those connections aren’t very secure…if it came apart while the light was on, that could easily cause a fire or shock someone. You could take a look at how the wire is connected to the fixture itself and see if it can be replaced easily. But I usually take the easy way out and make sure the fixtures I buy have long enough cords (or plug it into an extension cord if it’s hidden).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *