How to Mount Fluorescent Lights in a Basement

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Fluorescent lights are very energy-efficient and produce a significant amount of light. They brighten up any room they are installed in. This makes them a great choice for basement lighting, as natural light is usually insufficient down there. Mounting them is a breeze. too --- their rectangular shape makes them especially easy to attach to any ceiling structure.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire strippers
  • Cordless drill
  • Screws
  • Electrical wire
  • Wire nuts
  • Shut off power to your basement lighting circuit. This can be done by switching the breaker to the "off" position.

  • Remove the cover to the fluorescent light and make any connections required as per manufacturer's instructions. All splices require wire nuts.

  • Take out a "knock-out" in the fixture canopy and feed the incoming electrical wires through the hole. If you don't have an existing electrical box to feed power from, you may need to install a new circuit from your breaker panel to where your light will be.

  • Mount the light to the ceiling by screwing the fixture canopy into the ceiling joists. Use a stud finder to locate joists under drywall.

  • Splice the incoming black wire to the fixture's black wire. Repeat for the white neutral wire. If there is an incoming green grounding wire, tighten that to the green grounding screw in the fixture.

  • Replace the cover over the wiring. Install the fluorescent bulbs into the tube holders. If your light came with a diffusing panel, snap that over the bulbs.

  • Restore power and test to see if your new light works properly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most basements should already have a lighting circuit that you can run power from.
  • Check local electrical codes to verify if wiring needs to be installed in EMT conduit or not.
  • Improper electrical wiring can lead to shorts and/or possible electrical fires. Consult a licensed electrician if you have any questions.

References

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