Installation and connection of spotlights in stretch and plastic ceiling

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Installation of spotlights in stretch and suspended ceilings is quite simple, however, due to primitive errors, damage to the ceiling material and an unreliable electrical connection can occur. We will tell you how to install the lighting network correctly and technologically.

Stretch ceiling with lamps in the bathroom

Making mounting holes

The easiest way is to make holes for fixtures in plastic ceilings. This can be done in various ways: with a crown, a circular drill (ballerina), or simply drill many small holes in a circle, and then cut the jumpers between them with a knife. Previously, it is worth “probing” the surface for the location of the bearing profiles. Also, it will not be superfluous to first make a hole of 16–20 mm off-center in order to examine the inside of the plastic ceiling with your fingers and make sure that there are no obstacles in the installation area of ​​the lamp.

Making holes for lamps in plastic panels

Making holes for fixtures in a plastic ceiling

When working with stretch ceilings, this method is irrelevant: if the fabric is sufficiently tolerant of punctures and cuts, then the film will instantly break from tension. Therefore, mortgages are usually pre-mounted on the ceiling under the lamps, while special eyelets are sewn into the canvas during the production process. But situations are different, sometimes the need for additional light arises after stretching the ceiling. For these cases, a very interesting technology for making mounting holes has also been developed..

Embedded under spotlights for stretch ceiling

Special mounting rings should be used to make a neat hole of the correct size in any type of ceiling. You can buy these from the ceiling manufacturer, and they also come with many high-quality fixtures. The ring has an inner diameter of 90 mm and a thickness of about a millimeter. Initially, on the ceiling canvas, you need to carefully mark the position of the holes for the lamps, and then glue the rings in the designated places. Cyanoacrylate is best suited for adhesion, it is better if it has a gel consistency. The guaranteed drying time is about 10 minutes, after which you can carefully cut a hole along the inner edge of the ring with a regular mounting knife.

Installation of luminaires into an installed stretch ceiling

Fixing methods for fixtures

The rigidity of the plastic ceiling allows you to fix any lightweight equipment on it, including spotlights. They are simply inserted inside, after having folded the spring-loaded legs, it is enough just to make sure that the clamps are directed across the inner partitions of the plastic lining. With a stretch ceiling, such a trick will not work, even wiring cannot be laid on it. All luminaires are fixed to the ceiling using a special adjustable stand that can be purchased at the point of sale of the luminaire. The stand is attached to the back surface of the decorative flange of the luminaire and consists of two parts connected by means of a longitudinal slot for height adjustment.

Installation of spotlights in a plastic ceiling

Don’t be upset if there are no racks on sale. Improvised mounts can be made from a conventional direct suspension for gypsum board systems. First, the plate is bent in a standard way, then the perforated tails are bent outward so that the bend line is 30–35 mm from the mounting pad. Further, the folded sections of the tails need to be bent inward with an indent of 20 mm from the previous fold line. After that, the tails of the plate are folded back and form two rectangular folds facing inward. The suspension can be fixed to the luminaire body with ordinary self-tapping screws LM11, having previously drilled the holes with a 3 mm drill. Suspensions are attached to the ceiling last after laying the cables and assembling the circuit. Before fastening, you also need to drill an additional hole for the cable fastener.

Suspended spotlight stand

Selection of type and power of fixtures

Ceiling recessed luminaires are classified according to the type of lamp base. Any of them are suitable for installation in rigid ceiling structures, but GX53 is mainly installed in stretch ceilings. This is explained very simply: in the central part of the socket there is a hole through which it is very convenient to connect the lamp and arrange the wires in the inner space. You can also use GU luminaires of different sizes, but they are usually less convenient to use..

Light GX53 H4

When choosing luminaires, you need to pay attention to the power, but not to the one declared by the manufacturer, but to the heat released. Immediately, you need to discard the options with halogen incandescent lamps, they heat up too much, which is why yellowed areoles appear on the ceiling around the lamps. The best option would be energy-saving lamps: compact fluorescent and LED.

GX53 LED Bulb

And even when choosing LED lamps, you need to test them in operation for 10-15 minutes. It is important that the heating of the light source does not spread to the housing parts. It should also be remembered that there is practically no convection in the space behind the ceiling, and therefore, in real operating conditions, the heating of the luminaire will be much stronger..

Laying the electrical network

As already mentioned, if a cable is laid on a stretched canvas, it will be visible from the front side. Therefore, for stretch ceilings, laying wiring on the back surface is not allowed, this can be done only if a lightweight low-current conductor in a non-combustible sheath is used, which is realistic only with a limited number of lighting devices.

Usually, the cable is attached to the ceiling at the connection points in such a way that it stretches under its own weight. Ears and hooks with a threaded pin for screwing into a plastic plug work well for these purposes. The possibility of hanging the cable in this way is determined by the distance between the rough ceiling and the canvas, as well as the distance between the suspension points. If it is necessary to fix a long line with a small clearance, a different method is used. Instead of hooks, reinforced fasteners, for example, an anchor bolt, are screwed into the body of the rough ceiling. Its nut presses either the wire figure eight or the thimble. The idea is to fasten at two points a cable with silicone insulation or synthetic cord and stretch it with a string.

Stretch ceiling wiring

After that, nylon clamps with a mounting hole are tightened on the cable with a pitch of 40–45 cm. The fastening ring is cut in one place as close as possible to the lock, due to which it turns into a small hook. It is with this hook that the cable is suspended from the stretched cable as it is pulled. The ends of the cable must be fixed directly to the sub-ceiling.

Now about how to pull the cable or cable through the cavity behind the canvas. Since stretch ceilings do not have a supporting system, the task is much easier, but it is impossible to use rigid wire as a pilot: the risk of damaging the canvas is too great. All you need is an ordinary thread, a small nut and a magnet, while the broaching technique is quite obvious. The only caveat is that when hanging the cable on the cable, the thread should have a length of at least twice the distance between the suspensions so as not to drag the bug separately for the cable and cable with the magnet.

Connecting luminaires and completing installation

By the beginning of the assembly of the electrical network, the ends of the cables must be removed from all openings and stripped. All preparatory work is carried out before fixing the fixtures.

Typically GX53 cartridges have two lead wires with stripped and tinned ends. They are easiest to connect to lighting wiring with WAGO spring or flag terminals, although conventional screw terminals can be used with success. As a rule, the luminaire is connected with only one wire, although it is possible to combine lighting fixtures into a garland. In this case, you should work hard to ensure that the power supply falls on the middle part of the chain: so the voltage loss on the thin wire will be less.

Ceiling light connection using terminal blocks

Of course, it is possible to organize a multi-circuit lighting network, for which a standard pair of two-wire cables, walled into the ceiling for connecting the chandelier to a two-button switch, is quite suitable. The connection at this point can be made even without a junction box, but it is advisable to use connection terminals filled with paste. It is enough just to find a common zero among the wires, marking the phase conductors by measuring their potential relative to grounded structures.

Finally, fixing of the lamps is carried out. If standard adjustable stands are used, then after fixing the central bracket, it is necessary to loosen the screw clamp, align the luminaire flange in the ceiling plane, and then tighten the clamp back. It is easier to work with self-made fasteners: due to the bend in the folds, a kind of accordion is formed, which perfectly holds its shape and is easily adjusted by the effort of one hand.

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