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How To Move Light Fixture to a New Location

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Extend Light Fixture Wiring to a New Location: The Procedure For Extending or Moving Light Fixture Wiring.

Guide for Moving a Light Fixture

Electrical Question: I want to move a ceiling light fixture to a location where it is centered over a dining room table.

  • Because of the direction the 14-2 cable comes into the light fixture now, it is not long enough to reach the new desired location.
  • I could extend the light fixture to the new location about three feet away by placing a junction box on the ceiling joist but this will be hidden when I close the wall board hole where the original box was. I think that is a code violation.

What is the best or right thing to do here according to electric code?

This electrical question came from: John, a Homeowner from Poway, California.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question John.

How to Extend Light Fixture Wiring to a New Location

Application: Move a Light Fixture and Electrical Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a licensed electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, a Voltage Tester and a fiberglass ladder.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and work with the ceiling light fixture wiring.
Precaution: Identify the lighting circuit at the electric panel, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Modifying or installing additional electrical wiring for a light fixture should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

The Procedure For Extending Light Fixture Wiring

EXAMPLE: If the area above the existing light fixture is accessible, then it is possible to do the following:

  • Remove the existing light fixture junction box and turn it so that it is accessible from above.
  • Install the required length of new wiring to the new location for the light fixture.
  • Make the opening in the ceiling for the new light fixture.
  • Keep the cut out and use it to patch the existing opening.
  • Install the new fixture box and wiring.
  • Secure the electrical wiring.
  • Make the splice to the original light fixture box.
  • Cover the junction box.
  • Secure the original junction box to the ceiling joist.

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2 Responses to “How To Move Light Fixture to a New Location”
  1. Megan says:

    I have the exact same question. Want to center a dining room light fixture over table. I DO NOT have access from above. Could you give directions on that? The biggest concern would be the old box would no longer be accessible, which is against code. Thank you.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Megan, Great Question!
      Basically, there are a few possibilities about relocating your dining room light fixture. Even though there may not be attic access you may be able to fish a wire especially if there ceiling joists pattern is inline with the direction for the new location, or a hole may be drilled through an existing ceiling joists to allow fishing in the wiring for the new location if it is one joist bay away. You are correct, the existing wiring must be accessible but there are some nice semi-decorative blank covers that could be installed, and seeing your talent, I’ll bet you could decorate it up or do something attractive, or just blend it in.
      I hope this helps – Dave
      PS – I Love Your Website – Lots of Fun Home Ideas!


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