Crystal Chandelier

About the Photo Sequence
When we moved into this house, we decided the previous owners' formal living room would be our formal dining room. But something was missing: a chandelier. This page documents the installation of the crystal chandelier with cutting the hole in the ceiling, a new electrical circuit and dimmer, and hanging the unit.

Photo Details
This photo sequence contains 18 frames. Each frame is a finite 1024 pixels wide but height was left to its own based on the crop. I based the picture size on an email program's display window asuming that the picture would not be automatically resized to fit. This technique kept the file size down, the largest being just less than 400k making it easy to send and receive through email. The file names are also numbered so they'll display in numerical order. All photos were taken with a Nikon D80.

Download Photo Project - 4557040 bytes.

Crystal Chandelier

The dining room lighting needed to be addressed.
Although functional, the dining room was plain looking and darker than we wanted.
I decided a chandelier was necessary. Something fit for a castle.

Finding the center of the ceiling in concept was easier than performing it!
I ran a string from each corner and marked the center. Then re-measuring
from wall centers I found the center point. But something was wrong.
That point wasn't centered in the bay window or the entry doors.
The walls on either side of the bay window were not identical in length.
I had to make about a 1" adjustment.

I cut the hole in the ceiling to fit the electrical box.

I carefully measured the length between the ceiling frame boards and the hole.
Then, with the piece of removed drywall, I measured how high off the backside
of the drywall the 2x4 should be to ensure the edge of the electrical box
will be flush with the ceiling. Cutting and mounting the "feet" accomplished this.
Then I mounted the electrical box on the 2x4 based on my measurements.

Crawling through the attic was a bitch!

It fit the first time!
I then secured it with 3 huge nails on either side
(holes drilled so the wood wouldn't split) and glue.
The chandelier is only 15 pounds but the sheer strength of the nails
should exceed 100 pounds. The electrical box itself is bolted to the 2x4.
It'll hold up long after I depart this world.

Looking good so far.
Too bad that vent isn't centered.

Now for the new circuit.
Here's the curcuit box outside, before I start.

Here's the new pipes and connectors to lead the wires into the attic..

Drilling the hole to the attic and mounting the conduit was not difficult.
I used 2" Schedule 80 as per code. There's room for future circuits.

Running the new wire to the box was reasonably easy,
except for crawling through some parts of the attic.
I had a pleasent surprise while running the wire
from the box to the new dimmer switch.

The top of the wall, straight above the switch, was below a shelf in the living room.
All I had to do was unattach a panel and I had access to the top of the wall.

Surprise!! A hole in the framing was already there!

The 1 Gang box was replaced with a 2 gang box.

And the dimmer was placed and wired up.

I grounded the electrical box as per code and connected the wires.
Then the chandelier was hung in place.
As you can see, I still have to place the crystal.


Beautiful enhancement to the dining room.
The photos don't do it justice.