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NickWa 11-22-2011 10:03 AM

Retrofitting pot lights finished first floor ceiling
In our living room, we recently scraped the stipple ceiling (the best we could) and had someone come in to mud and sand the ceiling in preparation for paint. I then primed and painted the ceiling.

I want to add some pot lights to the ceiling with 6 lights in a rectangular pattern (2 rows of 3). There are currently no ceiling fixtures, there is crown moulding, and there is 1 switch which switches a receptacle on/off (which we have a lamp plugged into).

The lights will run 3 in 2 rows with both rows running perpendicular to the joists.

1. Is the easiest way to run wire between them by cutting a 6" wide strip between the first and last in each row then wiring through joists and replacing strip, patching, sanding, painting?

2. Should I run my wire to the swich via the same joist "channel" that resides above the switch and hope to find top plate without having to remove crown moulding then drill through top plate and fish cable to switch?

Just Bill 11-23-2011 06:41 AM

Someone that is really good at it, can run wiring for those thru the pot holes, without extra cutting. But getting from the ceiling to the wall usually needs access holes. If you insist on DIY, and don't know the secrets, your method works.

NickWa 11-23-2011 06:45 AM

I am just not sure how to do it through the holes without using a flexi-bit. Each span will cross at least 2 joists. Ideally one could see the outside of both joists through the 2 holes but would still be unaware of what is in the channel between these 2 joists. Could drill like I said, with a flexi-bit but I really have no idea what runs through the roof (if anything) and where.

Ron6519 11-25-2011 03:51 PM

Using a long 4' bit will get you through the joists to connect all the lights. It will also get you through the top plate at the switch location. The tricky part will be connecting the switch leg to the lights without opening the ceiling.
This would have been a lot easier if you ran the electric first, then finished the ceiling.

Bmelo 11-26-2011 09:25 PM

You can snake from light to light no problem if the are perpendicular to the joists. Then when you jump from row to row, you should be able to snake between the joists and the Sheetrock.

Ron6519 11-27-2011 07:36 AM


Originally Posted by Bmelo (Post 779622)
Then when you jump from row to row, you should be able to snake between the joists and the Sheetrock.

What do you mean by this?

Bmelo 11-27-2011 01:48 PM

I was saying to nickwa, to save him from ripping down a 6" strip. You can easily snake the lights that are all in the same joist bay. Then when you jump from one row of light to the other you should also be able to snake, just cut out the holes for lights and you should be able to snake between the joists and Sheetrock, next to strapping (assuming that it is a somewhat newer house that was constructed like that. The hard part would definatly be getting from the last light down to switch.

Ron6519 11-27-2011 02:40 PM

I've never worked on a house with strapping attached to the joists. Maybe it's a regional thing.

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