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Old 10-29-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
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Fireplace Mantel Lighting


Hello.

I am in the process of finishing off my basement. For my fireplace, I have installed an 8" x 8" solid oak mantel (reclaimed barn wood). It is truly the centerpiece of the room.

The wall above and below it will be tiled..and there will be one tile under the mantel inscribed with the Family Crest. The problem is, the mantle casts a pretty good shadow on that area and it won't "pop" like I want it to.

Ideally, I would love to install some flush mount lights on the bottom of the mantle. I know I would have to core out some holes and it would be tough. My worry is that there really wouldnt be any airflow once the lights were installed, as the top of the light would be up against solid wood. (if that is even possible).

Any thoughts or ideas or products would be welcomed!

THanks,
Dan

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Old 10-29-2012, 04:20 PM   #2
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Fireplace Mantel Lighting


You can probably improvise an LED installation that will be plenty bright enough but also produce very little heat and take up very little space.

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Old 10-29-2012, 05:07 PM   #3
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Fireplace Mantel Lighting


Some track light could be aimed at the mantle.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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Fireplace Mantel Lighting


Or recessed cans with eyeball trim rings.
I'd be concerned with installing anything plastic on the bottom side of a mantel.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:01 PM   #5
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Fireplace Mantel Lighting


They make a LED tape that would probably work, but it wouldn't look very good. Maybe they make something to cover it, but you'll have to do some looking.

http://www.elementalled.com/flexible...-the-foot.html
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:23 PM   #6
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Fireplace Mantel Lighting


Put in some white leds,
And hide them behind some ornate wood trim.
Very little heat.
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Just use a wall wart to power them.
easy as !
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:27 AM   #7
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Fireplace Mantel Lighting


Thanks for all the ideas. What do you all think about maybe a direction "puck" led light under there? If I could core out a hole (according to mfg sizing) 1.5" or whatever it calls for. Then at top of the olde (3" inside the mantle) angle a drill bit to the back of the mantle, which would allow me to run a wire behind the wall over to a led switch?

Would I need to leave some dead air space? For example, if the fixture is 2" tall, core out say 3" leaving an inch of "breathing" room? I could bore out the hole for the power a little bigger than needed to allow any hot air to excape through the top...

Just thinking out loud.

Dan
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:54 AM   #8
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Fireplace Mantel Lighting


It wouldn't breathe like that. (Not that an led really needs to) Another option for the led tape mentioned above would be to route a dado in the underside of your mantle and recess it. You only really need a couple watts so it shouldn't be too hard to find something led based that you can conceal.

Good luck an show us pics!
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #9
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Evstar,

Do you think my idea would be safe or should I just go a whole different route? And if so, any ideas on how to remove a cylinder core of wood. I know a hole saw would cut the diameter...but how in the heck to I bust that core out of there?

Before I install anything I should run a fire for a day and see what the temp is on the underside of that mantle. I don't think it will get too hot but better safe than sorry.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:17 PM   #10
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Fireplace Mantel Lighting


My gut reaction is that if it's too hot for the puck light it's too hot for the wood.

Don't know how big Forstner bits come. But that would give you a flat hole. Else a hole saw and chisel would do the job. Drill it an inch at a time and Split the core with the chisel and dig it out. You just don't need to leave a lot head room above. It's not necessary and i don't think you would gain much in the way of heat dissipation. Just enough room for the wire so you can pull it down again if necessary.

Note- I'm not an electrician or a fireplace specialist.

Last edited by Evstarr; 10-30-2012 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:54 PM   #11
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To bust out the inner core of wood,
just use a wood chisel and chisel out from the centre,
it should come out in lumps,
depending on how hard the wood is !

Or you could use a spade bit
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:50 AM   #12
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So far, this is what I have found that I think would work.

http://www.lightinguniverse.com/unde...ductItemsImage

Not sure if they make a spade bit or forstner bit in that size...I will refer to the google.

The thing I am not sure of is how the light would stay put. I assum it has some kind of clip system for sheetrock but that obviously won't work in my application.

Opinions?

Thanks again!
Dan
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:19 PM   #13
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For bigger holes try this -
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To fasten in the puck light
just use a small screw or nail
thru the side of the light
it doesnt have to be long
6mm would be fine.
or 3/8 inch for imperial.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:31 PM   #14
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Well..they do make forstner bits in 1 7/8" which is the diameter of the hole I need. I can horizontally drill over to the cored out area to run the wiring so it would be completely hidden. Now I just need to find a place to put transformer. If I had known, I would have ran cable before I sheetrocked but I am way past that point.

Maybe a false vent in the wall that would house the transformer?
Maybe try to fish a wire back to my control room (would be difficult, not impossible)

Dan
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:00 AM   #15
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Fireplace Mantel Lighting


Did you find a solution? I have the same problem.

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