How to Install an Electrical Box in a Suspended Ceiling

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Installing lighting in your suspended ceiling allows you to enjoy more floor space that is not cluttered with lamps. Space the lighting out in equal amounts and you will also have more even lighting in the area. If you plan on installing surface-mount lights, you first need to mount an electrical box in the suspended ceiling. The electrical box holds all the necessary electrical wiring for your lights.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Wood screws
  • Cordless drill
  • Mark out the location of the electrical box on the ceiling tile. Trace the box on the back of the tile.

  • Cut the opening in the tile with a utility knife. Place the ceiling tile in the suspended ceiling.

  • Remove an adjacent tile. Slide the electrical box up into the ceiling and position it over the hole in the tile.

  • Extend the mounting arms on the electrical box out until they span the ceiling joists. Screw the mounting arms into the ceiling joists with wood screws.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the ceiling joists are far above the suspended ceiling so that the mounting arms can not contact them, clip the mounting arms over the ceiling grid on each side of the tile. Support the ceiling grid at that exact location by running a hanger wire from the grid up to the ceiling joists. A hanger wire should be located by each arm.

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