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How to Fasten Light Fixtures to Brick

Published by Robert Carlisle on Oct 31st 2009

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Sometimes a light fixture needs to be fastened to a brick wall in an indoor or outdoor application. There are three basic considerations that need to be taken into account before attempting to fasten a lighting fixture to brick. the weight of the fixture, the mounting plate, anchoring environment and the light cover fixture.

Weight of the Light Fixture

The holding values of fasteners used in brick are determined by the diameter of the anchor. An increase in the light fixture's weight will create a proportionate increase in the anchor's required diameter and depth of embedment into the brick. The minimum embedment of an anchor is determined by its' diameter. The larger the diameter, the deeper the minimum embedment.

Lighting Fixture Mounting Plate

Light fixtures come with a mounting plate that has holes that allow mounting to the brick. The holes in the mounting plate will range from 1/4" diameter to 5/8" diameter or larger. The diameter of the hole in the plate will not allow the same diameter fastener to be inserted into it. The threaded end of the brick fastener will fit through these holes, the working end will not. For example, if the holes in the mounting plate is 1/2" then a 3/8" diameter anchor should be used. It is important to choose a concrete anchor that is one size smaller than the holes in the mounting plate.

Anchoring Environment

When fastening a light fixture outdoors, it is necessary to use a stainless steel brick fastener. Zinc plated brick fasteners should only be used when fastening a light fixture in a dry, indoor application. Zinc plated fasteners will rust over time in a moist, outdoor environment. Stainless steel brick anchors will not rust.

Light Cover Fixture

The amount of space inside the light fixture cover will sometimes be the determining factor for the type of fastener that will be required for a certain application. Some fasteners are designed with a finished head and will not take up much space in the fixture cover. Other brick fasteners, especially larger diameters, make take up space in the cover once they are set. Most heavy or larger light fixtures are designed to allow for larger diameter fasteners to be used. This is an important consideration to be determined prior to choosing the brick fastener to be used.

Fasteners Used for Fastening Light Fixtures to Brick

Sleeve Anchors

  • Versatile fasteners that work well in brick base material
  • Smallest diameter available- 1/4"
  • Largest diameter available- 3/4"
  • Available in regular zinc plating and stainless steel
  • Can be used in the brick itself or the mortar joint (depending on where the mounting holes are located)
  • Does not have a finished head
  • Threaded part of the anchor may protrude into the light fixture cover

Concrete Screws

  • Self-tapping screw designed for use in brick, block or concrete
  • Best known by the brand name Tapcon®
  • Available in standard blue Climaseal® coating and stainless steel (also coated in Climaseal©)
  • Taps threads into the brick
  • Hole must be drilled into the brick before the screw is used to fasten the mounting plate
  • Available diameters range from 3/16" to 3/4"
  • Most diameters are available in a hex washer head or a flat Phillips countersunk head
  • The hole to be drilled for the concrete screw should be smaller than the diameter of the screw

Hammer Drive Anchors

  • Ideal for fastening light fixtures to brick because of its low profile head
  • Has a mushroom head- larger surface under the head for excellent pull out strength
  • Low profile avoids taking up extra space in the fixture cover
  • Available in 1/4" diameter
  • Should only be used for light and small lighting fixtures
  • Diameter of the hole to be drilled will be equal to the diameter of the hammer drive anchor

When your application requires that you attach/fasten a lighting fixture to brick, it is necessary to take all of these factors into consideration before deciding which fastener will work the best. Using the most ideal and suited fastener will ensure that these lighting fixtures are correctly and safely attached to the brick base material.

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