PDA

View Full Version : How To Install a Light in the Ceiling Without a Junction Box


MorrisCody
08-14-2014, 09:47 AM
I would like to install a light above the dining room table in the apartment Iím renting, but there is no junction box. I know there are lights on long chains that are designed to be hung from the ceiling by a hook, but the ones Iíve seen are really unattractive. Is it possible to attach a light that was meant to use a junction box to the ceiling and have a cord that runs across the ceiling and down the wall to an outlet? If so, what parts would I need?

beowulff
08-14-2014, 09:55 AM
You can get a fan Hanger bar kit (http://www.amazon.com/Westinghouse-Lighting-0110000-Saf-T-Brace-Ceiling/dp/B00027EWNW/ref=pd_sim_hi_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=15W3JZYBC80X9YK29ZWB).
This installs from below, and gives you a box to hang the light from.

MorrisCody
08-14-2014, 09:59 AM
The hanger bar is an interesting solution, but I would still need to get power to it. I'm not sure I'd be able to without doing significant damage, and I'd like to get at least some of my security deposit back.

Osiris the 1st
08-14-2014, 10:04 AM
I wouldn't recomend it. Just get a hanging lamp that plugs-in. Make sure the hook or eyebolt you install in the ceiling can take the weight and is in a stud, not just the ceiling drywall.

Osiris the 1st
08-14-2014, 10:10 AM
With that hanger bar you'd have to cut out a section of your ceiling to mount it between two ceiling joists. At that point you may as well just add a switch and pull wire as well. And unless all that is done by licensed contractors with full permission from your landlord you would at the least lose the security deposit.

johnpost
08-14-2014, 10:33 AM
you could keep looking for a better looking lamp designed to be hung on a hook (the hook should go into a ceiling joist).

you could use a lamp intended to mount in a junction box. buy a junction box and attach this on the surface into a ceiling joist ( two wood screws). you will also need a cable clamp (if a metal box), a mounting bar (if the ceiling fixture needs it), a cover plate with a center hole (if using a mounting bar ). also you will need a cord long enough to reach a receptacle from the junction box, a plug, wire nuts to make the connections in the junction box, picture hanging things (3M Command are such that don't damage the surface) to support the cord.

attach junction box on the surface into a ceiling joist ( two wood screws). attach a cable clamp (if a metal box). attach pictures hooks. run the cord from junction box to near receptacle (don't plug in yet). make the wire connections in the junction box with the wire nuts, wrap with a little electrical tape to keep secure. attach fixture to junction box. attach plug to cord. plug in.

Valgard
08-14-2014, 10:41 AM
An alternative would be to use cable raceways - there are matching junction boxes so you can install a round box on the ceiling (you will need appropriate fasteners to hold the round box to the ceiling joists - don't hang something heavy from the ceiling using drywall anchors), then run a relatively low-profile plastic wiring channel from the box, across the ceiling, down the wall and end by an outlet.

Wiremold Cordmate is one brand, stores like Home Depot carry it. Make sure the round box is rated for an overhead light.

The only repairs you'll need to do when you take it all down is to spackle in the screw holes.

beowulff
08-14-2014, 12:46 PM
With that hanger bar you'd have to cut out a section of your ceiling to mount it between two ceiling joists. At that point you may as well just add a switch and pull wire as well. And unless all that is done by licensed contractors with full permission from your landlord you would at the least lose the security deposit.

No, the bar mounts through the hole cut for the box. No other drywall cutting is required.

MorrisCody
08-14-2014, 12:57 PM
No, the bar mounts through the hole cut for the box. No other drywall cutting is required.

I meant that I would have to cut more holes to get power to the box.

beowulff
08-14-2014, 01:05 PM
I meant that I would have to cut more holes to get power to the box.

Well my idea was to use the box to hand the light, and then "swag" the power cord to a wall outlet. Mount a junction box on top of the ceiling box, and mount the light to it.

FluffyBob
08-14-2014, 11:43 PM
Yes you should be able to modify a pendant or lamp you already like. Take a look (http://www.homedepot.com/p/compare/?errorURL=ProductAttributeErrorView&langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053&prodComp_0=100201339&prodComp_1=100192701&prodComp_2=204836008&N=5yc1vZc7po) at your local store. Lamp wire, in line switches and other various parts are all available at hardware and/or lighting stores. Most pendants and hanging lamps meant for mounting on boxes could easily be converted to plug-in with available hardware. A pendant for example usually is already wired with a long length of lamp wire for height adjustment. You can replace this wire with a longer length. The connections are usually just crimped connectors with a heat shrunk wrapper - both easily available. The base of the pendant will either have a strain relief or simply use a knot in the cable before it passes through to provide strain relief.

The important issue is to make sure any junction is inside proper housing with strain relief to prevent shorts or exposed conductors. As long as you stick to proper hardware intended for the purpose this shouldn't be a problem.

This is not without risk, if you put something together poorly or improperly someone could get hurt or you could cause a fire.

Gatopescado
08-15-2014, 12:49 AM
As a landlord, I wouldn't recommend any drywall cutting.

MorrisCody
08-15-2014, 08:43 AM
Yes you should be able to modify a pendant or lamp you already like. Take a look (http://www.homedepot.com/p/compare/?errorURL=ProductAttributeErrorView&langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053&prodComp_0=100201339&prodComp_1=100192701&prodComp_2=204836008&N=5yc1vZc7po) at your local store. Lamp wire, in line switches and other various parts are all available at hardware and/or lighting stores. Most pendants and hanging lamps meant for mounting on boxes could easily be converted to plug-in with available hardware. A pendant for example usually is already wired with a long length of lamp wire for height adjustment. You can replace this wire with a longer length. The connections are usually just crimped connectors with a heat shrunk wrapper - both easily available. The base of the pendant will either have a strain relief or simply use a knot in the cable before it passes through to provide strain relief.

The important issue is to make sure any junction is inside proper housing with strain relief to prevent shorts or exposed conductors. As long as you stick to proper hardware intended for the purpose this shouldn't be a problem.

This is not without risk, if you put something together poorly or improperly someone could get hurt or you could cause a fire.
Thank you for a very through answer.

md2000
08-15-2014, 10:17 AM
Well my idea was to use the box to hand the light, and then "swag" the power cord to a wall outlet. Mount a junction box on top of the ceiling box, and mount the light to it.

Regular in-the-wall power cable cannot be run on the surface. You can of course run extension cords or lamp leads up walls and across ceilings.

Note that the tacky "swag lamps" usually thread their cable through a decorator chain to prevent strain and chafing - the weak spot in a plain wire (besides ugly) is the spot where it attaches to the hook and does a 90-degree from the ceiling to down the wall. This is likely against code or unsafe because the hook might eventually wear through the insulation.

Wall-mounted actual wiring by code must be that armoured cable or conduit (plastic or metal) - a cable race may not be code. But then the point where it meets the existing electrical system will not be up to code either - you can't just use a plug end like you can with a swag lamp wire.

As for mounting, what's the problem?
You can use an octagon box. For appearances, there are pretty plastic ones too and you can paint it. As others said, mount by screwing to a ceiling joist with screws more than long enough to get a grip in the wood through the gyproc board. Most fixtures attach directly to octagon boxes.

Use a swag lamp cord, and all you have to do to repair it when you leave is take it down, cover the two holes from the octagon box and one from the hook in the ceiling by the wall, and a little paint.