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Old 13.07.2007, 18:10
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Mounting a Ceiling Light

Hi everyone,

The other day, my wife and I purchased a light for the entrance-way in our apartment. There is an existing hole in the ceiling with the wires coming through it, and two smaller holes on either side for mounting the light. Unlike the other lights we've put up, the holes to mount the new light do not line up with the holes already in the ceiling (4 holes in a big square vs. two close together). I tried drilling new holes to mount it, but ran into something that I couldn't drill through. Based on what I saw in the hole where the wires come through, I was expecting wood, but hit something else.

Do you know what is typically behind the plaster in ceilings? What is normally done to mount ceiling lights when there aren't existing holes?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

In the dark,
Scott
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Old 13.07.2007, 18:40
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

There is a fitting that goes up into the hole where the wires come out it saves drilling, I think places like Jumbo do them.

DC
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Old 13.07.2007, 18:42
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

How about concrete? You need a hammer drill for what you're trying to do!
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Old 13.07.2007, 18:48
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

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There is a fitting that goes up into the hole where the wires come out it saves drilling, I think places like Jumbo do them.

DC
Thanks for your response. I wish I could use something like that, but I don't think the light fixture isn't set up like that. It is a square piece of metal with spacers at each corner, spaced about 14cm apart. The mounting holes go through these spacers, so I have to put this new hole pattern into the ceiling. From other light fixtures I've seen, it doesn't appear to be the standard type mount (no wonder it was cheep ).

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 13.07.2007, 18:56
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

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How about concrete? You need a hammer drill for what you're trying to do!
Is it typical for concrete to be behind most of the plaster on the ceiling? I keep forgetting how these Swiss houses aren't built with wood and sheet-rock. No wonder my (probably now dull) drill bit wouldn't cut it at all.

For small sizes (1/4, 5/16), will just a masonry bit on a regular drill do, or is a hammer drill still needed?

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 13.07.2007, 22:58
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

Unless you want to (and can) press and push really really hard with all your body weight effectively working against you (when drilling in the ceiling), even with a masonry bit, I would recommend a hammer drill
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Old 14.07.2007, 09:06
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

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Is it typical for concrete to be behind most of the plaster on the ceiling? I keep forgetting how these Swiss houses aren't built with wood and sheet-rock. No wonder my (probably now dull) drill bit wouldn't cut it at all.

For small sizes (1/4, 5/16), will just a masonry bit on a regular drill do, or is a hammer drill still needed?

Thanks,
Scott
Yep, armored concrete is used in newer houses (70s onward). Found that out the hard way with a metal detector when trying to locate the power lines so as not to drill into them. Dulled a masonry bit with my regular drill, then went out and bought me a hammer drill and some concrete bits.
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Old 16.07.2007, 18:34
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

You need a BoreHammer and Cement Drill Bits. Makes an easy job of this ... Jumbo had a great sale going on for Bosch BoreHammers.,,,might check with them.

Good Luck
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Old 16.07.2007, 19:41
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

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You need a BoreHammer and Cement Drill Bits. Makes an easy job of this ... Jumbo had a great sale going on for Bosch BoreHammers.,,,might check with them.

Good Luck

A Hammer drill with the SDS chuck system is better than a standard hammer drill.

DC
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Old 17.07.2007, 07:37
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

Hmmm... It looks like this is turning out to be a much bigger project than I had planned! I don't really want to get any new major tools (especially ones with motors), since it will be difficult to use them when I go back to the US. Maybe I'll give it a shot with a regular drill, and if that doesn't work, make an adaptor to fit the holes that are there. Seems like a lot of work to mount a ceiling light.

Thanks for all your responses. I might check at Jumbo anyway, as it's hard to pass up a sale on Bosch tools .

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 17.07.2007, 12:31
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

you could always see of someonenear where you live, or at work, have a hammer drill that you could borrow.

Also, did I see mention that your new light has metal on it? Neither of the two wires will be an earth, so be careful.
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Old 17.07.2007, 12:35
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

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A Hammer drill with the SDS chuck system is better than a standard hammer drill.

DC
well, instead of shedding a couple hundreds for an SDS drill just have an electrician install the light. Unless you need the drill for other stuff, too, of course.
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Old 17.07.2007, 12:39
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

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well, instead of shedding a couple hundreds for an SDS drill just have an electrician install the light. Unless you need the drill for other stuff, too, of course.
Saying this I own a SDS Bosch Hammer and a 20mm * 50cm drill bit, nothing better for munching up concrete. (A definate boys toy! )

Made mincemeat of a couple of brick walls when I was installing power cables in the UK.

It's great for putting up fixings in brick walls too, however it does have a habit of blowing the back out of things!
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Old 17.07.2007, 12:47
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

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Hmmm... It looks like this is turning out to be a much bigger project than I had planned! I don't really want to get any new major tools (especially ones with motors), since it will be difficult to use them when I go back to the US. Maybe I'll give it a shot with a regular drill, and if that doesn't work, make an adaptor to fit the holes that are there. Seems like a lot of work to mount a ceiling light.

Thanks for all your responses. I might check at Jumbo anyway, as it's hard to pass up a sale on Bosch tools .

Thanks,
Scott
The bit is always more important than the power tool in my experience.

Buy a good masonary bit and you should be okay, however I brought the SDS drill after melting several conventional masonary bits in concrete/brick.

My estimation conventional masonary bit is good for x50 odd holes into brick then it's fried/melted (dont ask what I was doing )

(Just don't force it, if it's looking hot, you've pushed too hard and you're back to the shop for another bit!)
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Old 17.07.2007, 13:28
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

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well, instead of shedding a couple hundreds for an SDS drill just have an electrician install the light. Unless you need the drill for other stuff, too, of course.
The link was only e.g I paid about Sfr 125 for mine and thats been going about 4 years and shelved out my entire celar etc but a decent drill bit is worth the dough.

DC
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Old 17.07.2007, 15:15
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

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you could always see of someonenear where you live, or at work, have a hammer drill that you could borrow.

Also, did I see mention that your new light has metal on it? Neither of the two wires will be an earth, so be careful.
Yeah, I was surprised about the wiring in the ceiling. Like you said, no earth. Also, the colors are different than what is in the lights I've bought.
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Old 17.07.2007, 15:29
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

I put up a metal light with no earth, which made me feel a little uncomfortable. So, I have just said to my wife, if the lamp blows, leave it and I'll change it (turning off the circuit first!). If you find an item with a symbol which consists of two squares (one inside the other) this means that the item is "double insulated" and thus an earth is not necessary but I didn't find many that we liked.

The polarity of a connection to a light is not important, if you think about it, you can put a lamp into a socket in the UK two ways (governed by the bayonets) so the polarity of connection is not important there either.
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Old 17.07.2007, 15:36
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Re: Mounting a Ceiling Light

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I don't really want to get any new major tools (especially ones with motors), since it will be difficult to use them when I go back to the US.
You can rent them from Migros Do-It shops if you don't want to buy it.
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