recessed light first try

Old 02-27-04, 08:54 PM
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recessed light first try

hello...I am new to this forum so treat me nicely.

I want to install recessed lights into my kitchen. I have never really done electrical work before, but the research on the web I've done and the Home Depot 1-2-3 Wiring book suggests that it it's in the neighborhood of easy to medium difficulty for a novice to do. I truly understand the saftey measures I need to take. You can't go one page in that wiring book without it telling you to check the power. So...somebody out there help me with my confidence. It will also help my wife's confidence in me when i look her in the eye and say it'll be a wonderful looking kitchen when the lighting is finished.

That being said, I am handy, I do catch on quick. installing the lights into the ceiling from my attic will be a piece of cake. But should I be doing the wiring, or should I hire an electrician.

Your help would be grateful
Old 02-27-04, 10:32 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
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Only you can judge how much you should take on. But I'll give you a few things to think about:
  • Are you good at following directions?
  • Did you read the owner's manual for your car, or is it still unopened in the glove compartment?
  • Was putting together your kid's bike on Christmas eve a piece of cake?
  • Did you do well in technical subjects in school?
  • Do you like to learn new skills, or are you just interested in getting this done quickly?
  • Do you tend to mess up DIY projects?
  • Do you have basic DIY skills? Can you drive a nail without bending it? Set a post in the ground plumb?
  • If you were to go to the store to buy wire nuts, would you read all the writing on the package before you bought them to make sure you had the right size?
  • Have you read enough of wiring books to know the difference between 12/2 and 14/2? Between yellow wire nuts and red wire nuts? Whether to wrap the wires clockwise or counterclockwise around a screw?
  • Do you know the difference between voltage and amperage and power and energy?
  • Do you know what Ohm's Law is?
  • Do you know how many PSI are supposed to be in your car tires?
  • Do you watch This Old House or Hometime?
  • Have you been in every aisle of Home Depot?
If you gave good answers to many of these questions, then you're ready to go. The key points are whether you pay attention to how things work, whether you do your homework before starting, whether you understand technical information, and whether you enjoy accomplishing things with your own hands. If so, go for it!
Old 02-27-04, 10:44 PM
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You may not like how I start off but I only say it because I care. Electrical work is not something to be taken lightly. It is not always so much the understanding of where to run the wires and which connections to make as much as the actual mechanics of it. Making the connections properly. Grounding effectively. These are the critical things. If you feel at all uneasy hire a professional.

That said, if you are mechanically inclined and do your homework, my feeling is you should be allowed to do your own work in your own home. Be sure all your connections are tight. This includes splices and any screw terminals on the devices. Loose connections are the source of most electrical problems. If you are installing devices don't use the backstab holes but use the screw terminals on the side to connect the wires.

I posted a reply to your last post about the 9 cans on one set of switches you may want to read. I would be happy to give you lighting layout ideas if you like.
Old 02-27-04, 10:48 PM
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Have you been in every aisle of Home Depot?
John, I like that one

Where I live there are 9 Home depots within a half hour of me. I could probably tell you which shelf an item is on in any one of them LOL

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