Replacing lamp holder with socket & LED strips... maybe


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Old 10-21-17, 07:21 AM
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Replacing lamp holder with socket & LED strips... maybe

I have a basement that was pretty much destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. It was gutted wall to wall, ceiling to floor; everything electrical was replaced from scratch from the meter panel onward (excepting wiring that was above the ceiling). The basement had been semi-finished; now it is unfinished and will remain that way.
For lighting, the electrician put in five lamp holders of this sort, except for near the washer/dryer, where there's a florescent light. The lamp holders and florescent light are on separate circuits/switches. The lamp holders were wired in simple series, switch to light to light, etc.

One of the problems here is that the basement ceiling is very low--as low as 73-74" to unfinished rafters (90+% of the ceiling is unfinished). The lamp holders are attached to ceiling boxes nailed into the side of a rafter, more or less one of these. A while ago, I used one of those socket converters to add an electrical outlet to one of the sockets so I could tap off and run over a light to a small tool room I'd built. That, of course, made the already low bulb even lower, so I detached the nails and raised the box three or so inches higher on the rafter side, the highest I could move it without detaching the wiring where it was stapled to the rafter side.

Not only is the bulb still too low (anyone over about 5'9" or so will likely bang into it if they don't watch out), the five lights don't adequately light the basement.

My thought is to replace at least that particular lamp holder with an outlet. That way, not only will the plug-in light I have going off to the little tool room fit better, instead of the bulb I can have a series of LED strips, spreading them around that area (the worst-lit of the five).

I can't think of anything that'll fit better. A fluorescent fixture would have to be recessed within the rafters, so I'd have the same problem with lack of spread (there are also lots of pipes and other things that block spread). Attached is a picture of the area; I couldn't get a shot with the light on (it blew out the area) and with it off, there are too many ceiling-obstacles to the flash to get it well-lit. I put a red circle around the bulb in question.

Any better ideas?
 
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Old 10-21-17, 08:12 AM
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You could use something like this:

Halo SLD 5 in. and 6 in. Matte White Integrated LED Low Profile Recessed Surface Mount Disk Light 90 CRI, 3000K Soft White-SLD606930WHR - The Home Depot.

Install an additional box near one of the lights for the electrical outlet.
 
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Old 10-21-17, 04:57 PM
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My concern with that item is that with how low the ceilings are, I don't think it would illuminate the area--it's almost 400 sqft (approx 17x23), and with an irregular ceiling (pipes` and the like) to further block light spread. It might be bright underneath and immediately around the area, but not much further away.

The product info says "great for 8-10 feet ceilings"; if that's the optimal ceiling height, I'm way below that here. That's why I was considering the LED strips: I'd have the light source spread all over. I just don't know if that would mean, rather than a bright light limited to one small area, I'd have a lot of relatively dim light spread around a large area.
 
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Old 10-22-17, 04:29 PM
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Just to further illuminate (hah!) the issue, here's the fixture from the opposite view at just above eye level (I'm 6')--due to a trick of perspective, that pipe blocking view of the bulb (and making sure the brightness of the bulb didn't wash out the shot) isn't actually at head level, but just above. This is why a single light source right up against the ceiling is a problem.
 
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