Replacing a Fluorescent Fixture with Recessed Lighting

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Joe wants to talk kitchen lighting. What can we help you with?

    JOE: Yes, I’m a new homeowner and …

    LESLIE: Congratulations.

    JOE: And – thank you. And we’ve been in our home for about a year now and it’s about 12 years old. And one of the things that it came with, in the kitchen, instead of recessed lighting was a fluorescent light.

    TOM: OK.

    JOE: And it has trusses, I know, underneath the ceiling and I’m looking to replace that with a round of maybe five or six recessed lights. And I’m just wondering what steps you’d suggest.

    TOM: Well, it certainly can be done. It requires a bit of finesse because the electrician has to – the first thing is to locate those lights. And generally, when you’re trying to locate those lights you try to figure out where you would really like to have them and then you discover that it happens to be a truss right above it and then you make some adjustments. So figure out where you want the lights. Do a little bit of investigation to figure out if you are trying to place them right where a truss is. You can do that with a stud finder and that’ll tell you where the ceiling joists are or the trusses are. And then you cut the holes. Once you have them in place then it’s a simple matter of snaking the wiring, starting with the circuit that you have right now, to each of those high hat lights.

    So it’s not terribly difficult but it’s something electricians do everyday and it’ll probably be easiest for you to hire a pro for this job.

    LESLIE: And Tom, what about the lights that are specifically rated to be in contact with insulation? Should we think about that here?

    TOM: Well, in this case – in this case, this is a two-story house so your ceiling does not have any insulated space above it. Is that correct?

    JOE: That’s correct.


    TOM: So you don’t have to worry about using an IC-rated light. You’re referring, Leslie, to the lights that would typically be up and pressed in the insulation. You’re right. If there was insulation above this you’d have to use a light that was rated IC, which stands for insulation contact. But since there’s no insulation in there you can use a standard recessed lighting fixture.

    LESLIE: And you know, Joe? Another idea, if you want to just take out that fluorescent fixture, because you’ve already got that power to that one spot on the ceiling you can do sort of a suspended track light where you have a ceiling plate that sort of hangs down to a vertical bar that, you know, maybe it waves; maybe it’s straight and it has multiple fixtures hanging off of it. They don’t look utilitarian. They can be really gorgeous. They can have multiple halogen heads. And then you can direct them to wherever you need for the kitchen and you don’t have to go through all that electrical brouhaha.

    JOE: Well, thank you. I appreciate that.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Joe.

    JOE: I took some notes here and I’m ready to go.

    TOM: Alright, sounds good. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.

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