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#726305 - 09/02/12 07:58 AM Replacing light box with hanging light fixture
Joseph1 Offline
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Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 332
Loc: Oklahoma
Over the kitchen island, I have a light box with two fluorescent lights and wish to install a single hanging light fixture. This is on the first floor so I cannot access it from the top.

All the how-to's I have seen only address replacing an existing hanging fixture. Where do I start? I haven't picked out the fixture so do not know the weight, but assume I will need to somehow attach the electrical box to the ceiling joists, but this may require a cross-support between joists. Is there a way to do this without removing and replacing a large section of the ceiling drywall?

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#726311 - 09/02/12 10:07 AM Re: Replacing light box with hanging light fixture [Re: Joseph1]
dora Offline
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Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 21304
Loc: Somewhere under the sun
I'm not sure if I thorouly understand what you want to do, but if you want to replace the existing ceiling junction box with one that will hold more weight then yes you can usually install a cross brace box from below. You'd have to first remove the box that's there, though depends on what it's attached to. Is it nailed to the bottom or side of a joist, if so then there you could install a box like this , or is it an old work box that's installed between the joist? Do you have more than one junction box in the ceiling?

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#726316 - 09/02/12 12:34 PM Re: Replacing light box with hanging light fixture [Re: dora]
Able_Dog Online   content
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Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 35618
Loc: N Georgia
If the fixture is light he could probably get by with a light swag kit and a hook on a toggle behind the drywall and use the existing box. Or if the existing box is in the right place AND the fixture is light it could be attached to the existing box.

There are a lot of hanging lights that are very light in weight.

You agree?

This fixture is quite heavy and is on a swag kit with a hook on a toggle bolt behind drywall. It has been up for about 3 years, no problem.


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#726319 - 09/02/12 01:36 PM Re: Replacing light box with hanging light fixture [Re: Joseph1]
Bob_Fleming Online   content
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Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 28568
Loc: Ft Collins, CO USA
Well, I, too, have more questions than answers. I have taken out ceiling recessed fluorescent lights but the goal was to cover up the recessed "box" and use (usually) a can light.

So how high is the ceiling? How tall is the light fixture? Do you want the ceiling flat where the box was?

All this can usually be done from below, but you need to tell us more about what you want to do.

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#726321 - 09/02/12 02:03 PM Re: Replacing light box with hanging light fixture [Re: Bob_Fleming]
Joseph1 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 332
Loc: Oklahoma
There are two fluorescent lights, about a foot apart in the kitchen ceiling which is reachable with a short foot stool. There is no existing box to use. A new box is needed in a location centered between where the fluorescent lights are now.

Able Dog, the light fixture I have in mind would have only two lights and would not be nearly as heavy as the one in your picture. If I understand correctly, I could possibly use a toggle bolt and an existing box (maybe there is a box or two under the fluorescent lights but none is visible now. If I do not want to use a swag kit could I mount a box in the ceiling drywall and mount the light fixture to it (without using a cross brace box)?

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#726324 - 09/02/12 02:16 PM Re: Replacing light box with hanging light fixture [Re: Joseph1]
Bob_Fleming Online   content
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Registered: 06/28/01
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Obviously there is an existing electrical box for the fluorescent lights, and I suspect it is flush somewhere with the surface in the recessed area. I would expect to have to cut into the ceiling to access the wiring for an added electrical box for the new fixture.

Another question(!): Will it be ok with you to leave the fluorescent light recess in place? Personally, I would not like that; I would want the ceiling flush from wall to wall with the new light hanging from the new location.

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#726326 - 09/02/12 03:19 PM Re: Replacing light box with hanging light fixture [Re: Joseph1]
Joseph1 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 332
Loc: Oklahoma
Sorry, my description was not clear. The fluorescent lights are not recessed. They are the tube type mounted on the surface of the ceiling. They are inside a large light box which also would be removed.

Could I mount a box in the ceiling drywall and attach the light fixture to it (without using a cross brace box) and what maximum weight would it safely hold?

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#726327 - 09/02/12 03:24 PM Re: Replacing light box with hanging light fixture [Re: Joseph1]
rfm3 Offline
" The Duke "
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Registered: 05/30/04
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I know my two farthings worth is probably less than 2 farthings, but sounds like his situation is similar to some I have in my house. in my case a fluorescent fixture was mounted on a wall (bedroom and bath). When we replaced the bedroom one, all there was were the holes to attach the fixture and a hole or 3 where the wires came out from switch.

So could he just use one of those plastic new work boxes (I think that is the term) and attach that way?
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#726330 - 09/02/12 03:46 PM Re: Replacing light box with hanging light fixture [Re: Joseph1]
Able_Dog Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 35618
Loc: N Georgia
Quote:
Could I mount a box in the ceiling drywall and attach the light fixture to it (without using a cross brace box) and what maximum weight would it safely hold?


I don't think mounting a light fixture to a remodel box is a very good idea although it would probably work with a very light fixture. I think I'd get a light with a fairly large ceiling plate, then make the hole in the ceiling large enough to put a brace of some sort to mount the box to.

Or use a decorative plate to allow you to make a hole large enough to get a brace in there. Like these.

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#726336 - 09/02/12 04:59 PM Re: Replacing light box with hanging light fixture [Re: Joseph1]
Bob_Fleming Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 28568
Loc: Ft Collins, CO USA
Ok, you have a surface mount fluorescent light fixture. It is probably mounted over an electrical box but the box could be offset from where you want the new fixture. Since you don't know how well that electrical box is supported, I wouldn't recommend hanging a new fixture from it.

How about using a ceiling fan mount kit? This would be an electrical box with an included cross bar to support it. Cut the hole in the ceiling drywall where you want it and look. The fan mount kit is shoved up through the opening, rests on the drywall, and is expanded between two joists to provide support. I'm not describing this very well so look at one of those kits and read the directions.

You will have to run a cable from the existing box to the fan mount kit box, and you can do that before you fasten it in place.

I have used these fan mount kits many times to support the weight of a ceiling fan and they work well. May be overkill for the weight of your new fixture, but they are convenient to use.

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