Arrrgh! light above sink will not be centered!

tricia257March 5, 2013

I want to hang a pendant over my sink in front of a window. The window went in today and sure enough the junction box in the ceiling isn't centered with the window!!!!!

They cant center the box because of a joist

There has to be some way of making sure the pendant light hangs centered in front of the window. Can i use a large canopy to cover the fixture's canopy and make it look centered and hang right.

Any ideas???

An off center light would be like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

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Any chance you can drop a narrow strip of ceiling, just enough to position a box in the center, and then connect to the box now in place. I'm not an electrician, but just an idea?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:14PM
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I get what you mean. They just finished the ceiling yesterday. I'm annoyed that no one seemed to notice this?

I can't imagine that I am the only one that would be annoyed by this.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:19PM
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It does not bother me. But then, it is in your kitchen and not mine.

OK, seriously, that would drive me nuts. There are several solutions. Smiling posted a good idea. Another idea is to fasten a very shallow junction box to the bottom of the joist. It may protrude a teensy bit below the ceiling or not. The pendant shell may hide that. It may be possible for them to use a shallow box and notch the joist so the box is flush with the ceiling. I know removing material from a joist reduces the strength. You would need to check with the contractor or even better, the local inspector to see if that met code.

Below is a picture of several ceiling boxes. The shallow grey steel box at top center is the one I had in mind.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:34AM
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We planned to install a single recessed light over our sink but it could not be centered so we ended up with two smaller recessed lights.
Could you add a second pendant above the sink? Perhaps you can find a smaller version of your pendant and do that.

This post was edited by icannotwait on Wed, Mar 6, 13 at 8:11

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 8:10AM
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You guys are the best. Good suggestions.. The idea of a thin junction box would be perfect. I hope the codes here allow it.

I feel much better this morning. All kids and DH are healthy so anything is is just the "small stuff" right? :)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:20AM
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My coworker just finished her bathroom. When she noticed her bathroom pendant light was not centered relative to the mirror she went berserk, more so because of the contractor told her it was not a big deal and no one would notice.

What she did was to find a nice looking, big plate to cover the base of the light fixture when moving the lightfixture over. The result was great and save a bundle of not redoing the ceiling.

Not sure if this would apply to your case.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 10:05AM
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Circus Peanut

A big advantage to putting in 2 pendants to solve your problem would be not having the light directly in front of your eyes (this disturbs some folks more than others). The disadvantage is the cost of another pendant, of course.

What does the pendant look like? If it has a generous canopy that's bigger than 4.5", it should be able to slide up over a protruding junction box fastened to the beam itself.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 10:44AM
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Maybe a ceiling medallion large enough that the cord can move to come out the center of the medallion at the center of the window and the place where the cord comes out through the ceiling is also covered.
The ceiling could be cut away so the cord is flush, I think, where it runs to the center.
Does this make sense? Couldn't think how to say it simply.

You might even find one that is a decorative asset!
Something like one of these:

Here is a link that might be useful: Ceiling medallions

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Wed, Mar 6, 13 at 11:12

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 11:11AM
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I never noticed that the light over my sink was not centered because we had a 8 or 10" flourescent light there. The electrician put in a pancake style box like the one above mentioned. Same situation as yours. Not sure if they notched the joist or not. They also put one in my half bath on the wall. Same problem.

Who puts joists in the wrong place anyways?? :-)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:59PM
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There are several solutions. You can use a shallow ceiling box (which is what I just used), a saddle box, or an offset box. For those of you that want a recessed light where a joist is in the way, you can cut the joist and header it off into the adjacent joists on either side.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 1:29PM
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What about a swag chain? Have you considered that?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 2:26PM
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"A big advantage to putting in 2 pendants to solve your problem would be not having the light directly in front of your eyes "

And the harsh shadows in the sink from a single bulb.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 2:44PM
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Using the information posted by measure_twice, the top center _pancake_ will work.

I also ran into the exact problem. After ordering one online for about 3 bucks plus $6 something shipping, I seen the exact thing at the big orange box store for $2 something.

They should meet code everywhere.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 2:45PM
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A lot of electricians don't carry (basic) things like shallow junction boxes around with them, and they want to get done fast, so they try to talk you out of it.

For info on the basics:

Here is a link that might be useful: Mounting Electrical Boxes

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 6:01PM
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Thank you all. The electrician is coming tomorrow to take care of this.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:01PM
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I agree regarding the swag chain

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 7:51PM
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We had same issue. We'd planned for one recessed light above sink but ended up with 2 because of the joist dad-smack at the center point of the new window. We replaced our existing window with one 3 times as wide and because the temporary sink we were using was in the existing location, no one seemed to notice. When our contractor started to do electrical work he felt awful because he could have moved the window a few inches down since he was custom building the cabinets.

The funny thing is, once our new sink and countertops were installed, the 2 lights illuminate the large width of the area so much better than just one would have. And we put them on dimmers so we can adjust how much light we need. So it was a mistake that turned into something we are really happy with.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 11:59PM
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