In this video I’m fixing the problem of not having enough lights in a room. This is a break room me and my employees use when we’re at The Wood Shed. We often use this space as a computer work area and break room which is great, but it’s just too dark.
It’s actually really simple to add lights to any space so in this video I’m going to do just that and show you the steps incase you have a room in your house that needs the same.
Things I Used in This Project:
- ISOtunes Ear Protection
- Adjustable Hole Saw
- Stealth Dust Mask
- Ultra Slim LED Lights
- Toughbuilt Cliptech Tool Belt System
The first thing to do is locate the joist and figure out which way they are running. You basically want to know where the joists are so that you can avoid them.
What I did to figure out my light layout is first decide how many lights I wanted in the space. Then I measured the length of the ceiling space and divided it into equal parts for the number of lights. For my space, I wanted two rows of four lights and my ceiling is 274” long. That means I’ll have a light every 55”.
You can do the same math for dictating the placement of the rows however, I placed these by eye instead. I have a ceiling fan in the center of the room so I picked a placement by eye then matched that measurement on the other side.
Now you can very well just go through the ceiling and make a bunch of pencil marks. However, I instead used rows of painters tape to make a quick visual guide. It goes up and down quickly and also is very easy to see.
At this point, I went to each light location and ran a screw in, just to double check that I wasn’t on any joist. If you are, then move the location one way or the other before getting going. I was all good, so next I start prepping for drilling holes.
There is a variety of tools you can use for cutting holes in drywall but a cheap specialty tool definitely worth picking up for this one job is called a adjustable hole saw cutter. It has two teeth that rotate in a circle on a drill. It’s adjustable so you just need to match it to the size of your fixture.
Before getting after it, I next made a dust shield. Drilling into drywall above your head is going to create a huuuuge mess. They make plastic shields but I didn’t pick one up. So instead I grabbed an old basketball and cut it in half.
After drilling a hole in the bottom, I could poke my drill through and grab onto the hole cutting tool. Now when I cut into the ceiling most of the dust will be captured in the ball instead of going all over the house.
However, drywall is still nasty stuff, so as you can see I’m wearing a respirator.
Next is to determine power. You just need to find power in the area that you can join these lights to. In my case, I have an old pendant light that I want to go away so after taking it down I’ll put in a blank but use it’s wiring as my power source to then daisy chain off to each one of my new lights.
My room is actually a room built within a bigger shell so the insulation is on the ceiling of this attic space instead of on the floor. Which makes my job here even more simple since all the bays are nice and open.
In the attic, I located the romex from the pendent light that I just disconnected and then routed it to the furthest hole. Then I ran a separate strand of Romex from the first hole to the second, to start daisy chaining the lights. Make sure you have at least 6 – 8″ to leave yourself enough wire to work with with each light.
For lighting I’m going with recessed disc lights. These are quickly taking the place of Can lights which use to be the old go to for jobs like this, but these are not only easier to install but also cheaper. They are LED so good efficiency, and a lot of them have adjustable color temperatures as well.
Each light comes with two parts: the transformer and the light itself.
Each light has two springs on the side to hold the lights in place.
You can attach the transformer to the joist with the attachments here
After running the Romex, it’s back down to the space to start stripping wire and terminating connections.
The last thing to do is take the tape down before the fixtures go all the way in, and you’re done.
I don’t know if it can get more simple, so if you have a dark room or area then I hope this video has given you the confidence to tackle the job of adding lighting to it.
Don’t forget to watch the video above to see an even more detailed tutorial. I’ll see you on my next project.
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