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Question DetailsAsked on 9/9/2016

Can a ceiling light be installed without attic access?

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1 Answer


Sure - especially if you are somewhat flexible about exactly where it is located, which can help reduce the drywall or plaster damage needed to install the wiring. Easiest is usually to come off an existing lightswitch and change that location into a duplex box with 2 switches, then run the wiring up the wall and across the ceiling - MUCH less disruption if you come up the wall so your ceiling run is parallel rather than crosswise to the ceiling joists (framing members).

Bunch of previous questions about this and typical ballpark cost ranges can be found in the Home > Electrical link in Browse Projects, at lower left. Cost range typically pushing $300 or a bit more in simple situations, can run $300-500 in difficult access situations. Plaster/drywall repair depends on number of access holes needed and type of surface finish, and whether entire wall needs to be repainted after the repair or if touchup paint will work (like simple ceiling white), but typically $200-500 range for that. So - $500-1000 is a typical range for the complete job though some Handymen will do it for less, albeit unlicensed in most cases for electrical work so technically illegal.

Another option is run up the wall from where the switch is put in (by another switch or above an outlet where convenience outlet and lights are allowed on same circuit), then across the ceiling with architectural conduit - the metal molding used in cubicle offices, or exposed track lighting track across the ceiling, eliminating the need to cut into the ceiling at all.

Another option for seldom-used lighting like closet light - get a push-on, push-off face battery operated light - mounted like a battery fire alarm and you just tap it on and off. Usually wall rather than ceiling mounted to make it reachable - though there are string-pull versions for ceiling mounting in closets.

One more option - run power up a wall from existing switch or outlet to a wall-mounted sconce or valence light, or a wall-mounted spot aimed at the ceiling to reflect the light back down from the ceiling, again eliminating the need to cut into the ceiling at all.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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