Isn’t it frustrating when you buy a new light fixture, only to bring it home, install it, and realize it’s hanging crookedly? It can be disheartening to invest time and effort into a new purchase only to end up with an imperfect result. Let me show you some simple ways to make your light fixture hang straight.
*Note: Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. More details are at the bottom of this post.
Table of Contents
- Identify if there is a:
- Sloped Ceiling Adapter
- Chandelier Balance Weights
Identify if there is a Cord Issue, Chain Issue, or Light Fixture Issue
There are different ways of addressing a light fixture that hangs crooked depending on what caused it. Here are some common examples and how to address them:
The first thing to check is if there is an issue with the cord the fixture hangs from. Here are some of the most common examples of cord issues that you may encounter:
Fabric cords have a tendency to become wavy (especially with pendant lights). Wavy cords affect the look of your fixtures and tend to make them hang crooked. One great way to straighten out a wavy fabric cord is to use a hairdryer.
To do this, place your hair dryer on the heat setting and gently coax the cord down with your fingers while the hot air blows on it. The most important thing to remember is to make sure NOT to keep the heat on one spot for too long to avoid overheating the cord or burning yourself. Do this before hanging the fixture and connecting any electrical wires.
In my experience using a hair dryer to make your light fixture hang straight is really easy. Here’s a video below of how I do it on my own dining room light fixture.
Plastic Encased Cord
For straightening out a plastic-encased cord, one simple hack is to use a ratchet or screwdriver. To do this, put the cord against the metal part, and pull to coax the wire to straighten out. You can also mold the cord with your fingers to straighten it out.
If you have a pendant lamp that has weight to it, over time the weight of the pendant light should naturally work out any kinks or twists. So, you don’t need to do anything other than give it some time. Although, you need to be extra patient with this method, eventually your pendant light cords will be hanging straight.
If your cord is okay and positioned correctly, another factor to check is if you have an issue with the hanging chain (if your fixture has one).
Kink in Chain
If your overhead light fixture hangs by a chain (for example, chandelier chains), the chain may have doubled up on itself, causing the fixture to hang sideways. The easiest way to fix it is to make sure each chain link is hanging in a straight line. Detangle any of the chains that are twisted or doubled up on each other. Once you’ve done this, your fixture should hang perfectly straight and level.
Fixture Hanging on the Cord
When you’re installing a light fixture that hangs from a chain, it’s also super important to ensure that the fixture is properly secured to the chain and not hanging on the cord. Not only will this help prevent any hazards like the fixture falling or the cord getting damaged, but it’ll also help your fixture look more balanced and level. So, take the extra time to check that your fixture is safely attached to the chain for proper strain relief.
Another important thing to check is the ceiling mounts – the metal plates or bars that connect the fixture to your electrical box or junction box. They should be completely flat against the ceiling. If not, your fixture could end up wobbling or tilting – this is not only annoying but it’s also potentially dangerous.
To avoid this issue, check the mounts. If they’re improperly installed, adjust until they’re flush with the ceiling. However, if you’re not familiar with dealing with electrical wiring, I highly recommend that you contact a professional like a licensed electrician to help you.
Light Fixture Issue
If there’s nothing wrong with the cord or chain, the issue could lie in the light fixture itself. Here are some common issues to look out for:
Not Using the Same Bulb Throughout
Your fixture could be hanging crooked because you’re using different types of light bulbs throughout the fixture. When you use different bulbs, there could be an uneven weight distribution which can cause the fixture to hang sideways. So, it’s a great idea to use the same type of light bulb throughout to ensure that the weight is evenly distributed and your fixture hangs straight.
A handmade light fixture can be a unique and beautiful addition to your space. However, it’s important to keep in mind that handmade ceiling light fixtures can be prone to weight distribution issues – they may not be completely even. This is especially true for fixtures with blown glass, where some pieces may be heavier than others due to the individualized and unique nature of the design. So, if you’re experiencing a crooked fixture, it could be due to the weight distribution caused by these differences in the blown glass pieces. Click here for help.
Having arms that are too close together or uneven is a common issue in chandeliers. To address this issue, check if there is equal space between each arm and adjust the arms as necessary until they are evenly spaced. Make sure to be extra careful when adjusting though! You don’t want to break anything.
Now, if your fixture is made of brass, you may bend the arms ever so slightly to make the fixture more balanced. While this is possible, I do NOT recommend it as it can damage your fixture. If you’re feeling bold, go ahead and give it a shot at your own risk.
Improperly Screwed Socket
Sometimes, the cuff that surrounds the socket, and holds your pendant lighting shade in place, is not screwed on properly. It could even be screwed on sideways. Don’t worry though, fixing it is relatively simple. All you need to do is unscrew the collar that surrounds the thread of your socket and screw it back on where the collar threads up the socket evenly. This should help you make your light fixture hang straight where it won’t look wonky.
If you have a chandelier, it could be that your fixture has a missing piece. If the fixture has hanging crystals, the crystals may be hung improperly. The smallest of issues can make a light fixture not hang straight.
Sloped Ceiling Adapter
Not all crooked hanging fixtures are caused by the fixture itself – the design of your house could also affect how your light fixture hangs. While sloped, high ceilings and vaulted ceilings are gorgeous, they may be more challenging for you to install ceiling fixtures that hang straight.
If you have a vaulted ceiling or sloped ceiling, you may need a special canopy and/or a sloped ceiling adapter to hang your light fixture. This adapter helps your fixtures hang straight and level.
Without a sloped ceiling adapter, it can be challenging to hang a light fixture. Most mounting hardware is designed for use on a flat ceiling. Attempting to install a light fixture without an adapter can result in the fixture hanging at an awkward angle.
To use a sloped ceiling adapter, you first need to determine the angle of your ceiling. You can do this using a level or a digital angle finder. Once you know the angle of your ceiling, you can select an adapter that is designed to accommodate that angle.
Once you have your sloped ceiling adapter, you can install it onto the ceiling using the provided hardware. Then, attach your light fixture to the adapter using the appropriate hardware. The swivel mechanism allows you to adjust the angle of the fixture so it hangs straight and level.
Chandelier Balance WeighTs
While not a common go-to, another good option is to use chandelier balance weights. These weights are also used to balance ceiling fans. Balance weights are sold online, at Home Depot, Lowes or any hardware stores near you.
These weights can give your fixture a more balanced look and help to evenly distribute the weight of the fixture. They can help counteract any leaning or tilting that might occur due to uneven mounting or structural issues.
Chandelier balance weights are typically small, adjustable weights that attach to the arms of the chandelier. They can be moved around and adjusted to balance the fixture.
When hanging a chandelier, it is important to ensure that the fixture is properly balanced. Balance is especially important for heavier chandeliers. Improper balance can put a significant amount of strain on the mounting hardware and the ceiling itself.
To use chandelier balance weights, you first need to determine the weight distribution of the fixture. You can do this by hanging the chandelier from a secure hook or stand and observing how it hangs. You may need to adjust the length of the chain that suspends the fixture to achieve the desired height.
Once you know the weight distribution, you can attach the chandelier balance weights to the arms of the fixture.
Attach the weights to the arms that are furthest from the center of the fixture. Try to adhere the weights to the top side of the chandelier arms, where they can’t be seen. You may have to adjust the placement of the weights until the fixture hangs straight and level.
Crooked light fixtures can be frustrating, whether you’re installing your fixture in the living room, dining room, over your kitchen island or anywhere in your space.
Are you looking to fix a crookedly installed light fixture in your home? I hope this post has helped you in coming up with solutions to make your light fixture hang straight. If it has, let me know! I’d love to hear from you.
Until Next Time,
–The Difference Between Accent, Ambient, and Task Lighting
–Light Fixtures to Brighten Up Your Dark Pantry
–How Does a Plug In Swag Chandelier Work?
–Cozy Ideas for Lighting Up Your Reading Nook
–Best Over-the-Sink Kitchen Lighting Ideas
Disclosure: Please note that some links in this post are affiliate links. At NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU, I will earn a small commission on any purchases made. LightLady Studio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.