How to: Convert a Plug-in Light to Hard Wire Light

$50
30 Minutes
Easy

Don't you hate when you find the perfect pendant light for your home only to see it's got a plug at the end? That happened to me. I was walking through a craft store looking for supplies for a project and I saw an orb light I love. I've loved them for a while, but most cost well over $100. This one was only $40! $40 for a light? Count me in.
I wasn't sure if it was safe to convert a plug-in light to a hardwired light so I decided to talk to my electrician and found out that most new plug-in lights are self grounding. Also, the switch that would be controlling the light was on a 5 switch box so the whole box is grounded. To make it easier he told me "the big end of the plug is black and the small end is white." Sounds easy enough.
Note: Please take great care when dealing with electricity. If you are not comfortable with this, or any, electrical project please contact a professional. If you are unsure of whether the plug-in light you purchased will work in your home, please reach out to a professional before beginning.
how to convert a plug in light to hard wire light, electrical, how to, lighting
The light as I purchased it (it even came with a light bulb)!
how to convert a plug in light to hard wire light, electrical, how to, lighting
I had to purchase a canopy kit from my local hardware store.
how to convert a plug in light to hard wire light, electrical, how to, lighting
I determined the length of rope/wiring needed and cut it to size. My wiring was covered in fabric so I cut it down enough to expose the wires. Luckily each wire was actually distinguished as black and white.
how to convert a plug in light to hard wire light, electrical, how to, lighting
Next, I prepared the wires for hardwiring.
how to convert a plug in light to hard wire light, electrical, how to, lighting
The light I purchased (as well as many I have seen since) have two caps screwed together (covering a larger screw that attaches to the lighting fixture).
how to convert a plug in light to hard wire light, electrical, how to, lighting
I unscrewed the caps and removed the top piece.
how to convert a plug in light to hard wire light, electrical, how to, lighting
Next, I slid the canopy over the wiring.
how to convert a plug in light to hard wire light, electrical, how to, lighting
I unscrewed the bottom cap and pulled it up so that it would thread through the bottom of the canopy hole.
how to convert a plug in light to hard wire light, electrical, how to, lighting
This is how the bottom screw looked when threaded through the canopy hole.
how to convert a plug in light to hard wire light, electrical, how to, lighting
Next, I threaded the top screw on and screwed the two pieces (the top and bottom screw) together. As you can see, the fabric that was covering the wires was frayed.
how to convert a plug in light to hard wire light, electrical, how to, lighting
I cut back the frayed fabric and wrapped electrical tape around the area to ensure no loose fabric was exposed.
how to convert a plug in light to hard wire light, electrical, how to, lighting
My hubs wired the light as you would any light (white to white, black and black). As I mentioned, the light did not have a ground, so we wrapped the ground from the house to the green screw in the junction box. And that was it! All-in-all, it took less than 30 minutes to complete the entire project. We love the look of the light and spent less than $50 for the entire project. It just goes to show you can have high-end home details without the high-end price tag.
how to convert a plug in light to hard wire light, electrical, how to, lighting
The Rozy Home

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Cra323402
    on Feb 8, 2018

    Could this be done on a ceiling fan?
  • Chris
    on Apr 10, 2018

    I have a hanging light above the pool table in the house I just bought. I want to wire it to a switch instead of having to plug it in. It has a non-grounded plug and both prongs are the same size. If I cut the wire to get it to a switch and power, how can I tell which wire is hot or neutral if both wires are the same coming from the fixture?

    • Joe Jones
      on Jun 24, 2018

      Can you see the marking on this wire? That’s to my light and it’s just the awg for the wire stamped into it but that’s the positive wire. The one with writing


      the negative is also normally the one that has the prong that is bigger on the end and only fits one way in the plug the one on the left is the negative in that case it’s got flared ends basically

  • Royce Russell
    on Oct 13, 2018

    I am installing a light fixture that has a plug and I am converting it to hard wire. The light I am installing doesn't have a ground wire and the junction box does not have a green screw so how can I ground the fixture?


    Thanks - Royce

Join the conversation

2 of 37 comments
  • Christina
    on Nov 18, 2017

    Nice! I love the pendant and was happy that you were able to convert it. It looks relatively easy, too. Thanks for the inspiration and the useful advice.
  • Carol Cole
    on Nov 24, 2018

    I love it. It did a great job.

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