flush lighting

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Forum topic by andreij posted 07-16-2014 04:33 AM 1101 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View andreij's profile


2 posts in 1408 days

07-16-2014 04:33 AM


Does anyone know how and what tools I would need to do a “flush” downlight on a hard wood beam without doing it through-and-through? I hope this makes sense…



6 replies so far

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2528 days

#1 posted 07-16-2014 04:49 AM

The easy part is the holes for the lights. You simply need a drill bit (forstner, spade, etc.) of the right diameter. Drill a recess for the light on the underside of the beam.

The hard part is getting wire to the lights. If you are planning on using solid beams (as opposed to simply cladding framing to make it look like a solid beam), wiring typically runs in a channel along the top of the beams, with holes just large enough for wiring drilled through from the light recesses.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View wiwildcat's profile


58 posts in 1959 days

#2 posted 07-16-2014 04:59 AM

My 2 cents worth –
Those look like ‘puck’ lights (similar the the type used under wall cabinets in a kitchen). About 1” deep recessed into the beam. Most likely a low voltage LED type. I would suspect that there is a recess cut into the beam with a forstner bit to the depth of the puck. Then a smaller hole, maybe 1/4” diameter all the way through the beam for the low voltage wiring from the light fixture to the LED driver located somewhere else. Can’t really tell if the beam is false or a actual structure member. Caution if you are going to do this, so that the beam strength isn’t compromised.

-- Wisconsin Wildcat

View Crank50's profile


173 posts in 1573 days

#3 posted 07-16-2014 12:32 PM

When I see a beam like that I have two thoughts.

1. Is it structural?

2. Is it ornamental.

If I see lights stuck in it I would conclude it is ornamental and whether it is drilled or not is irrelevant.
If the beams are full solid beams and serve a structural function, then I would expect any lights there-on to be surface mounted.

So, it depends on what you are wanting to accomplish. Do you want the beam to look ornamental, or be and look structural?

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 1628 days

#4 posted 07-16-2014 12:38 PM

More often that not these “beams” are not real beams but just a box put together to look like the real thing, which is also what I would recommend.

If you have a structural beam like that i would not make the holes needed in there, 90% of the time you won’t compromise the structural integrity of the beams, but why on earth would you risk it even at 10%?

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View andreij's profile


2 posts in 1408 days

#5 posted 07-16-2014 11:10 PM

thanks guys! it’s more ornamental rather than structural. Thanks for the input :)

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 1628 days

#6 posted 07-17-2014 06:53 AM

Alright. Well If you need to “construct” the beams, then this is an easy soultion, that you can modify to your needs.

that’s pretty much the way I would do it anyway.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

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