Suggestions for installing two 4 ft LED flush mount shop lights in unfinished basement ceiling perpendicular to floor joists (see pictures)? Specifically, what ceiling box to use and would you mount LED light directly to joists or install something over joists then LED light.

The pictures show the two areas that I will install LED lights. There used to be a hanging fluorescent shop light in first picture. In 2nd picture I am replacing the single chain light. I'll feed both LED lights from a single pole switch I'll install.

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When I mount a shop light across unfinished joists, I just screw the fixture directly to the joists. My lights can be disassembled from the front, so I mounted the back plate first and then attached the front.

I use at least four screws in a rectangle. This prevents wobbling.

Some of my lights are parallel to the joists, so I placed 3" x 3/4" strips across the joists and screwed the back plate to that.


Replace that goofy Edison socket with a coverplate for a receptacle. Now you have a dual receptacle that is switched by the garage light switch.

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Hang the lamps by chains. And then plug their plugs into the receptacle.

It gives you the versatility to move the lights around to suit, and allows easy swap or addition of a fixture.

Flexible cordage, as a replacement for fixed wiring, is only allowed in certain cases -- luminaires are one of them. It is legal to use plug and socket when the plug is accessible (e.g. not behind a drop ceiling, unless your AHJ authorizes that).


I have exactly this scenario over my basement and garage workbenches. Just screw the fixture to the joists over the box so that the fixture is tight to the box. You can either move the box up flush with the bottom of the joist or add spacers behind the fixture where you place the screws.

As long as everything is tight together and things can't move around you should have no code or safety issues.

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