Electrical – How to install ceiling light where there previously was none


I want to install ceiling lights in two upstairs bedrooms in my house. There is a light-switch on the wall that turns power on and off to one of the electrical outlets. I would be perfectly happy to re-use this switch and no longer switch the outlet on and off.

I believe that there is a small attic or crawl space above.

It sounds like I need to do three things:

1) Run wire from the light-switch to where the ceiling light is to be installed.

2) Install some sort of mounting bracket to hang the light from.

3) Mount the light on the bracket.

(3) seems very straight-forward, but I've never attempted to do anything with home electrical wiring beyond replacing a light-switch.

Best Answer

You've pretty much got it. If you can twist wires with wire nuts and connect them to a switch you have the technical skills needed. The hardest part is usually pulling the wire from the wall into the ceiling.

  1. Get an "old work" ceiling/light box. Cut a hole in the desired ceiling location, ensuring no joist will interfere with anchoring the old work box there. (If you want to hang a ceiling fan or something heavy you'll need a joist-anchored box, which can be quite a pain to get into place unless you have easy access above.)
  2. Pull/fish approved wire (no less than 14/2, assuming 15 amp service) from the switch box to the light box.
  3. Wire and hang the light.
  4. Turn off the circuit to the switch, then connect the new wire to the existing switch.

Remember: all wire has to be anchored to the work boxes, and all splices/connections made inside the work boxes.