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Old 06-03-2009, 11:23 PM   #1
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Wiring the bottom of a chandelier


I am sorry this question has probably been asked before or similar one but I have not found an answer to it. I bought a chandelier with 8 arms and each arm has a wire with 2 ends. What is the correct way to connect it? How can I tell which one is black and which is white since all the wires are green with no writing and there is no difference between them?

Here is a picture of it.



Also the top of the chandelier has 1 wire that is looped back to the bottom of the chandelier, am I suppose to pull out one end of the wire and connect it to the ceiling and keep the other end to the arms? At least that is what I think.

Thanks to everyone that tried to help.


Last edited by maged; 06-03-2009 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:34 PM   #2
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Wiring the bottom of a chandelier


You seem to have the right idea -- you'd need to connect all the hot (usually black) wires together, and the same for all the neutral (usually white) wires. You'd connect them using wire nuts that are listed to hold that many (9) wires of that size. Did your chandelier come with them?

If the insulation is absolutely the same (no texture, nothing??) then you would have to test each wire with a multimeter or continuity tester. You'd consider any wire that connects to the center of the bulb socket to be hot (labeling black would help hugely ), and the threads of the socket should be neutral.

Unless someone else on the board knows some trick I don't..

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Also the top of the chandelier has 1 wire that is looped back to the bottom of the chandelier, am I suppose to pull out one end of the wire and connect it to the ceiling and keep the other end to the arms? At least that is what I think.
Right on. There should be a way to run the silver/clear wire through the center of the chandelier and then you'd interlace it with the chain (if there is one), and/or through the center of the support rod.

BTW - are you in the US? I only ask b/c I've never seen that color insulation in a luminaire before.


Last edited by ScottR; 06-03-2009 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:40 PM   #3
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Wiring the bottom of a chandelier


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You seem to have the right idea -- you'd need to connect all the hot (usually black) wires together, and the same for all the neutral (usually white) wires. You'd connect them using wire nuts that are listed to hold that many (9) wires of that size. Did your chandelier come with them?

If the insulation is absolutely the same (no texture, nothing??) then you would have to test each wire with a multimeter or continuity tester. You'd consider any wire that connects to the center of the bulb socket to be hot (labeling black would help hugely ), and the threads of the socket should be neutral.



Right on. There should be a way to run the silver/clear wire through the center of the chandelier and then you'd interlace it with the chain (if there is one), and/or through the center of the support rod.

Unless someone else on the board knows some trick I don't..

BTW - are you in the US? I only ask b/c I've never seen that color insulation in a luminaire before.
Yes im in the US but the chandelier isnt from the US. Thank you for the info really helped but there is 1 thing I do not get.
What values am I suppose to get with the multimeter if it the black? Also what values for the white? When testing should it only be in ohms?

Thank you again.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:48 PM   #4
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Wiring the bottom of a chandelier


Oops, knew I forgot something: You should use the setting for resistance and get appx. 0 Ohms when you've got the right wire. Doesn't matter if it's black or white. You just want to establish which wire the threading on the bulb is connected to, and call that the "white".

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Yes im in the US but the chandelier isnt from the US.
Gotcha. I guess that also explains why the insulation isn't marked. Pretty sure that's required if it were mfr.'d here.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:06 AM   #5
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Wiring the bottom of a chandelier


Im sorry im having hard time using the multimeter. I have set it to continuity Do i then touch the same wire with the black and red probe or touch which wire with check probe? Beeping is good right?
Sorry for the ammature questions.
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:39 AM   #6
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Wiring the bottom of a chandelier


Touch one lead on the metal threads in the lamp socket it doesn't matter which lead, then touch the the wire ends. When you get a reading of 0 ohms or the continuity buzzer buzzes mark that wire white. The other wire you should get 0 ohms if you touch one lead on the wire and the other lead on the center button in the lamp socket, mark that wire black. Do that for each set of wires. The wire that runs up through the center mark one side black on both ends and the other side white. Connect all blacks together and all whites together in the base. The wire sticking out the top is then connected to the wires in the mounting box black to black and white to white.
Hope that helps
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:57 AM   #7
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Wiring the bottom of a chandelier


It does NOT matter. As long as you connect one separate wire from each arm to the hot (black) and one wire from each of the arms to the Neutral (white).

No meters or testers needed. In a simple Incandescent bulb there is no specific Hot or Neutral.


If you plan on using CFL's, it is best to determine which wire goes to the center contact. This is supposed to be the HOT!

Last edited by MALCO.New.York; 06-04-2009 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:08 PM   #8
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Wiring the bottom of a chandelier


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Originally Posted by MALCO.New.York View Post
It does NOT matter. As long as you connect one separate wire from each arm to the hot (black) and one wire from each of the arms to the Neutral (white).

No meters or testers needed. In a simple Incandescent bulb there is no specific Hot or Neutral.


If you plan on using CFL's, it is best to determine which wire goes to the center contact. This is supposed to be the HOT!
Sorry but have to disagree. Although the lights will work if the hot is attached to the sides of the lamp holder you are at risk of electrocution when changing lamps if you should contact any part the the threads while removing it. That is why it is important to connect the hot to the right center button of the lamp holder.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:35 PM   #9
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Wiring the bottom of a chandelier


For safety's sake, I could agree with you. Mechanically/Operationally, it makes NO difference!
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:56 PM   #10
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Wiring the bottom of a chandelier


All electrical standards are safety related and should be followed. After all a black insulated wire carries electricity the same as a white or green insulated wire. It is never a good idea to promote unsafe practices on a DIY forum.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:20 PM   #11
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Wiring the bottom of a chandelier


Safety is TURNING OFF a light prior to working on it.

And I do agree with your statements except for the word "All".

There are MANY Standards that are not in the Scope of Full Safety and many Prohibited Practices that are COMPLETELY safe.


To steal another posters Signature.............."Just because it is Code, does not make it safe. Just because it is not Code, does not make it unsafe!"

Last edited by MALCO.New.York; 06-04-2009 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:30 PM   #12
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OK, you have a light, the bulb is burnt out. The light is controlled by 2 3-way and one 4-way switches. How do you set the switches and know absolutely the that power if off?
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:36 PM   #13
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Wiring the bottom of a chandelier


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Sorry but have to disagree. Although the lights will work if the hot is attached to the sides of the lamp holder you are at risk of electrocution when changing lamps if you should contact any part the the threads while removing it. That is why it is important to connect the hot to the right center button of the lamp holder.


410.90 - Where supplied by a circuit having a grounded conductor (neutral/white), the grounded conductor (neutral/white) shall be connected to the screw shell.

Why do it wrong when you can do it right?

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It is never a good idea to promote unsafe practices on a DIY forum.

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