Convert Fluorescent Tubes to Recessed Lights


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Old 06-30-14, 07:10 PM
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Convert Fluorescent Tubes to Recessed Lights

Hello All,

I just found this site today and have been digging around but have come up at a loss for an answer. I recently bought a house from the 50s and am working on updating the living room. The living room had 16 fluorescent tube lights around the top of it (they were hidden behind crown holding that was about 6 inches from the ceiling). Opposites sides of the room were controlled by their own switch, both switches were located at the same spot on the wall. We have the lights removed and came to realize that there is no ground wires for any of the lights or the wiring.

We want to run one switch to several LED recessed lights and the other switch to a ceiling fan (no light). We also want to convert the light switch for the recessed lights to a dimmer.

We want to install something like this (I think this is the right item, Lowe's website is down):
Utilitech Pro White 4-in LED Remodel Recessed Light Kit


The fan we are looking at is something like this:
Hampton Bay Aeratron 50 in. Indoor White 2 Blade Ceiling Fan-E502-WH at The Home Depot

We figured with the LED and the low power requirements of the fan that we wouldn't have an issue with the amount of power on the "circuit" vs what was there before. But we are unsure about the need for a ground wire. I seen things that say if the light switch is hooked to a metal box it is fine. Then I saw that the box has to be metal all the way to the breaker (it isn't). Then I read something that said it is fine just not the preferred way.

I've attached a picture of the switches in the current wiring setup. The current wire comes from the basement to the switch were it breaks off into 2 separate lines to the attic. One for opposite sides of the room.

So what can I do? Can I install the lights, fan, and new switches without the ground wire? If not, besides running a new wire to the breaker is there anything I can do?
 
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Old 06-30-14, 07:54 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Yes, you should be able to install the LED lights without a ground. The ground wire is only there for safety and does not carry current except during in a fault. You may have a ground if the wiring method is AC cable.

You didn't mention anything about the fan other then which one you want. Is there a fan installed now? If so, is there a fan rated box?
 
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Old 06-30-14, 08:32 PM
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There is not a fan installed now. I was going to install a box for it. Since i have access from the attic would it be better to install one that mounts to joist or just the brace kit version?
 
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Old 06-30-14, 09:51 PM
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I'm kind of partial to the brace kit. In your case you can install it all from above.

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Old 07-01-14, 04:46 AM
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If your circuit is ungrounded then it can't be extended. You need to determine if the circuit is grounded by taking a tester (other then a non-contact) and read between the metal box and hot wire. If you get 120 volts, it is grounded.
 
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Old 07-01-14, 06:30 AM
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Many 4" recessed fixtures are not rated IC for insulation contact. Using non-IC fixtures where you should have insulation will result in large holes with constant energy leakage.
 
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Old 07-01-14, 07:50 AM
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Now that Lowe's website is back I can confirm the light I mentioned is the correct one and that it is rated for insulation contact. As a side note I think it might be time to replace the insulation that is between the attic and main floor (we have a mostly unfinished attic, really just sub floor and a random closet or two). The insulation looks to be original and for the most part pretty flat.

I will have to check the grounding of the case when I get home from work but I'm pretty sure that the main floor is not grounded. During the home inspection the inspector noted that main floor sockets were not grounded but that the basement and attic were. So I am guessing the light switch is not grounded either.

Am I really extending it? I almost see it as a reduction since I'm reducing from what was previously attached.
 
 

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