Today my topic is about lighting, recessed lighting.Just like many of you, my notions about electricity are less than the basics. I'm trying to learn the most I can while updating my home.
As I usually say, I am way way far from being an expert, I just want to share with you the experience we went through while installing recessed lighting in our kitchen.
So, here I go --->
This picture below shows you the lights we began with, one fluorescent fixture in the middle of the kitchen right on top of the island, one pendant light above the kitchen table, and one recessed light fixture above the sink.
My lighting plan was this simple one:
- Install four recessed lights. -Connecting them to the same circuit as the recessed light above the sink.
- Change the fluorescent fixture for a pendant one.
- Move the fixture above the kitchen table further away from the fluorescent one (this had to be done because we were adding a side shelf to the kitchen island), and update the fixture.
Our most important source of information at this point was this great article:
by The Family Handyman
A very well detailed article for diy'ers that know the basics of connecting wires and installing electrical boxes (I really don't know much about this but Hubby does) ;)
We got each our own copy to study all the steps they show with well explained pictures. This is a keeper.
Some of the things you'll find there are: How to draw a lighting plan, how to find the circuit to provide power, and how to fish the cables.
We began tackling the recessed lights but our first stumbling block was right there even before we started. The circuit that we were thinking to top on, to connect the recessed lights was completely FULL! We found out about that by mapping the circuits and indexing the service panel, you can read how to do that HERE.
We had to fish the cable from an electrical box on the opposite wall from where the kitchen sink is located, that means it had to be done by bringing the cable through the unfinished basement and up this wall.
Then we daisy chained the fixtures.
We installed 5-in, remodel housings (this type of fixtures are designed to be installed by the bottom up, when you have no access from above to install them), IC (for insulated ceilings)
With the corresponding 5-in. trim.
One of the hardest and awkward parts of the installation job was working around the ceiling joists. There were places where they were attached together (side by side), making it hard to drill the holes to pass the cable.
We found out after making the drawings for the openings on the ceiling that we couldn't install one of the lights in that position because of the joists being way to close. That made us change the position of the other lights, since they all had to be aligned.
Having a right angle drill attachment plus a pretty long drill bit to drill the holes on the joists is indispensable.
The size of the holes and were they have to be done on the joist is information you will find on The Family Handyman article above.
Something that gave us a good headache after connecting the electrical was placing the housings flush to the ceiling. Those little legs were crumbling the Sheetrock. As good rookies we didn't know that you have to spread them apart to make them fit properly. Just to get that answer we had to make a trip to our closest home improvement center. :/
Changing the light fixtures above the island and kitchen table was not that big of a problem. Moving the pendant light meant we had to go thorough ceiling joists again. :/ A lot of repair to the Sheetrock afterwords.
This next link is a DIY Network video with Amy Matthews on how to make that kind of repair.
Perhaps one of the most difficult parts about recessed lighting is deciding what kind of fixture is the one you need in your space. This next link will give you a peek at the many possibilities you have at hand.
By Home Style Choices
We did it! We stayed within budget because we did it ourselves. It wasn't that easy, but for sure it's something you can DIY if you gather the right information and put some elbow grease.
The best part is the end result and the experience you gained while going through it all.
Have you install them as a DIY project? Do you have any piece of advice?
For more about this DIY Kitchen, check these out:
More KITCHEN Projects here:
Update the kitchen island
Build a fridge enclosure
Build a range hood
Close the space above the kitchen cabinets
Add moldings to your kitchen cabinets
how to paint the cabinets.
Kitchen cost breakdown
1 ½ Year Later How the Kitchen is Holding up
Build-in Plate Rack
Pull Out Shelves in Pantry
LG Appliances Review and Complain