How to Convert a Plug-In Light to a Hardwire Light (it’s easier than you would think!)

Friends, it’s been a while. Two weeks ago, my grandpa passed away and I’ve been in the Bay Area helping my family prepare for the funeral and helping my grandma adjust to living on her own. We gave her a mini kitchen overhaul so she could get around a little easier and, while it was exhausting work, I felt really good knowing I was able to lend her a hand.

I came home last Wednesday, but there was a lot to catch up on and not much time for blogging. With the new baby on the way, we have a lot of work to do preparing the nursery, but first we wanted to complete our stairway project. I was able to start my son’s toddler bed quilt while we were in the Bay Area, but I’m still feeling a little behind on the overall nursery makeover.convert_plug_in_light_to_hardwire_ceiling

I was thrilled to return home to a shipment from Urban Outfitters. I ordered the Magical Thinking Geo Pendant Light¬†before I left, but it was backordered for a while, so I didn’t expect it to be here when I came back.¬†Convert_Plug_In_to_Hardwire

At $69, this pendant light is a steal, with it’s only problem being that it is a plug-in light. After some quick research, I discovered it was pretty easy to convert, so I ordered it without hesitation.Convert_plug_in_to_hardwire_cut

The process was easier than expected. When we unscrewed the switch, the wires were exposed, so we simply removed the switch (with a screwdriver) and cut the wires. If your light doesn’t have a switch, or if you want the cord to be shorter, simply cut through the cording and strip the wires using pliers or wire strippers.Spray_paint_ceiling_light_canopy

The previous light fixture already had a canopy and socket, so I was able to reuse it by spray painting it to match the current light fixture. If you need a canopy, these can be purchased at your local hardware store and are fairly inexpensive. We used Rustoleum Hammered Spray Paint which gave a great metal finish.Attach_socket_to_canopy_ceiling_light

Once the canopy is dry, thread the socket and the canopy onto the lighting cord and screw together.Coil_excess_wire_in_canopy

I like to leave my light cords a little longer, so I can use it somewhere else later if I change my mind. Coil the excess cording into the canopy.attach_cut_wires_to_ceiling

Attach the newly exposed wires to the ceiling as you would on a regular ceiling light install.

*As with any electrical project, take precaution to turn off the power before attempting to connect the wires. Follow standard safety precautions so you don’t electrocute yourself. Call a professional, if you are uncomfortable handling electrical work.Completed_hardwire_light

Screw your canopy into the ceiling hardware and you are finished!

It’s good to know you don’t have to be limited to ready-made ceiling lights when shopping around. We sure saved big on this one by converting it ourselves, instead of buying a more expensive model that was made for ceiling installation.

As you can see from that last photo, we are ALMOST done painting the stairs too. We need ONE more coat of green to get a nice solid finish (it has taken us 1 1/2 gallons to get it right) but I should be able to post “complete” photos on Wednesday or Friday at the latest. I love our new staircase and can’t wait to move on to the nursery.


    • says

      Thanks! This one really isn’t too bad, because you do all the cutting to the unplugged light, so there isn’t any risk involved. Attaching it is the only time you need to be careful and that would be the case if you bought a ready-made hardwire light.

  1. says

    The timing of your post is PERFECT! I just bought a pendant light (similar, actually, but turquoise) on major sale and need to convert it. Yours looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

    • says

      Thanks Melinda! If you are nervous, you can always take it into a local hardware store and have them help you cut it. I am a big fan of A-Boy in Portland, OR on Sandy.

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