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Rewire + Convert

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The guest room got a simple lighting upgrade!

It’s the Eden Pendant from CB2, which by the way, much like our headboard, has been in storage for a handful of years. Originally intended for somewhere in the condo, Kim scooped up the (then $50) light, with the intention of converting it to a hardwired ceiling pendant; well, it never happened. When purchased, it had an unoffensive clear cord with a plug, but an easy enough re-wiring with a thick cloth cord and hard-wire conversion kicked it up a notch – while also allowing us to install it where ever we’d like without outlet restrictions.

(A quick word of caution: While this project is fairly straightforward, it’s a recap of what worked for us, but use your head, cut the power, and always be careful any time you’re dealing with electricity. We don’t want anyone getting hurt, right? )

MATERIALS + TOOLS USED

Original electrical cord/socket
New cloth covered cord
Ceiling mount kit (we used this one)
Canopy (we used this one in black)
Wire cutter
Screwdriver
Wire stripper
Utility knife

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Starting with the original plug-in cord, snip the cord with your wire cutters! This is simultaneously the easiest and most daunting part of the job. (Did we just ruin a perfectly good lamp?)

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Next, you’ll remove two small phillip head screws to remove the ceramic socket from the socket shell. Once you’ve separated it, you’ll have 2 more screws to undo, releasing the original wire ends.

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Now it’s time to install the new electrical cord! We buy our supplies from Snake Head Vintage – not only is it very affordable, but there are countless options to mix and match ceiling canopies with cords. The black cord we purchased is very thick, so I had to carefully cut away a small length of cloth covering to enable the cord to fit through the socket shell. (This doesn’t matter, as it will be completely hidden once everything is put back together.) Next, slit the outer covering of the wire, being mindful to avoid cutting each of the individual wire sheaths. Use wire strippers to expose the ends of the black wire (hot) and white wire (neutral). The green wire (green = ground) can be left alone.

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Affix the exposed ends of your wires to the screws on the back of the socket.

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Screw the socket back into place, using the first two screws you removed and you’ve successfully re-wired a light!

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On the opposite end, we used this canopy and ceiling mount kit, which comes with a strain relief that helps to support the pendant weight while affixing the wire to the canopy. Using the strippers again, now expose the black and white wires that will be wired in to your junction box. (Green was stripped for illustration purposes only; it wasn’t necessary for our application. This is a great article to understanding the colors of your electrical wires.)

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For the ceiling mount, we did everything the same as the light in our funny little nook, after cutting the power at the circuit breaker, of course!

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The cloth cord will usually look a little kinked the first day or two, resulting in a slightly crooked pendant appearance. The good news it that it will relax over time – give it a day or two – and your light should level out perfectly.

We’ve spent the last few days putting the finishing touches on the guest room, and I think it might be our favorite room yet! Photos have been snapped, and the reveal is coming soon. Now we’ll just need to keep the momentum rolling when it eventually comes time to get to work on our bedroom, which, sadly, is still a pipe dream away. (On the other hand, did someone say kitchen?)

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  • susan10.30.14 - 7:11 AM

    Love that fixture! I’m looking forward to the big reveal…

    How did you decide how long to leave the cloth cord? Is there a rule of thumb for ceiling pendants not over a table?

    Thanx much.ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.30.14 - 7:41 AM

      To be honest, we just eyeball it until it looks right! Our ceiling in this room is almost 10′, and we allowed for a 16″ or so drop. It felt right! If re-wiring, make sure to purchase an extra foot more of electrical cord than you think you might want for wiggle room.ReplyCancel

  • emily @ go haus go10.30.14 - 9:12 AM

    This is so helpful. I never bought the Eden pendant for that exact reason: the clear cord! But the price is so good it’s hard to ignore it. Now that I know how to fix it, it seems like an awesome option for the new place.ReplyCancel

  • Marita10.31.14 - 10:15 AM

    Kim, what timing! We’ve been struggling with how to better illuminate our converted back porch/laundry room. It’s a long, narrow space with only one electrical junction box. Our hope had been to hang two pendants from a single canopy and then extend the pendants in opposite directions by hooking them from the ceiling. The IKEA double lighting kit doesn’t work for the industrial pendants we want. Nor do we want to mess with the wiring and install additional junction boxes. I found a lighting shop that could create the light fixture for us, but we’re talking $$$. Maybe we could do it ourselves? I’m inspired to check out Snake Head Vintage!ReplyCancel

  • Michael11.2.14 - 8:39 PM

    Nice light fixture! It looks elegant. And great re-wiring tips too! They could be really helpful for homeowners who wish to DIY their own light fixtures. This is really useful Kim. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Joshua Prieto11.17.14 - 12:13 PM

    Awesome project! What type of bulbs do you use in your lighting fixtures? Are the LEDs?ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.17.14 - 12:22 PM

      Thanks, Joshua – I’m pretty sure we used a CFL bulb in this fixture, but we’re slowly moving over to LEDs as we can!ReplyCancel

  • color code4.12.17 - 9:37 PM

    thank you for this great post :)ReplyCancel

  • color coding4.12.17 - 9:40 PM

    DANGER: The mains must always be turned off before any work is started. To avoid electrocution, the supply to the circuit must be dead. Turn the power off yourself and use a tester screwdriver to be extra sure. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. One can’t be too careful when it comes to working with electricity.ReplyCancel

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