Are you planning to hang a ceiling light, and you’re wondering how to do it in a location without a stud? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.
Follow these steps to hang a ceiling light without a stud:
- Mark the location where you want to install the ceiling light.
- Measure the size of the electrical box that you plan to install.
- Cut a hole that matches the size of the electrical box using a jigsaw.
- Install a brace for the electrical box behind the drywall.
- Position the electrical box into the hole and screw it into the wooden strips at an angle. Use two screws on each side of the electrical box to secure it on both strips of wood.
- Have a licensed electrician install the wiring on the electrical box.
- Install your ceiling light.
The steps might look long, but these are the summarized version. Learn about the detailed steps in the succeeding sections. Read on!
How to install an electrical box on drywall without a stud?
You can choose from different braces that you can install behind the drywall to provide support. In addition, there are thin metal strips that you can install on the electrical box that will hook themselves on the edges of the hole to provide support.
These supports are ideal for ceiling lights that are on the lighter side. However, heavier ceiling lights will need additional support.
The first objective is to install pieces of wood behind the drywall that would be able to provide support to the electrical box.
The detailed steps below focus on providing additional drywall support for heavier ceiling lights. You can easily adjust these steps to install less support if you prefer to use that. Additionally, you can also use these steps on walls that do not have a stud.
Drilling a hole in the drywall
- Mark the location where you plan to install the ceiling light. If you want it to be centered, measure the distance from one corner to the opposite corner diagonally. Divide the distance by two once you get the measurement of the two diagonals.
- Trace the shape of the electrical box that you plan to use on the surface of the ceiling. These are commonly square or octagonal shapes. Use a light pencil to trace the shape on the ceiling.
- Use a jigsaw to cut the hole that follows the shape that you traced on the drywall.
Installing support behind the ceiling
- Cut four pieces of one-inch-thick wood that are at least four inches long and two inches wide.
- Apply a generous amount of construction glue to the wooden strip. If you’re installing this on a wall, use construction glue that says “Instant Grab” on the label. These glues will immediately hold the piece of wood on the surface without using anything to hold the piece of wood in place while it dries.
- Carefully slide the wooden strip into the hole and stick it to the underside of the hole near the edge. Press it firmly to the drywall.
- Apply a generous amount of construction glue to the second wooden strip and slide it in the same way. Position it on the opposite edge of the hole. Make sure that the wooden strips are along the edge of the hole.
- Install the other two wooden strips on top of the first two wooden strips using construction glue.
- Let the adhesive dry following the recommendations of the manufacturer.
Henkel Corporation’s Loctite Power Grab is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.
Installing the electrical box
- Position the electrical box inside the hole and screw it into the wooden strips. Install the screws at an angle. The angled installation of the screws will secure both the electrical box and the wooden strips in place.
- Use four screws to secure the electrical box to the wooden strips.
- Hire a licensed electrician to install the electrical wiring for your electrical box, including the switch for the ceiling light. Installing the wiring will require a permit from your city or state. The electrician should be able to get one for the installation.
Installing the ceiling light
The following steps are generalized for installing a ceiling light that will serve as a guide.
Follow the instructions from the manufacturer of the ceiling light that you plan to install. If your ceiling lights do not come with a set of instructions, check the manufacturer’s website, or call their support line.
Connecting the mounting bracket
- Turn off the circuit breaker that provides electricity to the electrical box that you installed. Check electrical flow by turning on the switch.
- Get the mounting bracket and secure the mounting screws into the bracket. The holes for the mounting screws are normally close to the center of the mounting bracket. You only need to partially insert the mounting screws and let the rest of the length of the screw extend out from the mounting bracket.
- Install the mounting bracket to the electrical box. Screw one side loosely to secure it in place, then install the other screw. Once both screws are in place, tighten both screws.
Connecting the wires
- Connect the bare copper ground wire on the ceiling light to the ground connector on the mounting bracket. Twist the wire around the ground connector and then tighten the connector. The connector is usually a bolt.
- Connect the rest of the ground wire to the ground wires from the junction box. Twist the wires together.
- Cover the wires with a wire nut. Wire nuts are plastic caps with a metal layer inside. They are twisted into the bare ends of wires to tighten the connection and seal them at the same time.
- Twist the neutral wires from the ceiling light together. These are normally plain white wires. The number of neutral wires on the ceiling light is usually equal to the number of bulbs that the ceiling light uses.
- Connect the neutrals from the ceiling light to the neutrals from the electrical box. Twist the wires securely together.
- Cover the connection with a wire nut.
- Connect the hot wires from the ceiling light together. These are usually black or red or a black wire with a red or white line that runs the length of the wire.
- Connect the hot wires from the ceiling light to the hot wires coming from the electrical box. Twist the wires together.
- Cover the connection with a wire nut.
- Push all the connected wires into the electrical box once you’re done covering all the connections with the wire nut.
Romeda’s colorful wire nuts with springs (180-pc) are available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.
Installing the ceiling light
- Insert the mounting screws into the keyhole-like mounting holes on the ceiling light and then slide the ceiling light so that the mounting screws will also slide into the narrow end of the mounting holes.
- Tighten the mounting screws to secure the ceiling light base onto the ceiling.
- Insert any other mounting screws that you need. Modern ceiling lights will have a mounting screw for the glass or acrylic covers that you will later install over the bulbs.
- Install the bulbs into the ceiling light base. Make sure that the bulbs that you will use match the required bulbs for the ceiling lights. Check the instructions from the manufacturer to be sure.
- Install the cover of the ceiling light and secure it. Remember not to tighten the screw for the cover too much. The cover is commonly made of glass or acrylic, and it can break if you tighten the screw that holds it in place too much.
How to get overhead lighting without wiring?
It is possible to have overhead lighting without drilling a hole in the drywall and installing new wiring.
Plug-in Chandeliers & Pendant Lights
There are plug-in chandeliers and plug-in pendant lights. You can install one on your ceiling by following these simple steps:
- Install a hook on your ceiling.
- Hang a plug-in chandelier or a plug-in pendant light on the hook. Make sure to secure the light on the hook so that it will not slide down from the hook.
- Plug the light into an electrical socket.
Arching Floor Lamp
An alternative solution is to install a large arc floor lamp, a tree floor lamp, or a swing arm floor lamp with a long arm. An arc floor lamp is a type of floor lamp with a long arching body. It holds a shade at the end with a light bulb under it.
- A tree floor lamp looks like an arc floor lamp with multiple branching arcs.
- A swing arm floor lamp has a long arm coming from the central base instead of an arc.
You can position the floor lamp where you want an additional overhead light.
These lamps provide a cozy atmospheric light. Plus, they come in different shapes, styles, and colors that you can easily match with the room's interior.
Hanging a ceiling light without a stud can be tricky. The solution is to install something behind the drywall to support the ceiling light.
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