How to move an existing pendant light

A guide to moving an existing pendant light in your home

As long as you can get to the ceiling void from above without too much hassle, it’s not complicated to move a pendant light. Follow our easy steps to below to move the position of your pendant light fuss-free. Need some inspiration on pendant light styles for your home? Check out our wide range of pendant lights.

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Before you start... switch it off

Before starting any electrical work, remember to switch off the mains power at the consumer unit. We recommend purchasing a voltage tester, as they confirm whether circuits are dead and safe to work on. Check all finished work with a voltage tester before using.

For your safety, these products must be installed in accordance with local Building Regulations. If in any doubt, or where required by the law, hire a professional. Further information is available online or from your local authority. Never take risks with electrical safety. Before you start any type of electrical work, follow these safety precautions:

  • Switch off the main power at the consumer unit / fuse box. Isolate the circuit you plan to work on by removing the circuit fuse. Put this in your pocket to avoid losing it.
  • Or switch off the breaker and lock it if you can - put a note on the unit to advise you're working on the circuit.
  • Check the circuit is dead with a socket tester or voltage tester / meter for lighting circuits.
  • Pendants can only support a very lightweight bulb and shade – fittings over 2 kg must be chain supported.
  • Fittings with metal parts must be earthed with a three-core flex unless labelled as double insulated.

Identify your circuit type

Once you have switched the power supply off, your first task is to find out what circuit type you have: junction box or loop-in. With the power turned off, remove your ceiling rose cover. You won’t be able to tell from the design of the rose – instead, you’ll need to count the cables entering it. If there’s only one cable then you have a junction-box wiring; if there are two or three, then you have a loop-in system.

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A single cable entering the rose

This indicates junction-box wiring.

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Two cables entering the rose

This indicates a loop-in circuit. The last rose on the circuit will have one circuit cable plus a switch cable.

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Three cables entering the rose

This indicates loop-in wiring; an intermediate rose on the circuit will have two circuit cables plus a switch cable.

Let's get started

Start by isolating the circuit, double-checking it’s dead and unscrewing the rose cover. When you’ve identified the type of wiring, disconnect the flex and feed cable.

With junction-box wiring

1. Unscrew the rose base from the ceiling and push the cable back through.

2. Above the ceiling, connect the cable to a three-terminal junction box.

3. Then run a length of 1 mm² two-core-and-earth cable from your new light rose.

4. Connect the brown core to the live terminal, the blue to the neutral terminal and the earth (insulated with green / yellow sleeving) to the earth terminal.

5. Repair the ceiling at the old light position with filler.

With loop-in wiring

1. Unscrew the rose base from the ceiling and push the cables back through.

2. Mount a four-terminal junction box above the original light position.

3. Connect the live, neutral and earth cores of the main circuit cable(s) to three separate terminals.

4. Then connect the brown core of the switch cable to the circuit lives, the earth core to the circuit earths and the blue core to the fourth (unused) terminal.

5. Add a fourth cable to feed the light, connecting its brown core to the switch blue, its blue core to the circuit neutrals and its earth to the circuit earths.

6. Then repair the ceiling at the old light position with filler.