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A chandelier becoming crooked after installation is quite common, despite the best intentions. Sometimes the fix is quite simple, while other times, the solution will be more labor-intensive. So, what exactly causes a chandelier to hang crooked?
Your chandelier hangs crooked because the chain is positioned unevenly, one side is heavier than the other, the base isn’t level, or the wiring is pulled too tightly. Frequently a crooked chandelier can be fixed by uninstalling, reinstalling, or adjusting the fixture, arms, and chain.
In the rest of this article, I will discuss the most common reasons chandeliers tend to hang crooked and the simplest ways to fix them. So, if you want to learn more about the probable reasons your chandelier isn’t hanging correctly, keep reading.
1. The Chain Is Positioned Incorrectly
If your chandelier is hanging crooked, the most likely cause is the chain, especially if your chandelier has a long hanging chain. However, no matter the length of the chain, it can easily become kinked, broken, or twisted, resulting in an unbalanced light fixture.
A great way to ascertain if the chain truly is to blame for your crooked lighting is to inspect it. If you notice that that chain is twisted or some of the links are unevenly connected, there is a good chance the chain is to blame.
Additionally, if, after inspecting your chandelier chain, you still aren’t sure what’s causing the fixture to hang unevenly, adjusting the chain is still a great place to start, as some problems aren’t always visible.
How To Fix the Problem
As chains are often to blame when it comes to crooked hanging fixtures, they are a great place to start. However, there are a few different places you will want to adjust your chain to ensure your chandelier hangs evenly in the future.
The best way to fix an uneven chain is to loosen and adjust the chain at the loop near the top of the fixture. Sometimes, chains can get stuck on this loop or tangled up in the electrical. Ensure you adjust your chain gently, so you don’t disrupt any essential electrical components.
If, after the adjustment, you find that your chain is still uneven, you can generally fix your fixture by removing one link from the chain. Sometimes there is an uneven weight distribution on the chain or even a faulty link. Removing one link can help balance out the chandelier. However, this method isn’t always ideal as it can alter the height your fixture wants to hang.
If you don’t already know how to remove a chain link from your chandelier, I recommend watching The video below on how to remove links. She does a great job of showcasing how to do this quickly and effectively.
2. The Shade Needs Adjusting
Each chandelier will have a unique design, and the shade will be made of a different material. Some shades will be heavier than others, like glass. Unfortunately, when some shades are manufactured, their weight may be uneven. The unevenness can result in your fixture hanging askew.
So, whatever material is being used to filter out the light of your chandelier may be causing the unevenness. To determine if the lampshade is to blame, you should look for imperfections in the shade. Moving it around to see if swiveling the shade causes the crookedness to change sides.
Sometimes, lampshade issues are a quick fix and require a little finagling on your part, and sometimes you may need to replace the part causing uneven weight distribution. You can try a few things before purchasing a new piece for your light.
How To Fix the Problem
Fixing an uneven light shade is one of the easiest ways to adjust a crooked chandelier. The primary reason it’s so easy is that it will require very few tools and takes only a few minutes to accomplish.
The best way to fix an uneven shade is to play with it. Rotating or slightly adjusting the shade is all that’s needed to right a crooked chandelier. When moving the shade around, pay attention to where the weight’s going and if your fixture is evening out. There may be a specific position the shade has to be in to keep the light even.
If you notice that moving the shade causes the chandelier to alter which side is crooked, it’s unevenly weighted. You can do your best to add weight to one side of the fixture to remedy this. However, sometimes that can be noticeable and cause the fixture to look strange.
If your shade is heavier on one side, you can contact the manufacturer with some photos and an explanation. They will help you accrue a new shade with better weight distribution. Then you can install the new shade, and your chandelier will hang more evenly.
3. The Arms on the Fixture Are Uneven
Another common reason your chandelier hangs crooked is uneven arms on your fixture. This problem is more prominent in elegant fixtures with multiple arms that hold lots of lighting. However, any chandelier with arms may experience uneven arms, so it’s essential to check regardless.
You can usually tell if your chandelier arms are unevenly weighted by monitoring which direction your fixture leans. For example, if your fixture seems to be leaning to the left, there is a good chance the arms on the left are heavier.
However, checking the chain and shade is vital before inspecting for uneven arms, as these are the most common causes. Once you ensure neither of the above problems, you can begin solving the problem of unevenly weighted fixture arms.
A great way to tell if your arms are uneven is to add some weight to the lower sides arms, and if the fixture becomes more even, your arms are likely uneven. Most fixtures nowadays do a great job of creating chandeliers that adjust and hang more evenly. However, you can still encounter uneven arms now and then. So, how do you fix it?
How To Fix the Problem
The simplest way to fix uneven arms is to straighten them out. Occasionally chandeliers can become damaged during shipment resulting in bent arms. Arms bent can lead to an uneven weight distribution for your fixture, resulting in a crooked light. When unbending the metal, be gentle not to accrue new damage.
However, returning the fixture may be your best option if you feel the damage and your light arms are far too messed up. Installing a light in top condition is much easier than repairing it. If you would rather fix the light than bother with the hassle of returning it, that’s okay too.
Another way to fix uneven arms is to add weight to the heavier side. If your arms aren’t bent or crooked, there is a chance they weigh more on one side. To balance this out, you can purchase some chandelier weights to even things out or use everyday household items to try and adjust the weight yourself.
I recommend using Alpurples 3 Set Ceiling Fan Blade Balancing Kit (available on Amazon). This kit is typically used for fans but works well for unbalanced light fixtures. One thing that makes these weights truly remarkable is that they have sticky backs making it easy to adhere them to your chandelier’s surface discreetly.
4. The Wiring Is Pulled Too Tightly
If you have tried steps 1-3 without luck, your chandelier wiring is likely pulled too tightly. Electrical is extremely important to your lighting fixtures’ functioning, though aesthetically, it can be less than pleasing.
A common mistake people make when installing a new light is pulling the electrical too tight to limit how much is showing. While your light may look nicer with fewer cords hanging out of the ceiling, keeping the cords too tight can cause your fixture to become unbalanced.
You can quickly tell if your writing is causing your chandelier to hang crookedly, if it appears tight or if the chain at the top looks stuck on the electrical cords. Additionally, it’s probably too tight if you can’t adjust the electrical because it’s too tightly wrapped around the chandelier chains.
How To Fix the Problem
Adjusting electrical of any kind isn’t fun. The best way to ensure the electric wiring isn’t causing an imbalance with your fixture is to lay them loosely in the first place. However, if you have already installed the fixture and suspect the cords are to blame, you can fix them relatively easily.
Loosen the plate at the top of the fixture. Then feed more of the electric cable down so it isn’t wrapped so tightly around the light chain. Adding more slack should fix the unevenness of your chandelier. Ensure you are gentle when moving the electrical cables. Additionally, you should always shut off the power to the fixture when dealing with it.
If you cannot give the wires any slack, the fixture may need to be required and this time, leave more wiring to ensure the cables don’t become too tight.
5. Pieces of the Chandelier Are Missing
If nothing you have tried to right your crooked chandelier has worked, there is always the chance that pieces are missing. Chandeliers with lots of crystal pieces or decorative hanging bits are more likely to experience unevenness. It’s easy for a piece to fall unnoticed and go missing.
Go over your fixture and check for missing pieces. The smallest piece can cause uneven weight distribution in some lights and be hard to fix without the missing piece. If you have a missing piece, you should do your best to find the stray item. Luckily, even without the original piece, there are a few ways to fix an unevenly weighted fixture.
How To Fix the Problem
As I previously stated, a weighted light kit comes in handy for fixing lights that have hanging problems. So a great way to fix a missing piece is to add a sticky weight to solve the problem. Just be sure to place the weight somewhere it won’t be seen, so the light looks normal.
The best way to fix the chandelier is to replace the missing piece. If you can find the original piece, great. If not, you can acquire a new one by contacting the manufacturer or purchasing a similar piece to even out the fixture.
6. The Base Isn’t Level
Finally, an uneven base could be to blame if you’re still struggling to get your hanging chandelier even. If the base of your fixture isn’t sitting flush against the ceiling, it can significantly alter how your light hangs.
You should also check that your fixture base isn’t bent. A bent light base can cause your fixture to hang funny and not lay straight against the ceiling.
Generally, if a base problem causes crookedness, it can easily be fixed so long as the ceiling isn’t the reason the base is crooked. If the problem is ceiling related, you may need to bring in a professional to assess the situation. But what should you do if your fixture base just isn’t level?
How To Fix the Problem
If your light base is to blame for your crooked chandelier, then you need to unscrew the base and re-affix it to the ceiling. Ensure that none of the screws you use are stripped and that they all go straight. Also, check that the base lays flush with the ceiling.
Sometimes, simply adjusting the base is all it takes. Be sure not to disturb the chain or cables during the process. Once you have readjusted the base, you should notice an immediate difference in how the fixture hangs.
When it comes to uneven hanging, the problem is usually due to:
- A chain problem.
- A heavy shade.
- Bent arms.
- Tight wiring.
- Missing pieces.
- Unlevel base.
Ultimately, there could be several reasons your chandelier is hanging crooked. The easiest way to address this problem is through the process of elimination. However, you will likely have to try a few different fixes before getting to the route of the problem.
- Quora: Why Do Chandeliers Hang Crooked?
- Best Light For: How to Balance Chandeliers? Your 101 Guide
- Houzz: Crooked Chandelier
- Addicted to Decorating: Dining Room Chandelier Disappointment
- YouTube: The DIY Housewives: How Open/Close/Shorten Chandelier or Light Chain
- Met Museum: Chandelier Thomas Hope
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Giovanni Valle is an architect, designer, internet entrepreneur, and the managing editor of various digital publications including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place. He is the founder of BuilderSpace LLC.