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Thursday, December 20, 2012

How to Install: IKEA ALANG Ceiling Lamp


We get a lot of traffic to our blog through the search inquiry: 'how to install IKEA ALANG'.  Interestingly enough, we had some questions ourselves when we installed the larger 18" version in our laundry room several months ago.  We were about to install two of the smaller 14" ALANG lights in our upstairs hallway, & figured it would be a good opportunity to create a photo tutorial.

If you've ever put anything together from IKEA you'll know all about their lovely pictorial instructions that they include.  You may (or may not) find them easy to follow.  Hopefully the IKEA instructions, coupled with this post should get the job done!

First, make sure you have all of the pieces:
Of course, you also want to make sure the light switch & breaker are turned off before you begin.  

Unscrew the old fixture from the ceiling plate (don't lose those screws).  
You will be left with three wires typically- we had 1 copper, 1 white, & 1 black:

Once you have all the components out, you can begin to put the ALANG light together.
Start by fitting the sockets into the white plastic fixture:

Secure the white wires into the slots provided.  We had to push fairly hard to get them to stay in place:

Next, attach the 3 magnetic pieces into the slots: 

Now you need to string the white wire through the metal plate (metal hook facing down & green/yellow wire up).  We forgot to take a photo at this point, but these IKEA instructions illustrate that step:

Next, you need to connect the correct wires together.  
The IKEA directions illustrate the fixture having 1 black, 1 white, & 1 striped wire:

However, the actual fixture has 2 white wires - not 1 black & 1 white.  We knew that the striped wire represented the green/yellow wire & should be connected to our copper wire (ground wire).  However, we weren't sure if the 2 white wires were different from one another.  Why would IKEA show 1 black & 1 white wire if they were the same thing?  Did this confuse anyone else also?

So we did a little research (AKA-call dad & search Google) & this is what we came up with:
Apparently, if the manufacturer provides a fixture with 2 white wires then it shouldn't matter which wire goes where.  It seems that the way the electricity flows (polarity) does not matter in this type of fixture.  As long as the ground wires (copper & green) are connected together you should be good to go.

[Clearly, we are not electricians- just homeowners trying to DIY.  If you are unsure about your electrical situation at home and/or it looks totally different than our set-up, you should definitely consult a professional.]

Next, secure all the twist on wire connectors tightly:

Then gently shove all the wires back into the electrical box & screw the metal plate back on with your existing screws: 

 After the plate is secure, hang the plastic zip tie from the metal hook.  Make sure the side with the ridges is facing the correct way: 

Now you can go ahead & slide the zip tie through the opening on the white plastic fixture: 

Next, run the round plastic piece up the zip tie & flush to the white piece to secure it:

Tuck the end of the zip tie into the slot & add two light bulbs.  
At this point, you should also test the light out before you put the shade on:

To finish, simply line up the 3 magnetic spots on the shade to the 3 magnetic pieces on the fixture....
and voila!

Here's a little Before & After action:
So much better!

 If you'd like to see the larger 18" version we installed in our laundry room click here.
Hopefully, if you had similar questions as we did, you will find this post helpful.
If you have any questions, please let us know!

Mel & Nader
:)

27 comments:

  1. We have that light in our nursery!

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  2. I'm curious - what wattage of CFL bulb did you use in the fixture? I just bought this lamp, but passed on the IKEA LED bulbs because I figured I would just use CFLs or buy LEDs elsewhere.

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    1. We used two 20 watt CFL bulbs in the smaller Alang fixtures (in our hallway) & three 20 watt CFL bulbs in the larger fixture (in our laundry room).

      The max wattage recommended on the box is 20 watts.

      Hope that helps!
      :)

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  3. Thanks Mel & Nader for nice & detailed information of installing Ikea Alang Ceiling Lamp. Now anyone can install Ikea Alang Ceiling Lamp by his own. But I am little bit concern about connecting electrical cables. Isn’t risky ?

    led recessed ceiling lights

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    1. No problem! We had some questions about the wires ourselves, so we figured there had to be other people out there too...

      In regards to connecting electrical wires: as long as you turn off your breaker you should be good - there is no electricity running through the fixture. But it is risky if you only turn the light switch off. You could also buy an AC Voltage Detector to be extra safe.

      :)

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  4. I haven't purchased this yet but I have to thank you ahead of time because I was so excited but then I remembered the pain IKEA is & my boyfriend isn't the handiest (he's the chef though) haha so I have to take on the handy girl role. Your instructions where just what I needed thank you SO SO MUCH!!!!

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    1. I'm sooo glad that you found it helpful! We were so confused with the whole wire situation & the IKEA instructions didn't really help at all...let me know how it goes!

      Maybe your boyfriend can cook dinner while you do the install - perfect combo! lol

      Good luck!
      Mel
      :)

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  5. I was so excited to see your tutorial, because I have a question I KNOW you can answer. We installed the large Alang last night, but my husband is freaked because of the way it holds the bulbs against the ceiling. He says I'm going to burn down the house with my design aesthetic! egads. Any insight on this design versus the design shown above?

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    1. We actually installed the large Alang in our laundry room & we haven't had any issues with it thus far (check out our Laundry Room Makeover post - there is a photo of Nader installing ours). While the bulbs are close to the ceiling, they do not actually touch it (they are @ least 1/2 inches away from it). Are your bulbs actually touching the ceiling? If so, I can totally understand his concerns! Maybe try smaller bulbs if that's the case. I hope that helps! :)

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  6. I'm glad I came across your tutorial! I've been wanting to get at least three of these for my house and have been scared about the electrical assembly but your tutorial made me a little bolder =)

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  7. Hi Kristin! That's good to hear, because if we can do it, anybody can - good luck! :)

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  8. Thanks so much for this! I installed this light today and was con fuddled about the wires. Hit the switch and it worked! No more builder's boob light! Yay!

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    1. Glad we could help Amy! IKEA should really include more details in the instructions for this light - it seems to confuse so many people! Thanks for reading :)

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  9. You did a great job on this DIY project, Mel! It’s good that you did some research first before you started connecting the wires. This is the most critical part, because one mistake can lead to a short circuit or other electrical hazards. Anyway, your ceiling looks even more beautiful after the new lamp was installed. Cheers!

    Bryan Hubbard @ Douthit Electrical

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  10. Only the last light in the wiring sequence turns on. The light came with a junction box attached to the two white cables but there is no ground wire. Am I missing something here? Why won't the first two lights turn on?

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    1. Hmm....the IKEA fixture should definitely come with a yellow/green ground wire as far as I know. I would check with IKEA or ask an electrician about that one :)

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  11. Any body else find the plate was bigger than the existing opening and the screws won't line up? Considering drilling holes in the plate, thoughts?

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  12. One of the white wires in the Alang connects to the socket base - this should be hot (connect to black). The other connects to the socket thread (side of socket) - this should be neutral (connect to white). You are much less likely to electrocute yourself when changing bulbs if the socket base is hot vs. the socket thread. Since the Alang socket is mostly plastic you probably won't shock yourself even if it is wired incorrectly.

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  13. Thank you so much for this tutorial post!! We ordered the Alang light in both sizes and were able to install it ourselves with the help of this post!

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    1. So glad it helped Margaret! Thanks for reading! :)

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  14. For the base of this light - is the shiny side inside or out?! Thank you Sue Greece

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    1. Hi Sue! Are you referring to the round plastic light diffuser piece? If so, the shiny side is facing up towards the ceiling. Hope that helps :)

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  15. I think the design has changed I don't have a metal plate within my pack, I have 3 wires black, brown, and green/yellow hanging from the ceiling and only 2 connections L and N to put them in, I am confused.

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    1. It's possible the design has changed - we purchased ours in 2012. I would ask a pro if you're not sure. Sorry we can't be more helpful, electrical is not our strong suit.

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  16. hey there!

    super helpful post! thank you! we are looking at purchasing the larger light for our sons room (average size). any idea if this light would provide sufficient lighting?

    any help would be appreciated. thanks!

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    1. Thanks for reading! You know, that's a good question....we have the larger 18" version in our windowless laundry room, & while it provides sufficient light, it's not super bright by any means. It could work in an average size room, but again, it's not going to be very bright (in my humble opinion). Hope that helps! :)

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    2. thank you so much for your response! xo

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