Recessed Lighting: A Relatively Simple Retrofit
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Recessed Lighting: A Relatively Simple Retrofit


One simple and cost-effective way to upgrade your home is to improve its lighting. Hidden, or recessed, lighting can create an atmosphere completely different from what you currently have with your existing fixtures and lamps. Not only can you enhance brightness and create dramatic effects through arrangements of floodlights and spotlights, but you can eliminate obstructed views and unsightly cords as well as the chore of dusting lamps.

Installation of recessed lighting, including all necessary electrical wiring, should be performed by a licensed electrical contractor. Here’s what he is likely to do for this project:

  • Determine optimal spacing for your new lights to ensure that beams from individual floodlights overlap, producing an even light. Variables affecting this include canister width, bulb beam angle and ceiling height.
  • Locate your ceiling joists for attachment of the metal housing cans.
  • Use a drill mounted saw to make circular cutouts in the ceiling that match the diameter of your cans.
  • Attach the cans to the joists.
  • Snake all wiring into the ceiling and connect to the individual units.
  • Repair any minor drywall or paint damage, and install your new trim.

Some recessed lighting fixtures are safe to be mounted in contact with insulation, while others must be kept at least three inches from any flammable materials.

One more thing to consider when purchasing your lights is that some cans are airtight, while others allow air escape — resulting in increased heating and cooling costs.

To learn more about recessed lighting and other energy and home comfort issues in the metro Portland area, contact us at (503) 266-1249.

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