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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    12

    Default Light box that protrudes below ceiling

    I just had the ceiling in my breakfast nook re-plastered. I bought a new light fixture. However the electrician says that it won't fit/cover the light box, which protrudes about one inch below the drywall. This is an old house and the light box has always protruded - the plasterers did not cause the problem.

    I can't afford to tear open the ceiling, somehow make the light box flush, and then re-plaster. How do I find a ceiling light that will work? The handyman, who has limited English, is struggling to tell me what to buy. Do I buy a light with a wide and deep base that goes against the ceiling wall, so that it encircles and covers the light box? Or is there more to it than that? The fixture I bought is flush-mount because the nook ceiling is low.

    Thank in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
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    6,598

    Default Re: Light box that protrudes below ceiling

    A lot depends on the type of box you have now, how it's attached and what you have over the ceiling (attic or second floor)

    If there is an attic and the box is nailed to a joist or hangs on a cross bar between joists, it's easy to detach it, push it in until flash with the ceiling and re-attach to the joist(s).

    If there is a second floor, use a recip saw to cut the nails so you can move the box. Or cut the ceiling from joist to joist, do the repair and re-do the ceiling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    12

    Default Re: Light box that protrudes below ceiling

    The nook is first floor, with nothing but roof over it (no attic, no 2nd floor). It's a bump-out addition to the original kitchen.

    I'd rather just find a light fixture. Money is an issue.

    Thanks for the fast reply, I appreciate it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    7,081

    Default Re: Light box that protrudes below ceiling

    Ok, clarify something for me, are you talking about the 3.5" - 4" round box that the electrical terminates in and that the light fixture attaches to, or are you talking about an enclosure that the light fixture goes inside of, like a recessed ceiling light type of affair?

    If it's the electrical box, then why isn't the electrician simply raising that box into the ceiling a bit, or cutting it out and installing one that he can insert deeper into the ceiling? In lieu of this, buy or make a medallion that fits the depth of the box protrusion and the size of the base of the light fixture, problem solved.

    If it's a recessed area that the fixture goes inside of, then simply purchase a light fixture that fits the space you have.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Light box that protrudes below ceiling

    I've tried to upload a photo using this forum's photo editor, but it won't work. (Tried two browsers, checked file size and type.)

    It's a light box, based on the photos I've seen on Google.

    I don't have an electrician on the job. This was a simple plastering job, and one of the guys happens to be a former electrician and was going to put up a new light fixture. But he has language barriers in trying to troubleshoot this with me.

    The previous light fixture was an old socket-with-bulb arrangement; at least 30 years old.

    I think this is more complicated than I'd hoped. I'll take my photo to a lighting store and see if they can give me some advice.

    Thanks everyone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,081

    Default Re: Light box that protrudes below ceiling

    You'll need to upload your pics to a host site, then link them here. Unfortunately, TOH disabled our ability to upload pics directly to the site.

    Let's try it this way, do you have this:


    If this is what is protruding, then you don't have much of a handyman/electrician.
    1 - This box should be flush with the ceiling and your cheap labor should know how to do that or explain to you why it can't be done.
    2 - Why hasn't your cheap labor talked about installing a medallion to flush the fixture box? These can be purchased or made, whatever suits your needs.





    There is usually a reason why workers are cheap, let's hope yours is an exception to the rule.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Light box that protrudes below ceiling

    The top photo is what I'm referring to.

    I hadn't thought of a medallion; good idea.

    I have to object to referring to my plasterers as "cheap labor." They are extremely skilled plasterers, win awards for historical preservation, and I waited months on their waiting list because I wanted to restore my original plaster, not slap drywall over it.

    The one who tried to install my light fixture was doing me a kind favor at no extra cost. It was at the end of the day and not a long, protracted discussion. I sought out this forum as a way to try to figure this out on my own, since the crew is no longer on the job.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    7,081

    Default Re: Light box that protrudes below ceiling

    You are making my point all the more. You referenced that one of the plasterers was a former electrician, a guy who can't figure out how to either move the box or come up with a solution, and if they're as great at historic restoration as you say, then they would be familiar with medallions and how to create them, as these were very common in a bygone era. Maybe the entire problem is the language barrier, who knows.

    It is not my intent to be mean or overly harsh, the thing is, we get DIY'rs and homeowners, like yourself, here all the time who, in the attempt to save a buck, end up spending much, much more due to incompetence of "cheap" labor, which are people hiring themselves out to do things they are not qualified to do. Your plasterer may be the greatest plasterer in the world, beyond that, he shouldn't be offering assistance.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    central pa
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Light box that protrudes below ceiling

    it is very possible that you could simply replace the box with a shallow one but it is hard to say without seeing a picture. are there mounting screws or nails visible from inside the box? also I have fixed this problem before by just cutting a trim ring out of mdf slightly larger than the base of the light and routing a profile around the edge then paint to match the ceiling. I also have a problem with spruce jumping to the conclusion that the worker was cheap and incompetent. as a cabinet maker I have often offered to change a light fixture hook up a sink or some other simple task for no extra cost but then found a problem that I didn't have time or insurance to cover me doing. so at that point I tell the customer what the problem is and tell them I cant fix it for them. as pasdetrois stated the worker tried to explain the problem but there was a language barrier so it is very possible they are a very competent electrician and just didn't have the time or supplies to fix the problem and were unable to communicate with the customer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,803

    Default Re: Light box that protrudes below ceiling

    As I see it You have three choices.
    1-Buy a light fixture with a deep base to cover the protrusion. Could be difficult for that much sticking out.

    2-install a medallion as previously mention. You can find several here http://www.rensup.com/search.cfm?Keyword=medallion

    3 have the existing box removed and install a pancake box.



    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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