How to Add a Pull Chain to a Light Fixture in 7 Easy Steps

Researched & Written by Craig

Adding a pull chain to a light fixture is the simple solution to your lighting needs. And the good news is that it’s a dead easy job to do – you don’t even need an electrician.

This article will talk you through all the steps.

To Add a Pull Chain to a Light Fixture:

  • Drill a Hole in the Base of the Fixture
  • Install the Switch
  • Screw the Nut
  • Remove the Fixture Cover
  • Twist the Black Wires in the Switch and Fixture Together then Cap Them
  • Twist the White Wires in the Switch and Fixture Together then Cap Them
  • Replace the Cover

Ready? Then let’s dive in.

How to Add a Pull Chain to a Light Fixture

Light With Pull Chain

Let me guess. You couldn’t find a light fixture with a pull chain in the homeware store that you like the look of?

I’ll just add my own pull chain to a light fixture,” you said. 

Great! I love the enthusiasm! And you were no doubt super pumped whilst choosing your light fixture and matching chain. But, you may have started to feel a little anxious after opening the packaging of the new pull chain. Between the two wires and the nut and bolt, you could wonder if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.

The truth is, (you’re in luck) adding a pull chain to a light fixture is really simple. But there are a couple of things you should know before you start drilling holes at random and trimming wires higgledy-piggledy. 

Would you like your pull chain light fixture to give the ones in the homeware store a run for their money? Then make sure you follow the instructions mentioned below! 

Drill a Hole in the Base of the Fixture.

This is your customized pull chain light fixture. That means you get to decide exactly where you would like to install the switch. But, we don’t want your light fixture to end up looking like a slot machine. So, make sure you get the hole in the right place the first time. After all, once you drill a hole there’s no going back. 

Choose a place to drill that is not too close to the rim of the light fixture. Mark the spot you want to drill with a pencil. Measure the diameter of the nut attachment on the switch. Choose a drill bit that will drill a hole large enough for the nut attachment on the new pull switch to fit through. Then drill a hole where you want the switch.

Install the Switch.

Install the switch by pushing the chain through the hole you just drilled. Push the chain through the hole threading it from the inside of the fixture’s base.

Screw the Nut.

Screw the nut provided into place to hold the switch steady. If your fixture is plastic, don’t over tighten the nut, as this could make the plastic crack. 

Remove the Fixture Cover.

Use a screwdriver to remove the cover on the light fixture and expose the electrical wires. 

Twist the Black Wires on the Switch and Fixture Together then Cap Them.

Now, this is where we get down to the nitty-gritty of it all.

Take the black wire power from the light fixture. Twist to attach it to the black wire on the new pull chain switch. Cap the two together with a wire nut.

Twist the White Wires on the Switch and Fixture Together then Cap Them.

Take the white wire from the light fixture. Twist to attach it to the white wire in the new pull chain switch. Cap the two together with a wire nut. 

Replace the Cover.

Screw the cover back on the light fixture using a screwdriver. Plug the fixture in. 

Have a good tug on your brand new pull chain! Hats off to you!

The Advantages of Adding a Pull Chain to a Light Fixture

Adding a pull chain to a light fixture is not only convenient, but it could also save you money. Take a look at the reasons why adding a pull chain to a light fixture is becoming increasingly popular.

Convenience

Do you like reading at night? 

There’s nothing cozier than sitting up in bed at night, sipping on a hot drink while getting lost in a book. Then your eyes start to feel heavy and you’re ready to doze off. So you… heave your tired body out of your warm bed and walk halfway across the room with your bare feet on the cold floor to turn the light off? —Oh no wait, that was before you added the pull chain to your light. 

You see, you can attach a pull chain to a light fixture so that you can turn it on and off where it’s most convenient to you. This is helpful if you have a light fixture by your bed that is controlled by a switch on the other side of the room. This will save you from changing the layout of your room so that your bed is directly under the light switch.

Money-Saving

Yes, that’s right. Adding a pull chain to a light fixture could even save you money

Do you have various lights in a big room that are controlled by just one switch? This is often the case in basements and attics.

Adding a pull chain to some of your light switches will give you the freedom to turn off the lights you don’t need. Why pay to have all your lights burning when you could pay just for the one you’re using?

Aesthetics

Have you been to the homeware store recently to look specifically for a light fixture with a pull chain? Then let’s be honest. I’m sure you would agree with me when I say that the options were probably rather basic, dated, or dare I say…hideous?

I don’t know what’s up with manufacturers these days. They seem to believe that a light fixture has to be unsightly for it to be practical.

So this is where adding a pull chain to your light fixture will give you the upper hand. You’ll be able to transform the light fixture of your choice into one that is both elegant and convenient. This will open up a whole world of options for you to pick something that really complements the room.

Other Easy On/Off Options

Are you looking for a way to turn the lights on and off in your home more conveniently? Then you’ll be happy to know that there are a whole host of options available to you. Take a look at the following list that will provide you with some ideas for your next lighting revamp.

Like the sound of those life hacks? Then here’s a little more information about these lights on/off activators. Find out just how they’ll work to make your day that little bit easier. 

Motion-Activated Lights 

Motion-activated lights are set to turn on and off when they detect someone entering or leaving a room. These are quite handy as they can be programmed to not turn the lights on at night when others are sleeping. 

Wi-Fi Controls

Wi-Fi controls will give you the freedom to turn off the lights in your house using your mobile device. What’s nice about this one is that you can use it to control the lights in any room, not just the one you’re in.

Smart Phone Lighting App

The Clapper

A clapper is awesome because it allows you to turn the lights on or off in a room by clapping. That means, no more crawling out of bed to turn the lights off at night!

Conclusion

Adding a pull chain to your light fixture may seem like a fiddly, difficult job. But once you’ve got the instructions you need, you’ll see how easy it is!

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Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

Cheers,

Craig