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Need to move hanging kitchen light

328 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  bimfi
I apologize if this subject has been addressed before. I have a hanging light fixture in the dining area of my kitchen. I have owned the house since it was built in 2006. The position of the fixture was not an issue in the past, but we have decided to replace the existing kitchen table with a permanently mounted island for dining and food preparation.
The existing light fixture is off center by about 16 or so inches. We want a new light fixture that would be longer so that it would illuminate more of the table top. I am NOT a certified electrician, and I have a great respect for electricity in that we seldom interact with each other.

I probably know what I must do to center the fixture, but am hoping that there might be an easier solution. I thought about swagging the new fixture over, but the weight of the new fixture that we will need might be too heavy for a swag hook. If I did this I would definitely need to have the swag hook screwed into a ceiling joist rather than a spring toggle bolt.
If I did it the proper way, that would probably mean snaking romex from the existing ceiling junction over to where it should go. That would also mean cutting a new hole in the ceiling, securing the new junction box to the joists, then patching up the old box, mudding it and painting it.

Or, I could hire someone else to to it. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Would you be in the same joist space? Any chance you would find the cable to the old light there?

You could install a new box that would support a fan and just use that to support the swag.
You have answered your own question. That is the only two ways to do it. As far as the second one, you have to leave the box accessible in the ceiling and it couldn't be covered up.
You could use a fan rated bar hanger to mount the new light and use a cover plate over the existing box to save a patch job.

How much room is above the new location?
If I am reading you correctly, jbfan, the existing junction box cannot be dry walled over due to code? That makes sense but will look noticeably out of place. Thanks!
I will relate this story and connect it to how you think a blank cover on a ceiling box will look.

When I was young back in the 50s, we used to go to northern Maine (Aroostook County) every summer to visit my grandparents and other relatives. This was in the days before the Maine Turnpike extended past Portland. One of the towns we passed through was Lincoln, Maine. Lincoln's most notable feature was a paper mill: in those days there few few environmental controls and restrictions. This gave Lincoln its nickname- Stinkin' Lincoln. The smell was unbelievable. I asked my Dad how anyone could stand to live in such a place? He said; "Son, if you placed a turd right on the end of your nose, it would not before long you would not smell it all".

And it will be the same with that blank cover on your ceiling.
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If the old ceiling box has no wires in it (he is moving the cable over to the new fixture??), then it doesn't need to be accessible.
The OP indicated that he would have to snake romex "from the existing ceiling junction over to where it should go". That says to me he would be extending the circuit, meaning the box would still be in service.
A little more work and skill as you have mentioned, but if you are up to it; Abandon the current line, remove it, if it's not stapled and the junction box, and run a new line from the switch to the new junction box location. No extra junction box to worry about, if new fixture is heavy/ceiling fan, etc., use a supported brackets type junction box, patch holes and repaint.

You don't need to be a certified electrician to do this, there are plenty on this diy forum to help walk you through it so you are code compliant. Just a suggestion.

However, I do agree with you, definitely hire a certified electrician if you think it's beyond your skills and experience.
What is above the ceiling ? If its attic, crawl up there and see how the wire is routed to the existing fixture. Maybe you get lucky and you are looking to move the fixture towards the direction the wire is coming from.
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I apologize for not being more specific. The house is a two story. The kitchen eating area where the light fixture is, is on the first floor. I could possibly cut open the flooring directly above the fixture, but choose not to do so. The option to remove the existing romex from the original box seems like more work than I care to get into. The romex is probably stapled in to the ceiling joists and trying to find where it leads to would probably be very time consuming.

I have called the electrician that did some work in the house a few years ago, and will wait to see what he can do. If he can add another box to where I need it, then I can probably live with the turd on the end of my nose. Thanks to all that gave suggestions.
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