Ways to cover a ceiling light

Updated February 21, 2017

Ceiling lights in your home can be an eyesore. Some homeowners cover these unwanted fixtures with large drum shades, while others simply remove the light. If you remove the light fixture from the ceiling, you've still got work to do. To cover the electrical box, you'll have to screw wire nuts onto the exposed ends of the wires to prevent a fire. Once the wires are properly protected, you'll need to cover the hole in the ceiliing

Cap and Paint

Almost every home improvement store carries ceiling electrical box covers. These covers are made of metal and look like a flat plate with screw holes. Push the capped electrical wires up into the box and screw the cover onto the box. Paint the cover the same colour as your ceiling. The cover will blend into your ceiling and only the most discerning eyes will know there used to be a light there.

Ceiling Paneling

You can use panelling to cover the entire ceiling, unused electrical box included. Make sure the wires are capped and install the ceiling panelling directly over the electrical box. Choose one of several options, including knotty pine panelling or white painted bead board. Locate the joists in the ceiling and nail the panelling directly into the joists. Be sure you know where the electrical box is so you do not nail the panelling into the electrical wires.

Tin Ceilings

Like ceiling panelling, tin ceilings cover the existing ceiling. This makes it easy to cover an unwanted ceiling light box. Install a sub-ceiling over your existing ceiling by screwing ΒΌ-inch plywood sheets to the ceiling joists. Once the sub-ceiling is in place, install the tin ceiling per the manufacturer's directions.

Leave the Light, Add a Shade

Lamp shades are another option for covering an unwanted ceiling fixture. In this case you will need to leave the light fixture intact. Instead of pulling the fixture out of the ceiling electrical box, simply slip a large drum shade over the fixture and attach it with wire. The shade will cover the fixture and allow you to use the functioning light.

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About the Author

Cadence Johansen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, marriage, family relationships, caregiver support, home improvement and money. Johansen has been writing professionally since 2008. She holds a master's degree in family studies from Utah State University.