Changing from fluorescent to incandescent

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  #1  
Old 10-05-06, 10:44 AM
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Changing from fluorescent to incandescent

We have a gigantic fluorescent light fixture running the length of our kitchen. We'd like to replace it with a more contemporary incandescent light. Is this difficult to do? What is involved? I'm getting estimates from electricians but feel like some of them are ripping me off.
 
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Old 10-05-06, 10:58 AM
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Changing the fixture out is probably a piece of cake. Covering up the marks/holes left by the old fixture is what might be difficult. It also might be difficult to find a single new incandescent fixture that provides enough light for the whole kitchen.

Doug M.
 
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Old 10-05-06, 11:23 AM
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This may or may not be a big project depending on whether or not you can reuse the old lighting circuit for the new lights. If the old circuit is already overloaded like most are in older homes, then it cannot handle the additional load of incandescent lighting. There are also some technical reasons why the old circuit may not be usable. If the job requires pulling a new circuit, the cost can go up a lot depending on the layout of the house and other factors.
 
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Old 10-05-06, 11:31 AM
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Part of the answer also depends on where the cable for this light enters the light. if it enters at the center of the ceiling, and you want a new light at the center of the ceiling then you are probably okay. However, if it enters the light at one end, and you want the new light in the center of the ceiling then you willmost likely have a problem.
 
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Old 10-05-06, 11:54 AM
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If the size and location of the light is a problem, you might want to look at a halogen track lighting system. They've got some pretty snappy looking ones at home centers, take a look. To see if you may be overloading this circuit, you need to figure out what receptacles and lights are currently on this breaker, and what size breaker it is. You should avoid going over 80% of the breaker's rating, when looking at what loads will commonly be on this circuit.

Replacing a light fixture is a pretty basic electrical job - it's the carpentry, finish, patching, etc. that may be a pain in the butt.
 
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Old 10-05-06, 04:09 PM
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Thank you for your replies. I think the biggest pain is that we're going to have to redo the drywall (the current fixture is about 3' X 12' long).

The electricians I've met with say that they will replace "the box." Is this what you mean by the circuit? (Excuse my ignorance on the topic!)

He said we could do one light in the middle or, two or three along the length of it since the kitchen is fairly long and narrow. They said 3-4 hours of work. Does that sound reasonable?
 
  #7  
Old 10-16-06, 10:37 PM
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Lightbulb

Don't forget to install CFL bulbs instead of incandescent lights! It will save money on your electric bill, provides nearly identical light, and doesn't generate as much heat as standard incandescent bulbs! They even have "warm" versions that very accurately replicate the light from an incandescent bulb.

Even though CFL bulbs are "compact flourescent" most good ones don't give of any noticable flicker (my wife and i are really sensitive and not one CFL in our house bothers us) or hum. They might take a fraction of a second longer to light, but after a few uses, you'll never know the difference.

Incandescent bulbs are about 10% efficient, meaning 10% of the energy consumed is converted to light, whereas 90% is converted to heat. CFLs are between 33% and 66% efficient, meaning a 15W CFL can give off as much light as a 60W incandescent. And that ads up quickly on your electric bill! Some studys say that if every American (I appologize if you're from another country, it's just the statistic I read) switched out 3 incandescents for CFLs, 11 fosil fuel burning plants could be eliminated, along with the pollution that goes with them!

Besides, with a lifespan of 5-7 years (assuming 4 hrs use per day) you'll spend a lot less time and money replacing those nasty old incandescents!

we have a total of 4 incandescent bulbs in our house (only because I haven't found any dimmable CFLs locally, tho' they are becoming more common) and I haven't looked back!
 
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Old 10-17-06, 08:15 AM
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Available from Juno is a "cut-in" recessed fixture .
You scribe the circular hole in the ceiling using a template, cut out the hole, wire the fixture to the cable, fit the fixture into the hole, and the fixture is fastened-in-place with the clips attached to the fixture.

It's possible to accomplish this with the only openings in the ceiling finish being the notches needed for routing the cables between the fixtures.
 
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Old 10-17-06, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by PATTBAA
Available from Juno is a "cut-in" recessed fixture .
You scribe the circular hole in the ceiling using a template, cut out the hole, wire the fixture to the cable, fit the fixture into the hole, and the fixture is fastened-in-place with the clips attached to the fixture.

It's possible to accomplish this with the only openings in the ceiling finish being the notches needed for routing the cables between the fixtures.

are those pretty easy to install? I'm looking at replacing an exposed bulb at the bottom of our stairway with a recessed light, because i'm nervous about our renters accidentally shattering the bulb ... i have lots of experience wiring switches, outlets and other types of lights, just no experience with recessed lights in an existing building
 
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Old 10-17-06, 03:40 PM
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"easy" ??

Just to clarfiy The "easy" question is relative...after about 2 years of electrcial remodeling almost all of it is easy. However, Installing a "remodel" recessed can is fairly staright forward. The biggest issue that people have that try is they forget to think about the ceiling joists before they cut a hole and when they remove the sheet rock circle they have a joist running through their hole.

The easiest way to avoid this is to do your measuring and all that entails and then when you are sure where you want your can to go find a long thin screwdriver and push up in the center so as to poke and move around and "see" where the joists are. Make measurments accordingly and you shold be fine.
 
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Old 10-17-06, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Sthrnamp
Just to clarfiy The "easy" question is relative...after about 2 years of electrcial remodeling almost all of it is easy.
yeah, i meant easy for someone who is comfortable/experienced with wiring switches/outlets and other types of lights, just not the "remodel" recessed type


Originally Posted by Sthrnamp
However, Installing a "remodel" recessed can is fairly staright forward. The biggest issue that people have that try is they forget to think about the ceiling joists before they cut a hole and when they remove the sheet rock circle they have a joist running through their hole.
heh, fortunately i have an existing light there already, so there's obviously at least some kind of hole there to poke around through .. didn't think of that! guess it all goes back to 'measure twice, cut once'

thanks
 
  #12  
Old 10-17-06, 03:48 PM
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No prob... I unlike most electricians love remodels. You will probably need a swsall to remove the old box (the one the light is currently attached to. (do not forget to turn off the power) but once you get that light box out of the way you should be good to go...also make sure of the type of can you get. I know with juno they make two types of "remods" one is "IC" and one is "TC". "IC" is for insulated ceilings and means that the insulation can touch the outside housing of the "can" "TC" does not allow for insulation to come into contact with it ("TC" is cheaper and may work for your application just make sure you don't have insulation there) Let us know if we can help further
 
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