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Old 01-16-2009, 08:36 PM   #1
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Installing a Lighting Fixture..confused??


I just purchased my first house and the people b4 me had a florescent light in the kitchen and it needs replaced. Surprisingly I took it down myself today hoping to buy a new one but I found something I have not encountered yet...

It was a very small hole with two wires sticking out and the fixture itself was just screwed into the stud. Im sure this is an elementary question but Im a chick with NO EXPERIENCE in this field

Now I am not sure what this type of wiring is called OR what type of fixture I need to be shopping for to make it compatible??? I have seen terms such as HARD WIRE and DIRECT WIRE but no definition on either one!! Please HELP!

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Old 01-16-2009, 08:48 PM   #2
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Installing a Lighting Fixture..confused??


You're probably referring to what's called a fluorescent wraparound light fixture. Most of these fixtures have either (2) or (4) fluorescent light holders. The wire feeding the light should either A) be physically attached to the fixture, or B) mounted directly below a light box using a chase nipple as a wireway from the box to the light.

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Old 01-16-2009, 08:52 PM   #3
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Installing a Lighting Fixture..confused??


Hi whodey44, and welcome to the forum!

I'm not an electrician, but have a lot of experience with electrical.

What you describe sounds like the way they used to hang a fixture in the old days of Knob & Tube wiring. Outlet boxes were often not used for lighting fixtures, so the wires just came out of a hole in the ceiling or wall and went into the fixture.

What you need to do is cut open the ceiling enough to expose the wires or cable to see what you have.
You need to install the proper outlet box for the new fixture, unless the fixture itself will allow the cable to be brought in and properly secured with a cable connector. Fluorescent fixtures often have knockouts for direct cable entry, but you cannot bring just the wires into the fixture (or outlet box), you need to bring a cable with the proper connector.

If possible, take some photos and post them here.

There are a lot of things that could make this install tricky for a DIY.
If you have any doubts, call a licensed electrician!
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:56 PM   #4
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Installing a Lighting Fixture..confused??


There is definitely no box above the hole. All I see is the stud and the wires being fed from a light that is above the kitchen sink (im assuming)... the house is only 10 years old but I don't understand why it looks so unprofessional... isn't there a way to re-attach another light without putting a box in and frying myself?? since there was no box for this one?
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:02 PM   #5
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Installing a Lighting Fixture..confused??


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Originally Posted by whodey44 View Post
There is definitely no box above the hole. All I see is the stud and the wires being fed from a light that is above the kitchen sink (im assuming)... the house is only 10 years old but I don't understand why it looks so unprofessional... isn't there a way to re-attach another light without putting a box in and frying myself?? since there was no box for this one?
Yes, if you have enough cable and wire poking through to attach a cable clamp.
Then, you just need to buy a fixture that has its own knockout holes for the cable. A strip fluorescent fixture is most likely to meet this requirement.

Under no circumstances should you splice wires inside the ceiling or wall without a junction box, and if you do have to install a box for a splice, you will have to allow access to that box from outside the wall.

Do you have access to the cable between the switch and the light?
If so, the best option is probably to pull a new cable from the switch to the light.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:10 PM   #6
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Installing a Lighting Fixture..confused??


There is about 8 inches of wire hanging out. Can you tell me what that would be described as on a box?? would it be called direct wire?

Im sure I do have access to the wire from the switch... I just cannot figure out how Im supposed to manuever it thru the ceiling and down the wall without getting caught up on a bunch of crap in the ceiling
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:49 PM   #7
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Installing a Lighting Fixture..confused??


Are you adding a switch for this light, just replacing a fixture, or both?

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