I bought a "Brushed Nickel" ceiling fixture to hang over my dining table, but it did not come with a long enough chain or wire.

I found the chain & two strand "lamp" wire in "brushed nickel" at Lowes, but they only had copper coloured ground wire, which will look odd where it weaves through the chain to attach to the plate on the ceiling.

Can I use one of the following:

  1. picture hanging wire (twisted)
  2. galvanized steel wire (appears to be single filament)
  3. smaller (finer) guage speaker wire, split to only use the "silver" coloured wire

Or any ideas where I might find something appropriate to use as a ground in "silver" colour?

Thanks very much!

  • 1
    I will say that I have seen the gold/copper colored ground wire on chain-hung lamps in the past. It's not terribly noticeable, I just have a somewhat annoying ability to pick up little details like that, most other people don't notice.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 6, 2020 at 16:05
  • 2
    Do not use any sort of steel wire for electrical work. Use copper or aluminum that's rated for the potential current (Amperage) load. Is this a line-level (120v) or low-voltage (LED) fixture?
    – isherwood
    Nov 6, 2020 at 16:07
  • VtC - I could see this being "Arts&Crafts" as it's about the look not functionality, but it doesn't seem to be a product recommendation question (of the type that's usually closed). However, this is a potential safety issue as noted by @isherwood.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 6, 2020 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


You could get tinned (thus, silver-colored) bare copper wire of the proper gauge from an electronics supply house. This is commonly available.

Evidently there is also nickel-plated copper wire available, but it's far less common.

I think you could also use twice as much of the "lamp wire" in the color you like, using the extra "lamp wire" as a grounding wire, but there might be some subtle reason that would not be OK I haven't thought of.

  • 1
    That will work because ground wires get to be bare. The key is that the narrow rules that require only certain types like XHHW, THHN, NM, SJOOW etc. are referring to insulation, not the conduction path proper. In NEC, bare copper is bare copper, except it'll need to be stranded. (and tinned in OP's case). Nov 6, 2020 at 18:30

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