Can I install recessed lighting???

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by Deano1, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Mar 21, 2010 #1

    Deano1

    Deano1

    Deano1

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    I have a 40 yr old home that has poor lighting in the kitchen. It has one ceiling light that provides most of the general light for the room. I would like to add 4-5 recessed lights and do the work myself to avoid the labor costs. The one ceiling light is controlled by 3 (count em three) different switches! One in the kitchen, one in the hallway, and the third in the dining room. Where would be the best place to grab/steal power from and how do I do it? Would like to avoid bringing in a new supply line if possible. Was hoping that tying in 4-5 new lights would be possible since only had one light on that switch currently. What is the best way to go about this? Im not familiar with most of the electrical terminology so go easy on me out there :)
     
  2. Mar 21, 2010 #2

    Bud Cline

    Bud Cline

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    Until one of our local electricians reports in I'll offer this:

    1.) Due to the age of your home the first question that comes to my mind is: Are your walls and ceilings plaster, or are they drywall?

    If they are plaster you could be asking for trouble doing this yourself. Plaster ceilings can be very difficult to deal with when trying to cut holes in them without wrecking the ceiling.

    2.) You are aware that "can-lights" don't really project light throughout the room but they project more towards the floor instead?

    3.) You could pull the necessary power from the existing circuit using the same switching you have now if you want everything to come on at the same time. Messing with the switches you have can be very tricky.

    4.) How about installing some track-lighting on the surface of the ceiling? That wouldn't require much in the way of new holes.

    5.) Do you have access to the ceiling cavity for fishing additional wires?

    6.) I'm guessing you could probably add up to about six hundred watts of additional lighting before requiring a new circuit assuming your current light circuit isn't running some wall outlets somewhere.:)
     
  3. Mar 21, 2010 #3

    Deano1

    Deano1

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    I have drywall instead of plaster and installing the fixtures should be very do-able. Im interested in tying into the switches and adding the wattage you suggest. What does that process look like?
     
  4. Mar 21, 2010 #4

    Bud Cline

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    Can you get into your ceiling? What is above the kitchen?

    You wouldn't have to tie-in at the switches, you could pickup where the light fixture is now and go from there.

    Sounds very do-able now. Just be sure you buy the retro-fit cans that are made to be installed after the drywall is in place.:)

    If you have an attic above the kitchen any worries are basically over.:)
     
  5. Mar 21, 2010 #5

    Deano1

    Deano1

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    Thanks for your advice Bud. Attic access is easy so were good there. Not tying in at the switch sounds great! When you type "pick up where the light fixture is now", does that mean that Im going to do some splicing?
     
  6. Mar 21, 2010 #6

    Bud Cline

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    Yes but that's the easy part.

    Is there a box in the ceiling that supplies the current light fixture?:)
     
  7. Mar 21, 2010 #7

    Deano1

    Deano1

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    I havent looked but Im sure there is. I guess that's where I go next. Assuming I find the box, what are my next few steps?
     
  8. Mar 21, 2010 #8

    Housedoctor57

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    Your existing box where the light fixture is now will either have to be relocated or converted to one of your can lights. You cannot just drywall over this box. Take the existing wires that power your current light and run them to your new can light. Just continue from there to feed the next light, etc. You may want to use Remodel IC can lights. Halo are a brand I like.
     
  9. Mar 21, 2010 #9

    Bud Cline

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    Find the light fixtures you want to use. Locate their positions in the ceiling missing the ceiling joists. Install the fixtures. Install the wiring at each new fixture and bring it back to the existing junction box. There should be holes in the junction box already.

    Turn off the related circuit breaker.
    Connect the new wires in the old junction box to the existing feed wires.

    If you will abandon the existing light location you can use a decorative cover plate to cover the old box on the kitchen side after the wiring is complete.:)

    The above may not be your exact situation but there wouldn't be much more to it than that.:)
     
  10. Mar 21, 2010 #10

    Deano1

    Deano1

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    Well, this project is officially on my list. Thanks for the advice today folks - your have been a big help already. Now I'm going to see if there are any "how-to" videos that show me how to tie into that existing junction box.
     
  11. Mar 22, 2010 #11

    reprosser

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    One other comment about the recessed light fixtures.

    Some are rated for having insulation over them - and others are not. Be sure to get the ones that match your situation.
     
  12. Apr 19, 2010 #12

    ohmy

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    I would recommend hiring an electrician. You don't want the thought of your home burning down hanging over your head. There are lots of DIYS projects that don't have that kind of risk.
     
  13. Apr 19, 2010 #13

    Bud Cline

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    A month has passed and no OP!

    Gone.:)
     
  14. Jun 3, 2010 #14

    thomask

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    I plan on the same project.

    Will replace a single overhead with 4 to 6 - can lights with 65 watt bulbs. Will use the remodel cans that can come into contact with insulation. Plan on coming off the original wire and wire along to each light. I have drywall so cutting openings should be ok, just a little dusty.

    What would be the correct spacing for the lights to avoid shadows.
     
  15. Feb 20, 2015 #15

    KayEhm

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    If your home is truly that old and you have any reservations about getting this done right the first time I would really suggest hiring a company. I've done DIY projects before and it can be such a gamble... I'm actually looking to install recessed lighting in my kitchen as well, so I've been looking at companies in my area.. the guys at Balanced Electric seem on-point, I'm thinking of seeing what they can do for me.
     
  16. Feb 20, 2015 #16

    Sparky617

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    I don't know if you can do this, your questions lead me to think you probably shouldn't do it yourself. If you do go the DIY route read up on wiring so you know how to safely make the connections, properly secure the wires, how to run the wires into the box, grounding and all the rest. At 40 years I'd expect drywall or possibly plaster board and plaster. Which isn't much harder than drywall to work with.

    Here is a decent article on getting started when doing electrical. Read up on it before you tackle this as a project. It isn't rocket surgery but you can get killed or burn your house down if you do it wrong. http://www.hometime.com/Howto/projects/electric/elec_1.htm

    For light fixtures consider using these. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Halo-5-i...isk-Light-80-CRI-3000K-SLD606830WHR/204732243 You won't need a can, and it will give you the same look. They can be installed with just a regular ceiling box.
     

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