Thursday, December 23, 2010

DIY - Kitchen Can Lights

I don't know who decided the best light for the kitchen was a florescent {shop} light. I looked at getting some sort of faux track light to minimize the wiring that we would have to do. After talking to many lighting experts (they all told us it was a bad idea, since track lights are meant for accent lighting-not for primary lighting) we decided to go for it and do can lights. I would have it no other way, I LOVE our can lights.

1. Figure out how many can lights {and where to put them}
Our kitchen is about 12' by 12'. Five of these babies make it look like noon-day in the kitchen. We probably could have gotten away with 4, but I like how bright it gets in the kitchen.
Placing the can lights is a little trickier. The "remodel" cans come with a template to draw on your ceiling. I pinned the templates where I thought I wanted them. I had to adjust, readjust, adjust again, and adjust again. Mainly finding a mirrored layout that didn't get messed up by trusses was the tricky part. I finally got it and went for it, attacking the drywall with my drywall knife. (you'll want safety glasses, insulation to the eye doesn't feel good).
2. Install cans {REMEMBER: turn off the breaker!}
I don't know how many people feel comfortable doing their own wiring (you might want to hire an electrician). I am not entirely experienced, but in order to get my Construction Management degree I did take an electrical systems class. I felt comfortable doing my own wiring. With the help of my husband, we "daisy chained" from the original light box to our 5 new cans up in our attic. 
 3.Finish 'er off
The rest is easy. Install the bulbs and trim and your new lights are done. I had a little of repair to do from our old light. First off, it wasn't centered in the room, so I had to patch over the old "box", do my own little texturing of the ceiling and paint. I took one of the circles that I had cut out of the ceiling and took it down to Sherwin Williams to have them match the paint. I painted houses professionally for 3 Summers. I do not trust anyone else to match paint, and again they gave me the perfect color/sheen.
Before:                                                  After:
Looks pretty awesome right?! My husband had to drag me out of the kitchen that night, I couldn't stop looking at how great they look!
Total Cost: About $100


  1. Sommer, this is a HUGE improvement in the kitchen lighting!

    Congratulations and well done!!!

  2. Nice upgrade! When are you coming over? haha

  3. Wow, $100 well spent! I'd love to do the same in our kitchen, but not sure where to start since our house is two story. Probably have to rip out the ceiling. Oy.