Can I have two lights running from one box?

beth0301October 31, 2011

I am moving to a place with an eat-in kitchen. It has one ceiling fixture, dead center, which is neither over the kitchen work area or the dining nook. Is it possible to install two small chandeliers swag style from the same junction box?

I don't want to get in to moving the box or adding a box as I'd be required to hire a professional to wire and another to patch the ceiling (landlord rules if you mess with stuff like that) and this is more of a diy budget. My son is very handy with wiring and diy but I wanted to see if this was possible/safe before I talked to him.

I know they'd both run off the same switch and I'm ok with that. I figured if they were matching and swagged with chains it might look okay.

Alternately, I've seen swag lights in the past that are "double headed" meaning they already have two separate lights but now I can't seem to locate one online to see how much they are.

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Ron Natalie

Since you said landlord, I'd like to point out that you and your son have no business screwing around with the fixtures. What you are proposing is illegal in most places.

"DOUBLE SWAG" into google does result in a lot of links towards fixtures that meet such requirements.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 9:11AM
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Sounds like a job for track lighting. They make all sorts of pendants and fixtures for them now.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 9:29AM
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It's a townhouse and I can change out fixtures as I please. I just can't run new wiring without permission and without hiring a licensed elec, something I wasn't really budgeting for. I can also hang plant hooks in the ceiling so yes, as long as it's safe, I can add a second fixture and swag one to the dining table and one more towards the cabinets. Landlord wasn't an accurate term; I should have said co-op rules.

Thanks Billl, I'll check out the track options. I'm going for a French country look, so really wanted chandeliers.

Is it safe to have two individuals though if I don't find a double I like?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 11:38AM
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Ron Natalie

Short of finding a listed fixture with two swags, you'd need to install a second box to hook up a second fixture. Track lighting is a good idea, they make elements for the track you can hang just about any sort of fixture from (most lamp stores actually use such to display their wares even).

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 3:11PM
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I dont see why this would be a problem as long as you do not overload the circuit, and as long as you hang your fixtures from decent lag hooks into ceiling joists. I would not use less than 1/4 inch and you want to pilot drill the joist and go in at least 2 inches into wood. Drywall does not cut it and forget toggle bolts and mollies.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 3:28PM
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I have to have a second box? I was hoping the two fixtures could be connected together before going in to the box so they, in essence, became one fixture (I guess in a way making my own double swag). Is that not possible?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 3:44PM
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Ron Natalie

The problem is that the only legal options for replacing a built-in fixture here are:

1. Tracklighting (to connect to one lighting box)
2. Double-swag on one bell
3. Hire an electrician to put in a second box.

Depending on the weight of the fixture, you may find drywall anchors that will meet the requirement. Most anchors however are not rated for any sort of overhead load (they're only designed to support the weight in shear). Toggle bolts however are available that will hold up to around 50 lbs. Swag hooks typically come with both a screw stud and a toggle bolt for your choice of mounting.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 3:48PM
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What does "Double-swag on one bell" mean?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 3:53PM
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Bell below

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 4:13PM
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OK, thank you. I think what I'll do is purchase a double swag that is as close as I can find to what I want and then swap out the globe for shades & crystals like I want. A little black spray paint should take care of the 70's brass finish.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 4:31PM
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Are you still looking for a solution? Go to the link below or type in look at the pendant adaptors to allow multiple lights from one electric source. I was looking for the same thing!! good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 9:14PM
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"Bell" AKA 'canopy' or 'fixture canopy.'

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 9:36AM
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