How to Brighten Up Your Closet with a Pull-Chain Light, Closets are often dark, cramped places where we’re reminded of how much stuff we really have. Fortunately, it’s easy to brighten up your closet with a simple pull-chain light fixture, which you can install in just an hour or two using basic tools and around $20 worth of materials from your local hardware store. Follow these instructions to easily add this convenient lighting feature to your own closet at home.
Why didn’t they place a light in this closet? is a question that many new homeowners ask. After a few fruitless efforts, something as easy as finding matching shoes becomes quite aggravating. A basic battery-operated puck light is preferred by some households. Their modest light works well until the batteries die, which usually happens when the user forgets to switch off the item. This problem may be solved by installing a pull-chain light in a dark closet. Check for local construction code limits and get all necessary permissions before beginning.
Prepare For The Project
A pull-chain lamp is often installed in the area between the room’s center and the entryway, keeping the chain within easy reach of the entrance. The specific arrangement, however, is determined by the closet. A small but deep closet, for example, requires the light to be closer to the center for best efficiency.
A screwdriver should be pushed up through the closet ceiling and left there. Find the screwdriver by climbing into the attic. Remove the insulation and look for any obstacles, such as plumbing pipes or roof trusses. If required, use this information to move the light’s mounting box. The right box is determined by how the truss is positioned with respect to the light.
Use a pancake-style box if the light is beneath a truss. Screws connect a pancake box to a truss. Use an old-work box if the hole does not touch a truss. An old-work box, also known as a refit or renovation box, grips the drywall with a strong lip below the ceiling and mounting tabs above. If the mounting box for the light hits a truss, I shift the light configuration slightly to make room for an easy-to-use old-work box.
Using the screwdriver hole as a location reference, draw a circular circle on the ceiling for the mounting box. The box also functions as a hole template. Simply place the box against the ceiling and use a pencil to outline around its circumference. Push drywall saw through the screwdriver hole and cut following the pattern if using a pancake-style box. Pull the saw out when it reaches a ceiling truss and complete the cut with a utility knife. Make the hole 1/4-inch smaller than the contour if using an old workbox. Remove the cutout from the drywall.
Set up the Wire
Finding a suitable power supply for a pull-chain light might be difficult at times. Climb into the attic and look for a power source that is constantly hot and has an accessible junction box, such as an attic light or an outside electrical circuit. The power supply for the new light must be connected to the electrical circuit in an appropriate box. For the duration of this endeavor, turn off the necessary circuit breaker.
With the ground wire established, unroll a segment of 14-2. Three 14-gauge wires are included in a 14-2 with ground wire set: one black insulated wire, one white insulated wire, and one paper-wrapped bare copper wire. Connect the light to the power source by stretching the cable. Do not cut the wire at this time.
Use wire staples to secure the wire to ceiling joists or trusses inaccessible places. The wire sheathing should be tight but not crushed by the staple.
Place the Ceiling Mounting Box in Place
Install the ceiling mounting box as needed. Remove one of the 1/2-inch knockout covers using a slotted screwdriver if utilizing a pancake-style mounting box. In the knockout hole, place a 1/2-inch wire clamp with the nut pointing down. Place approximately 4 inches of wire in the box and clamp it down. The short depth of a pancake-style box does not allow for much surplus wire.
Push 6 to 8 inches of wire into the old-work box via the self-locking wire access holes if using an old-work box. The greater depth of the old-work box allows for more wire, making the wire connections simpler to reach and work with; the extra space also makes tucking the wires after wiring the light fixture easier. Insert the box into the hole until the lip of the box is flush with the ceiling. With a screwdriver, secure the box in position by turning the mounting tabs.
Put the Pull-Chain Light in Place
Remove the jacket and paper sleeve from the wire set, revealing two insulated wires and one bare copper wire. Each wire should have roughly 5/8 inch of insulation removed. Bend the wire ends to the shape of a J. Tighten the terminal screw on one of the light’s wire terminals using the J-shaped end of one of the insulated wires. In this light, the wire terminals are replaceable. Connect the second insulated wire to the last wire terminal on the lamp. When appropriate, connect the bare copper wire from the wire set to the mounting box or the green screw on the lamp.
Start the light’s mounting screws in the mounting box’s proper holes. The gap between these screws corresponds to the keyhole-shaped slots on the lamp. Align the mounting screws with the broad section of the keyhole-shaped slots. Up against the ceiling, rotate the light fixture until the narrow section of the keyhole-shaped openings sits over the screw heads.
Connect the Power Source to the Wire Set
This step’s wiring instructions vary depending on the power source. The core processes, however, remain the same. Make all connections within the junction box of the power supply. Remove the existing wire connections from the junction box by opening them and pulling them out. Install a new wire clamp or loosen an existing wire clamp on the junction box sufficiently to add the new wire set.
Remove around 4 inches of sheath and paper wrapping from the wire set of the pull-chain lamp. Remove the insulation from the black and white wires by 5/8 inch. Push the wire set of the light through the wire clamp until the sheath reaches approximately an inch into the box. Tighten the wire clamp as needed.
Combine the bare copper wire from the new wire set with the bare copper wire from the old wire. Place this bundle at the bottom of the box.
Remove the wire nut that connects the white insulated wires. To this bunch, add the fresh white-colored wire. Using pliers, twist the wire ends together and fasten them with a wire nut. Place this bundle at the back of the box.
Disconnect the existing black wires from the wire nut. Twist the ends of the new black wire together while holding them against the others. A wire nut secures the black wires together. Fold the cables inside the box in this manner. Replace the cover on the junction box.
Finish and put the Pull-Chain Light to the test. Attach the draw chain extender to the beaded chain of the lamp.
In the pull-chain light, replace the bulb. Choose the light bulb color that best suits your tastes. A warm-light bulb emits a yellowish light that is comfortable on the eyes. A daylight-colored bulb produces bright yet color-accurate light, while natural- and cool-light fall somewhere in the middle.
Switch the circuit breaker on. To turn on the light, gently pull the chain.