Remounting ceiling lights after installing drop ceilings


Old 10-22-06, 07:02 PM
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Remounting ceiling lights after installing drop ceilings

We have an old house with very little insulation. We just gutted one room and installed insulation in the walls but that room had once been a porch and the ceiling was only the original wood that you see on the underside of old porch roofs and was then covered by strips of wood and ceiling tiles.

We installed a drop ceiling with enough room to put in fiberglass insulation but we are stuck as to how to remount the flush mount ceiling fixtures.

Do we build some type of wooden box that would screw into the old ceiling and reach down to the new one and attach the light to that or is there some other way to do this?

Someone mentioned attaching them to the frame that holds the ceiling tiles and running wires up to the old ceiling but the lights are round and that doesn't sound like a good suggestion to us.

All my research has only covered replacing tiles with fluorescent lighting or installing recessed lights.
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Old 10-22-06, 07:54 PM
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Handy Sandy, Heres a Dandy solution.

They sell what are known as "bar" boxes. These are boxes that attach to a ceiling bar wich in turn attaches to the ceiling grid (ceiling tile frame). From this box you run a wire to the existing ceiling box, and with a cover and proper connectors, wire into the existing wireing. essentialy extending the old light location to the new.

So give a little more info on what you have now. IE; distance between new and old ceiling, type of old box, (square,round etc.) type of wire, and age of house, with that we can probably guide you closer.
Old 10-23-06, 11:38 AM
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Re: Request for more information

Thank You for your reply, lectriclee,

At the moment I can only say that the distance between the old and new, drop ceiling, is 3 1/2" - 4". Just enough to install R-13 insulation.
The house was built sometime in the 1920's. The front porch/room conversion happened about 50 yrs ago.
The wire is either 10/2 or 12/2, I am not sure which until we get in there and start taking things apart. As is the case of the shape of the existing box. Again, I am not sure what shape it
is because the old lights are still in place.
The ceiling panel was left out where the lights go.
There is one more thing that might simplify the installation...the new lights have connection wires that are 5 1/4" long which should be long enough to attach to the existing wires. They also have the crossbar to attach to the box.
Would we be able to install the "bar boxes", (which would support the lights), run the electric wires from the lights through a knock out in that box and up to the existing box?
Actually, that sounds redundant but I guess we would still need the box on the bar to use the cross piece to hold the light at the new ceiling height.

Also, should that part of the ceiling grid be reinforced with wire hangers to the ceiling? The new lights are about 4 lb each.
Old 10-23-06, 11:47 AM
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Extension boxes

If you're going to remount themin the same location - they do make extension boxes that might get the mount down to the new ceiling.
Old 10-30-06, 04:14 PM
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Still trying to lower lights

Thanks for the helpful suggestions.

We found the extension boxes but it still didn't reach far enough down to the new ceiling.
We just found the correct bar-box to use for the cross pieces of the ceiling and we are going to try that now. We found them in the drop ceiling section of the 2nd "home center" that we were able to get to.
They look like they should work!

Here's hoping.

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