I'm a complete amateur, so please bare with me.

I have a pendant ceiling light that requires a hook.

I'm guessing that simply screwing a hook into the ceiling is a bad idea (electricity and all that). I'm also guessing that if I purchase a wire detector it isn't going to be too much use, as there is bound to be wires all over the place.

When travelling to Sweden I noticed that all the lights had pre-fitted hooks, so I'm wondering if there is a safer way for me to fit the hook or something particular I should purchase.

Either that or I'm thinking way to much into it.... but I'm trying to be safe as I don't fancy an electric shock!


Here is a link to the light http://www.philips.co.uk/c/choose-your-luminaire/ecomoods-402353116/prd/

  • 1
    A photo or link would definitely help; when you say hook, I'm thinking of a screw-in ceiling hook (that goes into a joist) with the rose for the electrical connection off to one side.
    – Niall C.
    Jun 19, 2011 at 19:43
  • Hi @Niall, I've added a link to the light. Jun 19, 2011 at 19:47
  • 2
    Why would this light require a hook? Seems to me like a typical length-adjustable pendant light, where you mount the base to a ceiling electrical box, wind the cord inside the base so it's the desired length, and support the fixture from the cord directly. Are you saying you want to use a hook so that the light hangs down from a different spot on your ceiling than where the base is attached? Jun 20, 2011 at 2:52
  • Hi @Shimon, thanks for the help. The light is quite heavy and the instructions on the site mention a hook, so I'm guessing I need one. When you say ceiling electrical box, I'm guessing that is something behind the ceiling rose? I'm not specifically looking to hang it in a different spot, just making sure I hang it safely. Thanks for the help. Jun 20, 2011 at 18:26

1 Answer 1


Normally, the junction box for a ceiling light fixture is attached to the ceiling joists in such a way as to distribute the load of the light on those joists instead of on the drywall. The normal way is to hang a 2x4 between two joists, suspended a couple inches above the bottom of the joists, and attach the J-box to that so it'll be flush with the drywall. Such a structure can support hundreds of pounds, even if the j-box itself won't.

Under about 30 pounds, which includes most modern round lights, small hanging lights and ceiling fans, you should be able to mount directly to the J-box; it will have threaded holes for a machine screw. Over that, most kits will include a threaded J-hook that is designed to screw into the wood strut above the J-box; these can support up to a couple hundred pounds, and the J-box then only supports the weight of a crown cover to conceal the mount and wires.

Be wary; there are "old work" ceiling J-boxes designed to be inserted into the ceiling and have their load distributed by the drywall. These will only take about 5-6 pounds (your average round light), but nothing more. Hanging a ceiling fan or heavy hanging light directly from a J-box is a sure-fire way to end up needing to re-drywall your ceiling (after putting in a proper J-box of course).

  • Even a new work box can be improperly installed; when you've removed the current fixture check to make sure the box is attached firmly to structure. Jun 22, 2011 at 5:11

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