Saturday, February 1, 2014

Basement Lights

Hi everyone! I hope you all are having a great weekend so far. I actually finished this project a few days ago but have been a bit lazy this week (which seems sort of typical these days).

My last post, I discussed hanging the cabinets for our basement minibar. What you probably can't tell from the picture below is that the space was feeling a bit dark. We had to remove the light that was previously there because the cabinets needed to be hung where it was located. I did some experimenting with what I wanted to do about the lights.

I had originally wanted to put in recessed lights above the ceiling, but I was convinced this wouldn't be possible. Here is a cross-section of the area above the ceiling. The vent really prevents the recessed lights since it is only about 4" above the drywall.

I looked into putting a light on the back wall, but the light would have really been blocked by the upper cabinets. One idea that could have worked would have been to install a ceiling light using a single box nailed into the support stud. But I would have had to cut out more drywall than I would have liked to make that work. (Really in hindsight, I should have ripped out all the drywall when we started this project, but live and learn, right?) I went back to the recessed light idea. I measured the distance between the vent and support stud. I could do 3" recessed lights. It would be tight, but I could do it. So, that is what I did. 

The holes were 3 1/8" in diameter. The fixtures barely fit through the hole.

Old circuit box. I took a picture so I would remember how to wire it.

The recessed lights housing. The housing was 6" tall. The housing barely fit. I got lucky.

Wires from the power and switch. I'm not going to get into the wiring. I basically followed the wiring that was done for the switch before.

The first test. Insert sigh of relief here.

I daisy chained the first one to the second. The first box had a lot of wires in it, which was hard to deal with (I always struggle with wire wrapping), but it all fit.

Once I knew my daisy chain would work, I secured the first box into the ceiling using the clips. The 3" clips were much easier to deal with than the recessed lights we did in the kitchen. The housing was super light even with the light installed. Because of the stud, I could only install 2 of the 3 clips, but it seemed to hold pretty well, so I'm not too concerned.

All three installed. The last one was daisy chained from the second. I could have conserved a bit of wire by going right to left, but it's not a huge deal.

The lighting is so much better now, and I love the new recessed lights.

This project is nearing completion, and I am pretty excited about it. We also had the countertop company come and measure. Our countertop is going to be installed this coming Friday! How exciting is that? Once that is done, there will be some finishing touches work, but then we can cross this baby off the to-do list! It only took 5 months...

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