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Pantry Lighting (Plus, Adapting A Flush Mount Light For A Slanted Ceiling)

I finally got my lighting installed in my pantry. This wasn’t on my list of things I hoped to accomplish by my end-of-year break, but I bought the lights a month-and-a-half ago, and had been procrastinating because I had no idea how I was going to install the main flush mount light on the slanted ceiling in a way that the little glass balls would hang straight. To refresh your memory, this is the light I bought to go right inside the pantry doors.

And by the way, that light is from Home Depot and costs just over $100. And it’s almost identical (other than color) to this Callia Crystal Flushmount light from Pottery Barn, which is $349. The Home Depot light plus a can of spray paint will save you over $200.

Anyway, I finally realized that the solution was quite simple. It was just a matter of removing the top rigid canopy, which was held to the light with one lock washer and nut, and replacing it with a different light canopy that accommodates a chain so that the light can hang free rather than being attached to a rigid canopy. So I purchased this Westinghouse center hole canopy.


That allowed me to attach a chain to the canopy. Then I needed something to allow me to attach a chain to the actual light, so I purchased one of these female lighting loops to screw onto the very top of the threaded nipple that held the main light together.


I wasn’t concerned about them being different colors since I was planning to paint the light anyway.

And then I needed chain to connect the lighting loop on the light to the loop on the new canopy. I always have extra chain in my stash of electrical and lighting parts, so I was set.

I just unscrewed and removed the nut and lock washer that was holding the top, rigid canopy to the light fixture, screwed the female lighting loop to the top of the threaded nipple, added one chain link, and then connected the chain to loop on the canopy. Then I spray painted the whole thing before installing it. It turned out looking like this…


And it worked perfectly.

So now you’re wondering what’s up with my ceiling, right? Well, let me tell you. Changing this light from a flush mount with a rigid canopy into a short hanging pendant light was absolutely the easiest part of this project. Installing it was a huge headache.

Generally, when installing a light with a chain attached to the canopy, you lower the canopy and chain down several inches onto the wire so that quite a bit of the wire is exposed out of the top of the canopy. That gives you lots of room to work with the wires and get the light wired. Well, because I was only dealing with one chain link and wires that weren’t that long to begin with, I could barely see what I was doing to get the light wired.

The first time was a huge fail. I almost had the black wires connected when the entire light slipped out of my hand and went barreling towards the floor, but not without crashing into the metal frame of the ladder on its way down.

So I tried again. And again, I almost had the first to wires connected when the thing slipped out of my hand and fell. This time, I was more prepared for it, and reacted quickly and caught it.

The third time was the charm. I finally got it all wired, and got the canopy securely fastened to the ceiling. Then I stepped away to look at it, and realized that the whole thing was hanging all whomperjawed (that’s a Texas word, y’all, and it means it was all askew).

Upon closer inspection, I realized that several of the metal links holding the different sized rings together had broken during the fall. I was beyond irritated at that point, but wasn’t about to let this light defeat me, so I headed to Michael’s, purchased a package of jump rings, removed all of the old metal pieces, and reassembled the entire thing with new jump rings.

But then not only were the jump rings bright silver, but the paint on other areas of the light had gotten chipped and scratched when the light fell. Well, obviously there was no way I was going to uninstall the light to repaint it, so I just painted it in place. I figured that a ceiling could be easily touched up, but if I had to go through the process of installing that light again, one of us was going down, and I didn’t want to take that chance.

But I finally got it installed, along with the other four lights in the room.


The other four lights were very easy compared to the main light. There are only four inches of space between the ceiling and the roof in this room, so there wasn’t even enough room to use the smallest recessed lights I could find. I mean there’s no room at all in that ceiling for anything other than a layer of insulation and a few wires. So I chose these Lithonia Lighting 7″ Versi Lights, which are small, low profile flush mount LED lights that kinda, sorta, maybe, just a little bit, look like recessed lights with a bulky trim kit on them.

Once everything was installed and tested to be sure the lights actually worked, and the ceiling paint was repaired, I could finally install all of the little glass orbs on the center light. That took forever, and two of them were broken, so I had to head to Home Depot to exchange those. But after two days, I finally finished this lighting project that was only supposed to take me a couple of hours. 😀

These little 7″ Versi Light LED lights are awesome. They put out a lot of light (of course, I have four of them), and they were very easy to install. There are two kinds, and I got the ones that are 3000K, which said “warm white” or something like that. I much prefer “warm white” LED lighting to “daylight” LED lighting.


And I love how this light turned out. I had my doubts that it would survive there for a while, but it came out nicely.


And I love how the glimmer and shine is visible just beyond the pantry doorway.


Last night as I stood at the sink washing dishes, I caught myself on several occasions glancing over at my new shiny light. I think it’s so pretty. Now I just hope it’s still visible (even if just barely so) when the doors are installed!

Now that that’s out of the way, I can actually get started on my list from Friday. I think I’ve probably ruined my chances of finishing now, but I’ll give it my best try.


My pantry is finished! Want to see the entire project from start to finish? You can find every single post about the pantry build right here…

Or you can skip to the end and see how it turned out. Here’s a peek of the finished pantry…

Butler's pantry remodel with dark teal lower cabinets, floating corner shelves, and whitewashed wood countertop

You can see more pictures on the before and after post right here…

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  1. I’m totally impressed. I would literally have no idea where to start if I needed to retrofit a light or broke something on a light and needed to repair it. It would take me days of standing in the aisles at Home Depot trying to get someone to tell me what parts I needed and they would get it wrong and I would take home the wrong part and it wouldn’t work and then I’d need to return the wrong part and get a new part, but getting a new part would require me standing in aisles for days again and then I would lose my mind. So, when you finish your house, I think you need to start a “here’s how you fix that blog” where readers can send in photos of things that are broken or just need modification and you can talk them through it. 🙂

    I think your next post should be the list of things that you’re going to get done before the end of the year, but it should be the secret list that is in your head (the list that you didn’t write about)! LOL! You crack me up with the changing plans!

  2. I do love your pantry lighting. I am like you and hope the crystal light shows through your doors. Maybe you can extend your chain & wiring if needed after you get the doors installed? I know it was a pain but it will be beautiful if it shows through the doors.

  3. I am SOOOO in love with your new light fixture, too! I think it looks great–and your tribulations along the road to its installation made me snicker because it reminded me of my own experience with a track lighting project!

    Also, I love Theresa’s suggestion (above) of a “here’s how you fix that” blog! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ventured into uncharted territory with an “easy” DIY project only to find myself stumped by unforeseen fails, so having a resource like that would be invaluable! I know…Predicting where someone could go wrong with a project may be incredibly difficult, but it sure would be FUN to watch–and with your hilarious, bubbly personality, I’m sure it would be a huge hit!

    Thanks for making me laugh as I learn. You’re awesome!

  4. Very creative thinking on that light, which looks beautiful up there. I’m having trouble keeping your site from flipping around on me this morning. I don’t know if it’s my computer or your site, and if that is why there are so few comments. But I got one in before it flipped again.

  5. I’ve been looking at putting this exact light fixture in my kitchen, however, I need quite a bit of light in there, do the crystals help reflect the light around and is it pretty bright?


    1. It is (or can be) a very bright light. It uses four bulbs, and I only have one low wattage bulb (40 watts, I believe) in there for the picture. It’s all I had on hand, so once I add four 60-watt equivalent LED bulbs, it’ll be very bright.

  6. You are awesome…and a study in perseverance.

    How did you learn how to work with electricity? That is the one thing I was too cautious to tackle…even though my dad was an electrician. MY electrician. A big oversight because he is gone now and I am having to renovate a condo without him.

    1. I’ve been rewiring light fixtures for many years, mostly out of necessity from purchasing thrift store lighting that wouldn’t work properly. And installing lighting is pretty straightfoward. But my brother-in-law taught me how to rewire rooms in my house. It’s very empowering!

  7. round here we say cattywhompus-same idea! Love what you’ve done. I am not originally creative – I do best when I can take someone else’s and make it work for me, so switching out the light is a process I’ll have to file away for future reference. As for your list, write down “install pantry light” just so you have the enjoyment of crossing it off! And knowing those things you DID achieve in the last two weeks of the year. Cause isn’t a list just a starting point to help motivate? At lease that’s what I tell myself! Good Job1

  8. Oh it would be SO wonderful if you did do a “how (the hell) do I fix THAT?” blog! We could all send in pictures and questions. I just know you’d love to do that!! (sarcasm) What a headache that would be for you – but boy would that be helpful and fun for the rest of us!!

    Have to tell you: bought the PW air compressor that you listed as using and was NOT happy with it AT ALL. Thought, well this is an awful (bad words here) piece of equipment! Guess what? I had the wrong nails in both the brad nailer and in the finish nailer. Took days of removing the jams (more very bad words here) – (consulting all the men around the neighborhood and they could figure it out!)

    FINALLY (duh) I realized that I had the wrong size nails in each of the guns and switched them! No wonder neither worked and made me think the whole outfit was a (bad words) piece of (well you know)! See what happens when a novice tries stuff?!! I was in TEARS mind you! If you had a “how do I fix that blog,” I could have asked you! So despite days of trying to put up my planked wall with the finish nailer and it not working – once I had the right nails in it – I flew through the project!! (And it is Beautiful!) I am now an expert (more sarcasm!).

    P. S. LOVE that light and your genius fix – have the same problem with my ceilings and the lights I want, but would never attempt your solution – I would run OUT of my whole bad word vocabularyfor sure.

  9. Thanks for my giggle for the day!! I always seem to need 3 hands to install ceiling lights or wall sconces. FINALLY figured out how to use a large S hook to hold the fixture while connecting the wires. You do a great job of educating AND empowering us. Thanks.

  10. We had painted a base of a cheap Ikea Hemma pendant and created an extra ring to hide an electrical box in a bad place. The electrical box will get moved whenever we get to re-doing the ceiling. We didn’t realise how difficult it was to get the Hemma base to install “flush”. In that series of “adjustments” paint came off in a few places on a flexible plastic cone. I’m thinking of painting a sample “thing” and matching some model paint/enamel to directly brush on the problem areas.

    1. If there are only a few small spots, what I’ve done in the past is use the spray paint, but spray it onto a piece of plastic so that it puddles up, and then very quickly dip a craft brush into the puddle and paint it onto the areas that need the touchup. That works really well on small scratches and tiny chips.

  11. The finished lightening project looks great. Running into a few installation problems is normal. That must be a large pantry! The problem with the lightening in our pantry is that the light switch is actually not in the pantry but on the other side of the wall around the corner even. I forget to turn it on.

  12. The overall transformation here is astonishing! Seriously impressive, woman. Keep up the good work!

  13. Just so you know, these fixtures are now on clearance at Home Depot for $60ish if you were looking for another one! I snapped up the two that my local store had left and plan on painting mine as well. Do you just give the metal pieces a good sanding before painting?