+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    10

    Default Replacing 80's flourescent 2 tube kitchen light

    I need to replace the ceiling lighting in my kitchen. I have the standard frame with two plastic diffusors that will need to be pryed away. The box holding the flourescent tubes is likely about 8 inches deep. Once the fixture is down and the wires exposed, that box area is looking very rough and ugly. At the moment I do not know what is behind the box on the sides or top. The ceiling is already very low so to just close the box and place a fixture will not work. I feel that I likely will need to put in some kind of S shaped track light that can hold enough lights to illuminate surfaces in 4 - 6 directions.

    Can someone please tell me where I can actually find, read, view pictures on how to properly construct an attractive recessed box where junk exists now? I have looked extensively for this info and realize that I may need to follow directions that someone can share with me and that's fine too. I do need proper guidance in some form. I am very appreciative of any and all information that can be shared.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,941

    Default Re: Replacing 80's flourescent 2 tube kitchen light

    Not sure what you're asking for or need.

    If you just want to clean up the existing recessed box, then that's simply a matter of filling holes, finish taping and texture (if necessary ), and then prime and paint it. Additionally, you can install crown molding around the interior of the box to dress it up a little bit.

    If you're looking to enlarge it, then from the tone of your question, it will be far more than your abilities will allow, as it will likely need some structural reconfiguring of the ceiling. Call a pro.

    If you're looking to abandon the box completely, then I would recommend looking at recessed lighting with directional hoods. The existing box can either be drywalled over or made into a decorative focal point with some accent lighting.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Replacing 80's flourescent 2 tube kitchen light

    Thank you A. Spruce for getting back to me. You are right, I could have done a better job of describing my specific needs. It seemed so clear to me when I wrote it but in rereading it, not so much. Let me attempt to do a little better.

    I understand that the basic trim w/diffusors must come down to access the box the the current flourescent 2 tube fixture is installed within. It is my feeling that the recessed box that exists is made up of "fiber board", not even a rough plywood and I expect it will also be a true "mickey mouse" job as the contractor really took so little care in building this house. So based on the fact that the flourescent fixture is going to come out, the recessed area is likely a mess, ideally I would like to have specific directions as to how I start this project, the steps to take to construct a new, good looking, recessed box perhaps with some attractive features that can likely take an S shaped track light that likely will need to have approx. 6 in extenders so the lights will hang just below the box for pointing.

    Can you refer me to a reference book, a site, an article that takes me through the steps of constructing the recessed box to finished appearance w/a lighting fixture so I have a guide to follow? Thank you. Mary

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,941

    Default Re: Replacing 80's flourescent 2 tube kitchen light

    Quote Originally Posted by eureka View Post
    I understand that the basic trim w/diffusors must come down to access the box the the current flourescent 2 tube fixture is installed within. It is my feeling that the recessed box that exists is made up of "fiber board", not even a rough plywood and I expect it will also be a true "mickey mouse" job as the contractor really took so little care in building this house.
    A recessed light well is a cavity in the ceiling that houses the fixture, with some sort of t-bar grid or decorative wood frame over the face of it, making the light flush with the surface of the ceiling. If this is what you have, then that cavity should have been drywall, just like everything else, so that the fire rating is maintained. The caveat to this would be a recessed type fixture, there is no "box", just the housing of the fixture.
    Finding a good image of a recessed well was difficult, though this one is roughly what I'm describing, just more ornate.



    A similar style of light is one in which a box is built on a flat ceiling, which hangs everything below the surface of the ceiling. This would be considered a "surface mount", even though a decorative box has been built to house the lighting.


    As you can see, I am still not clear on what type of fixture set up you have. Can you post a picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by eureka View Post
    ideally I would like to have specific directions as to how I start this project, the steps to take to construct a new, good looking, recessed box perhaps with some attractive features that can likely take an S shaped track light that likely will need to have approx. 6 in extenders so the lights will hang just below the box for pointing.
    This sounds like you have a surface mounted box (as in my second description above ). If this is the case, then there shouldn't be too much damage to remove the existing box. I would not recommend trying to install a track lighting within a box system, it's just not going to look right and the lights need a clear, unobstructed location to provide maximum lighting. I would also caution against using a surface mounted track, as that will not likely put the light where you need it. You may want to consider having some recessed can lights installed which will put the lighting over counters and work spaces. If you go this route, a secondary switch/light could be installed where the track light can be used as decorative or accent lighting.



    If you have a recessed well, this is one of the things you can do to perk it up. You're not going to get a lot of direct lighting out of this, you will need the spot lights/work lights around the perimeter for that.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Replacing 80's flourescent 2 tube kitchen light

    Thank you so much for the pictures and reply. They are just what I needed as I was really lost as to how to handle this deep 8" cutout in my ceiling which is indeed a recessed light well. As I said the builder and subs really didn't do anything properly in this house. The light kit does sit way up inside the space between the floors instead of closer to the diffusers. I know they did not construct the recessed area with wallboard so we will need to finish it off properly. I love the finishes in your pictures and wish we could do something similar. We are in a neighborhood with big homes, though not expensive because we are out in the Mojave Desert. We have spent more years upside down on value so must consider doing something attractive but not costly as we don't know whether we can recover our costs. The best and easiest choice I think will be to put cans into the ceiling as I know we have the space between the floors. The builder never put insulation between the floors so the cans will likely be a quick fix, look good, and give me the light I have needed for so long. Your pictures did the trick and I appreciate your time so much. I have the direction I needed.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •