Whenever I perform this task, there always comes a point where I need two hands to do something with the fixture, and don't have a free hand to hold the lamp up in the air. I don't think it's safe to let heavy lamps hang from their wires, but that's always what I end up doing. So, what's the trick to holding up the lamp with one hand and needing two more hands to twist wire nuts and turn screws and whatnot?

I usually put all my hardware in my shirt pocket before I go up the ladder, so at least I don't have to go back down with the lamp hanging from the wires, but what other tricks might work for this task? Getting a second person obviously solves the issue, but please answer as if that's not possible.

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    I've raised an A-frame ladder to it's highest extent and placed the fixture on that so there is slack all the wires. Then stand on something else to do whatever work I need to do. Then when I need to actually mount the fixture I press it to the ceiling with one hand and use the other hand to install any screws/nuts to keep it up. That all sounds well and good but usually involves a lot of cursing. – Brad Oct 9 '17 at 17:27

Many flush ceiling fans have a built in solution in the form of a hook that hold the motor near the ceiling while you attach wires. Then you lift he fan off the hook and secure to the mounting bracket.

You can rig a similar hook if you can find a secure point on the lighting fixture as a grab point (either through or around). Use a wire coat hanger to make a double ended hook. Use at least two strands of the wire and twist ends tightly together for strength. One end of the double hook goes through or around your fixture grab point and the other hook end goes over the mounting strap attached to the ceiling box.

Support the unit (make sure that the hook mechanism seems strong enough to support the weight), attach wires, then lift unit and slip hook mechanism free. Attach mounting screws.

  • I use a steel wire shaped to an "S" hook works great but I am always looking for them. + – Ed Beal Oct 9 '17 at 17:46

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