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5/17/2011

Let There Be Light!

As mentioned in this previous post, Craig has been working on lighting.  Well, I thought that I would give you a little update on how that’s going. 

Let me remind you what kind of lighting we were working with before hand (pay special attention to how dark the room looks even when these lights were both turned on).

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Two VERY out dated fixtures… one placed on either end of the long, narrow kitchen.  There were no overhead lights in the family room, so we had to rely solely on lamps.  Craig borrowed a “light meter” from work to measure the amount of foot-candles brightness of the rooms.  Our old kitchen scored between 4 and 5 (depending on which corner of the black hole you were standing in at the time) and our family room scored even lower.  Just for perspective… the ideal measurement for general kitchen use is 20-50 and for food preparation is 50-100.  Living rooms are recommended to be 10-20.  So, obviously our old lighting (or lack there of) just wasn’t cutting it. 

So on to the solution… installing dimmable recessed lights in the ceilings in both spaces and under-cabinet lights where else but under the cabinet! 

As mentioned before, we laid out our desired plan for the recessed lights by taping circles to the ceiling.  Before cutting any of the holes Craig drilled a pilot hole in the center of each circle and inserted a dowel rod just to check that we wouldn’t run into any problems (a.k.a. cut the hole for our light right in the middle of one of the roof trusses).  After a quick trip into the attic to make sure everything would work he then cut the holes and inserted the cans.  We ended up having to change our original design a couple of times due to those pesky trusses, but I think it all worked out well in the end!

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The under-cabinet lighting also turned out great!  It was pretty simple to wire them in and attach them to the cabinets.  Initially I wasn’t sold on the idea that we had to have them.  Craig did some convincing and in the end I’m really glad that we did it.  It looks great and really makes the countertops shine!

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Our general kitchen lighting now measures 30-50 depending on where you’re standing!  And the food preparation areas (countertops) measure in at around 80!  The family room is now measuring 15-20!  Definitely a HUGE improvement!  We plan to also install fixtures over the sink and peninsula, but aren’t quite there yet… we’re still combing the five large catalogs we have to try to find the perfect fixtures.  Who knew this would be the toughest renovation related decision to make?

2 comments:

Jill said...

How did he run wires to these if the placement of the cans wasn't known until after the sheetrock was up?

Alanna said...

we are lucky enough to have a ranch style house, which means craig was able to do all of the wiring from in the attic. we had a general idea of where we wanted the cans to go, so when we rewired the kitchen (before the new sheetrock went in) we made sure to leave plenty of wire in the attic to attach to the first can. once the first can was wired we daisy-chained the lights to one another with additional wire. so eventhough we didn't know the exact placement it still worked out!