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Installing a living room light

Our living has no light source, save a few windows. For some reason, over the last 70 years, previous owners never felt the need for installing a lighting fixture.

The ceiling and walls are plaster. I'm assuming that I would have to find a stud in the ceiling to mount it to and then knock holes out all along the ceiling and down the closest wall to an outlet.

Please tell me there's an easier method than this. Besides the lamps we've got plugged in around the room.

A. Spruce
Re: Installing a living room light
A. Spruce

Do you have access to the ceiling from above? If so, you simply mark the location you want to install the fixture with a nail, then find it from above and adjust to suit installation as necessary.

If you're hanging a simple light fixture, then installing a light box on a stretcher bar between the joints is sufficient. If you're going to hang a fan, then you either need a fan rated joist box attached directly to the joist or you need a stretcher designed for fans.

You then need a power source and to run a switch leg. Interior walls typically are obstruction free and no insulation, making them the best candidates for fishing new wires in from above.

With attic access you can typically install an overhead light with no damage to the ceiling or walls. There are some instances, such as blocking within the wall that can cause problems, but a small access hole is easily patched, perforating your ceiling and wall as you suggest is not.

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