Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nuts n Bolts - Hardwiring IKEA Lighting

It's been a while since Kerry shared with you our new "master" bedroom (it's really not very "master-ful"). Today, I wanted to share with you how to hardwire some basic IKEA wall scones, that are meant to be plugged into an outlet.

One of the projects that Kerry was pretty certain she wanted in our bedroom, and I wasn't fully on board with at first, was hardwiring lamps over our built-in nightstands. Of course, after I got it finished, I remembered why she's the designer. What we started off with was two ARSTID wall lamps from IKEA. 

First things first, I opened up one of the packages and examined the 'base' of the light to determine the best route for modification for hardwiring. I found that in order to access the wires the back cover plate needed to be removed from the base by taking the two screws out on either side of the fixture. 

Once the back plate was off, I cut the plug end off in order to pull the wire through the hole on the bottom of the fixure.

After the chord was out of it's designated hole, I pulled the plastic wire guard out and put it aside for a minute.

I used a 5/16" drill bit to put a hole into the back cover plate.  Be careful, the plate will want to spin around once the bit catches. I used the hammer to hold the plate in place. Pliers probably would have worked better, but that was all that I had up in the room with me at the time.  I also drilled it onto a scrap piece of wood so I didn't end up putting a hole in the floor.

Once the hole was drilled, I placed the re-used wire guard in the new hole.  It's important to put this piece in place as the new hole will have metal burs on it that could cut into the wire as you pull it through, so this will protect your wire.

Take a look at the wires in the back of the fixture and take note of the black wire, this is your hot wire. You will need to take a marker and put a mark on the end of that wire where you cut the plug off, so that you know which wire is the hot one when connecting it to your power source.

Once my wires were marked, I drilled a hole in the wall where we wanted to place the fixture. I then used the plate to mark on our wall where I needed to drill for the drywall anchors.  Then Kerry got busy drilling the holes and I got the anchors in place.


Next, I ran the wire through the hole I had already drilled in the back plate... 

... then fed the wire into the wall and to our power source (in our case, we used existing outlets).

I was careful to make sure that before connecting anything that our power was off! This is an absolute must to avoid potential electrocution. 

Once I was certain our power was off, I took the end of the wire and stripped the two ends of the chord, and connected the hot wire to the top gold screw (on the left) and the white (neutral) wire to the top silver screw, on the right. Outlets will be labeled with which side your hot and white wires should be connected to.   

If you are unfamiliar with wiring, it might not hurt to do some googling on how to properly wire up an outlet.  Typically the power comes into an outlet on the bottom of the outlet and if it is in a series, the upper screws provide power to the next outlet or in this case the light. 

Once the wire is connected feed the rest of the wire through the wall and mount the plate to the wall with the previously installed drywall anchors. 

Re-attach the fixtue to the plate with the two scews on either side, place a bulb inside the fixture and turn the power back on.

This may seem like an intimidating venture, but it really is pretty simple. If you are uncomfortable with electricity then this probably isn't for you. However if you know you're basic wiring, you should be good to go.

So, are you up for hardwiring some IKEA lights yourself? Anything I missed that you want to ask?


  1. So funny, Mike and I were at Ikea on Friday eyeing up those lights for over our future king sized headboard. Maybe I subconsciously remembered that I saw them in your bedroom? :)

  2. Great tutorial! I know many will find that useful. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Haha, too funny that you knew just the episode I was talking about! Love your blog.

  3. Great tutorial- I would be much too scared to attempt it but hubs might give it a whirl- love the look of hardwired sconces- high fives!!!

  4. Loved this post and all the photos... We need new lights in our bathroom!! (The existing sconces were wax candle sconces that got electrified when the bathroom was done over more than 30 years ago.) Maybe new lights in the future - but may need your help!

  5. we have those lights too! ikea rules! they look so great:)

  6. Awesome instructions! Thank you.

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