Can I mount a ceiling light on the wall?

Wall Mount Light Fixture Bracket Installation Guide:

The installation of a ceiling light is very simple. However, there are certain things which need to be considered before proceeding with the task. There are different types of wall lights available in the market and they differ from each other in terms of their characteristics such as size, color temperature, type of bulbs etc… If you want to use a ceiling light with a specific type of bulb then it will require some additional work on your part. For example, if you want to use a white LED bulb then you will have to purchase one separately.

In addition, there are various types of fixtures available in the market. Some of them are fixed and others are self-coupled. A fixed fixture requires no extra effort while a self-coupling fixture requires some tools to install it properly. You may not necessarily need all these features but depending upon what kind of light you plan to use, installing them might become necessary.

The following are some of the features which you should consider when choosing a ceiling light:

Type of Bulbs – White LEDs or CFLs are the most popular type of bulbs used in ceiling lights. They emit a bright white light which is suitable for reading and viewing at night time. These bulbs come in many colors including red, blue, green, yellow and violet. Other types include metal halide (MH) and fluorescent lamps (FL).

Before proceeding further, you must first decide whether or not you would like to use a ceiling light with a particular type of bulb.

Self-Coupling Wall Lights: Self-coupling wall lights are those which do not require any special tools to install. They come in various sizes and shapes and can be installed using screws, nails or screws alone. These kinds of lights can provide enough illumination for small rooms where space is at a premium. Both of these types have similar features to white LEDs but are not as cost effective.

Wattage – This is the measurement of how much power used by the bulb. The higher its wattage, the brighter it is. A 60W light bulb is brighter than a 40W one for example. It is recommended that you use bulbs within the same wattage range so that they appear uniform and balanced when turned on. Installing them is an easy task and you can do it yourself without hiring an electrician.

Flush-mounted Ceiling Lights: Flush-mounted ceiling lights are those which are installed on the wall or direct on the ceiling by being fitted into a cutout in the drywall or plaster. Typically, these come with metal frames and were originally only available in white, but now are also available in cream or even light almond.

Lumens – A Lumen is the unit in which brightness of a bulb is measured. It can also be defined as a unit of visible light. You can refer to the table below to compare different bulb types and sizes.

Base Type – this is the type of connection between the bulb and the socket. There are four common base types namely; E26, E27, B22 and B23. These look best when placed in the center of a room directly above your head. These can be installed by yourself at any height you like, but if you are a beginner then it is best to keep the height between 4 and 7 feet.

You will require some basic tools to get the job done. E26 and E27 are the standard bulb sizes which you will find at home. B22 and B23 are compact fluorescent bulb sizes.

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In addition to these, there are different base types available in the market depending upon the type of bulb you wish to use.

CFLs use less energy than an incandescent bulb and last 10 times longer. They also start up faster, which is important when using dimmers. The most important of these are a stud finder (to find the wooden beams in your wall), a handsaw (to cut out the hole for the light) and a drill with screws.

Step 1 – Find The Studs

Before beginning, measure the height at which you would like to position the light above the center of the table. Mark this height on the wall. This position is very important and will remain fixed if your ceiling is pitched. But some people don’t like the way they look.

LEDs use far less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 20 times longer. But they cost more than twice as much as CFLs, so it will be a while before they become common place. They also produce a light that some people find harsh. If it is flat, then you can put the light anywhere in the room that you like.

Begin by turning off all the power at your circuit breaker. This is a very important step and failure to do this may result in electric shock or even death. Test all the lights in the house to confirm that they have indeed gone out.

Use your stud finder to identify where the wooden beams are located behind the wall.

CFLs are the cheapest option but don’t last as long as LEDs or incandescents. They contain a small amount of mercury so they are not available for pickup. In the event that one breaks, use plastic sheeting to catch any broken glass and a damp paper towel to clean up the liquid. Then place both in a bag and tape it shut before taking it to your local hazardous waste disposal center. Once you have found these, measure the distance between them and mark the positions on the wall.

What You’ll Need:

Now all that’s left is to pick up the parts required and do some easy assembly.

Step 2 – Pick Up The Parts

You will need to go shopping in order to assemble your lights. Fortunately this is very easy if you have a basic knowledge of what you need.

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The tools you will require for this project are: a stud finder, a handsaw, a drill with screws and a light with the appropriate base and measurements. All of these items can be purchased from your local hardware store.

Step 2 – Cut Out A Hole

Measure the width of the recessed can so that you can cut out a hole that is slightly smaller than the size of it.

First, you will need to pick out the socket for your light. The type that you choose should be based upon the size of bulb that you are going to use. There are four common types of bulb sizes and you can see a comparison of them in the table below.

Once you have the size of bulb, then you can easily find the correct socket for it from the extensive collection at your local hardware store.

Now you are ready to cut out a circle in the ceiling. As I mentioned before, this is easier if you have a simple design. You should be able to easily cut out a perfect circle with a diameter slightly smaller than the width of your light.

Take great care while cutting and make sure that you remove all the pieces of wood so that none remain stuck in the ceiling. You may need the help of a friend to ensure that the ceiling does not fall down on your head during this process.

Use a screwdriver to secure the socket in place and then use the appropriate colored wires to connect it up. The method of doing this will vary depending upon your socket type so refer back to the instruction manual if you are not sure how to proceed.

At this point you can either choose to leave the wiring exposed or you can cover it with some plastic tubing of the same color. I found this at my local hardware store in the irrigation section.

Step 4 – Finish!

Once all your connections are made you can turn on the power again and test that it is working. If you have any doubts then I suggest getting an electrician to check it over first.

You can now cover the wiring and the light with a simple plastic diffuser of the same color. These are designed for bathroom exhaust fans but will work just as well here. Just cut to size and push over the bulb and it’s done.

The final step is to seal everything in place. You can either use waterproof filler or silicone sealant. I chose the latter as I had some left over from another project and it dries clear. Just make sure that you apply lots as it oozes out and then leave it to dry thoroughly before using the light.

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You now have a fully working and safe under cabinet lighting system for a fraction of the cost of buying one.

Let there be light!

You have now completed your task and built yourself a working under cabinet lighting system. By following this guide you will have learned how to safely wire in the low voltage wiring, cut out suitable holes for each light, fit each one in place and seal everything up so that it’s safe to use.

Good luck and happy lighting!

Bathroom Lighting System

Building a bathroom lighting system is a little different from the kitchen as it can get a lot more wet and damp so you need to make sure that your lights are going to be safe and secure. Also, many people like to have different types of lighting in here so the options are a lot wider. So what are your choices?

Reflector Lights – These are the type of lights that give you a professional lighting effect. They have a lamp unit at the bottom and a large reflector that throws the light around the room. You can pick one up for a couple of quid from Amazon:

These are ideal for bathrooms as they give an all-round glow rather than a sharp beam. They are also very easy to install as you can just plug them in and they are ready to go.

The only negative point is the cord. The cable that connects the lamp unit to the wall often hangs down behind the toilet or bath and becomes unsightly. We will look at how to hide this a little later on.

Night Light/Magnetic Strips – These are ideal for both safety and convenience. Children (and some adults) have an unreasonable fear of the toilet in the dark and a small night light next to the toilet can prevent many nightmares.

You can pick these up really cheap from discount stores like Big Lots! but the problem is that they are fixed in one position. If you want one above the bath or shower then you will have to drill holes into the tile work which could spoil the look of your bathroom if not done properly.

LED lighting strips are increasingly popular nowadays and can be seen in many top brand hotels and restaurants. They can be stuck to most flat surfaces including tiles, vanities and mirrors and they are available in a huge range of colors and color temperatures. A 12V DC RGB LED strip like this one can be had for around $12 on Amazon:

These are really versatile and you can have any color you want as long as it’s white! They are also waterproof, wireless and have an adhesive back so you can stick them anywhere you want. You can even control the color and brightness of these lights using an app on your phone and there are literally millions of different color combinations that you can try out. Such technology!

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The only disadvantage is the price. For a 2m strip it will cost you $12 on Amazon but you can get much cheaper ones on eBay for around $5 if you don’t mind the low quality.

Sconce Lights – These are small wall lights that supplement the main bathroom lighting and are usually placed above the mirror or bath. They can be bought really cheaply from discount stores like Big Lots! but once again, you have to be careful when drilling into your tile work. Buy one of these and you will be looking at a $15 hole in your bathroom wall.

If sconce lights aren’t your thing then how about some recessed lighting? These also give that professional lighting effect and are recessed into the ceiling of the bathroom. Whilst they can look really good, they can also be really expensive to have fitted so you will probably have to pay a handyman or electrician to do the job.

There are many different types of recessed lights but the most common one found in bathrooms is called a Can-light. These have a G-13 socket (The standard size) and come in different lengths from 2″ to 12″, the longer ones have thicker glass so the light is not as bright. You can pick them up really cheap at any hardware store and they are quite easy to fit, for most people at least. Just measure the space that you have available and pick out one that will fit.

Another type of recessed light commonly found in hotels is called a Shower-head light.

Sources & references used in this article: