Trying to hang a light fixture from my ceiling in my condo

Hi all, I bought a stud finder in order to put a light fixture up in my condo. This particular light fixture hangs from the ceiling. But when I run the stud finder across the ceiling it doesn't find any spot that is "clear" as it successfully does on my walls.
Just as a test to see if the stud finder was operating effectively on the ceiling I attempted to drill in a couple of spots on the ceiling with no success. It looked as if I was hitting metal. I'm obviously unfamiliar with the construction of buildings (condiminiums in this case) - but is it possible that my entire ceiling is just a series of contiguous I beams or some other construction that would result in no allowance for putting ceiling fixtures up (without something that can drill through metal)? As one would expect the ceiling already has a number of light fixtures in it - is it possible that there was no accomodation made for adding further fixtures?
Thanks, Novice
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snipped-for-privacy@qlink.queensu.ca wrote:

If you live in a condo, you are probably required (by city and/or condo. assn.) to have a licensed electrician install a fixture :o)
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How many stories to the building?
It is quite possible that your ceiling is the concrete for the floor above.
I assume this is a swag light complete with power cord that you plug in?
If not you will need an electrician in a multi-family building for reasons of law, bylaws and insurance regulations.
Colbyt
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All sorts of things are possible, and we can't see your place from here. What sort of construction is your place- wood frame or multi-story commercial, like an apartment building? If the latter, floors are probably also firebreaks, steel trusses (and maybe a few I-beams) with corrugated steel above, and maybe below, and concrete or some kind a gypsum product as a firestop and finish surface. A full-on commercial spec building may even have reinforced concrete slabs between floors. In these cases, a surface-mounted setup and raceway wiring may be the only practical answer. Even of it is frame construction, maybe you have expanded metal lathe under a plaster ceiling, which a stud finder is usually clueless with. As a start, I'd pull one of the other fixtures out, and try to get a peek at how the ceiling is framed. If pulling an existing fixture is outside of your skill set, get professional assistance in installing your new fixture. (NOT a flame, mind you, most people never have any reason to learn about such things, and everyone has start learning somewhere.)
If you have an upstairs neighbor, you may not have the right to open the ceiling anyway, and will have to go through the management company to make any invasive changes. Even if this is just a wood frame attached or detached condo, they should have a set of prints on file, and/or a point of contact at the builder, to answer structural questions.
aem sends...
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Hi all, thanks for everyone responses. You'll have to excuse my ignorance since I've really never been shown nor attempted ANY sort of home improvement. I've only recently purchased this place so this is my first real attempt at doing anything beyond putting up a picture.
That said, to answer some of your questions - this light fixture comes with a plug - so I can plug it into the wall - therefore I don't need an electrician to install it. Also, from what I have learned since I posted the question at least one of you guessed correctly - it isn't metal that I'm hitting it is concrete. I spoke to a helpful individual at Rona and he directed me to pick up a masonary drill bit so I'll attempt that tonight. He also gave me hooks that more than double the necessary weight capacity for the light fixture.
Thanks for everyone's suggestions, Novice
snipped-for-privacy@qlink.queensu.ca wrote:

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Well, I got the masonary drill, did the drilling (disturbed the hell out of my neighbours) and now have my flourescent light fixture hanging from my two ceiling hooks.
The hooks I purchased can be used in drywall, concrete or wood. If used in concrete they use these plastic housing that is stuck in the hole and then the hook screws into the plastic. Apparently each of these hooks should be able to hold 60 pounds. One issue I ran into was that I must have been a little sloppy in the drilling of my first hole since the hook I placed in it slipped out under about 15 pounds of weight.
So instead of redrilling another hole into the concrete (since that is really tiring work) - I just poured a bunch of crazy glue all over the plastic and then quickly screwed the hook in - then let it sit overnight. In the morning I gave the hook about a 25 pound tug and it held. So I put the lamp up - I'm guessing this means I'm going to be regretting that decision when it comes time for me to move out and take out that hook, eh? If I'm really lucky, I can just yank on the hook and most of the plastic will come with the hook. If I'm not so lucky, I'm guessing I'll yank on the hook, leave most of the plastic in there, then fill the plastic'y hole... dunno
Oh well... amateur construction gets amateur fixes :\\
Novice
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You did not do anything wrong.
When masonry bits are used in a non-hammer drill they tend to be a little sloppy. The superglue is a neat tip that I will remember.
Colbyt
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On 4 Feb 2006 12:34:37 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@qlink.queensu.ca wrote:

Stud Finders are only for single men. Married men have wives to serve as stud finders.
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