Installing CHEAP! Hanging LED Lights to Brighten a Work Space

6 Materials
3 Hours
Our shop was in dire need of new lighting. When we purchased this property the shop only had a single CFL bulb hanging from one of the ceiling joists. After working on a few other renovation jobs, I had fallen in love with LED bulbs. They are simple, damage resistant and best of all - cheap! Did I also mention they are extremely bright?
Here is a video of the whole process. In the video I go into much more detail about the project and some of the specifics about the layout and the cool hanging sockets.
Each light gets its own box. These are metal octagon boxes that match the plates which I will show you later on. The boxes are laid out; one in the middle and two 35 inches each direction from the middle running down the rafter.

I had to run a length of 2x4 between the rafters so that I would have something to attach the box to.
All of the boxes needed to be positioned in a way so that the open part faced down.
The other two boxes were attached farther down the rafter. They were attached to the bottom edge of the rafter, which puts them at a bit of an angle, but that's okay for this project.
I am not an electrician, but I know how to do basic residential wiring. That being said, I won't give you any advice or instruction on how to wire these. What I will tell you is that I used 12/2 wire and wired them end to end. The main from the junction box will run to the first plate and the other two will feed off of the first one.

If you have no idea how to do this, please contact a licensed electrician.
This is the basic wiring layout. The wire on the left will be the main running from the junction box.
The same is basically true for the middle box. It feeds from the first box and sends to the third one, which is on the right.
Here is a shot of all three together.
Here is a rundown of the lights I used. They are older and needed to be rewired. The wire inside had become corroded and brittle.

What you are looking at here is the plate the fastens to the open portion of the boxes we just installed. It is wired inside the box and the wire is ran through the hole in the plate where it passes through a grommet and a locking plastic nut. This is what keeps the light from falling. (this is shown much better in the video)
These are the ceramic socket housings. They received the other end of the hanging wire. This is what the bulb will screw into.
The silver plate and threaded conduit here work much like the grommet and lock nut assembly on the plate. Wire passes through both and then locks in place to keep the light from falling.
Here is one of the hanging lights completely rewired and ready to go.
It gets wired into the existing wire that we had already ran and the plate gets attached to the box.
It should look something like this.
I installed the 4,000k Daylight LED bulbs, flipped the switch and everything looks good. Actually it is at least 200% brighter in the shop than it was. I have another set of these to install and some box lights and we should be all set.

I hope this was helpful in some way. I want to thank you for checking it out. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will answer them the best I can.

Suggested materials:

  • 12/2 Wire   (Menards)
  • Hanging Light Socket Sets   (Reused from old building)
  • Wire Nuts   (Anywhere)
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4 of 11 comments
  • 861650 861650 on Jun 03, 2017
    You're one smart guy and I really like the idea of "daylight" bulbs. It is so difficult without proper lighting. Don't laugh too hard but I've even used a flashlight when applying a top coat on a piece of furniture...Snort!

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Jun 04, 2017
    WOW. That's quite a difference. Mu husband replaced a fluorescent light fixture we had in the garage with LEDMO Power Supply, Transformers,LED Adapter, 12V, 5A Max, 60 Watt Max, for LED Strip Light and a continuous string of LED's. This fluorescent lght had been in our kitchen. The kitchen now has two new LED light fixtures. Best decision ever for lighting.