DIY recessed fixture project

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-03-15, 07:35 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
DIY recessed fixture project

I'm going to be installing six new LED cans in my living room. Hopefully this picture gives you a good idea of what I'm trying to do. The paper cutouts are my templates for cutouts.

Name:  IMG_1680.jpg
Views: 1724
Size:  23.7 KB

However, I'm planning on removing the light from the ceiling fan, and hopefully I can use that existing power source to wire in my cans from the attic.

I hope to run these lights off the existing switch at the door (pictured below). It's currently wired for an outdoor light on the right, a ceiling fan speed controller in the middle, and the ceiling light fan on the left.

I'd like to hook up all the cans to one dimmer, which will take the position of the existing ceiling light switch on the left. Then I'd like a replacement fan speed controller in the middle, and then keep the outdoor light switch on the right.

Name:  IMG_1681.jpg
Views: 912
Size:  32.6 KB

Name:  IMG_1683.jpg
Views: 897
Size:  31.4 KB

Name:  IMG_1684.jpg
Views: 1042
Size:  31.8 KB

Is this something I should be able to do myself, or would I really need to call an electrician? Also, I was hoping the cords running to the ceiling fan would be individual (one for the light, one for the fan), but it appears to be just one single white cable.

If you guys have any advice or suggestions I would really appreciate it.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-03-15, 07:49 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
I was hoping the cords running to the ceiling fan would be individual (one for the light, one for the fan), but it appears to be just one single white cable.
If it is a 3-conductor cable (black, white, red +gnd) that is what you need.
 
  #3  
Old 02-03-15, 08:01 AM
Geochurchi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 4,797
Received 72 Votes on 68 Posts
By removing the light from the fan you could feed the new down lights from that ,it appears that the red conductor could be used from the ceiling box to feed the new down lights,connect the dimmer where the switch with the red wire is now
Make sure the new cans are IC rated and use complete units from the same mfg.
I guess it depends on your level of your experience as to wether you can DYI, really not to difficult.
Geo
 
  #4  
Old 02-03-15, 08:07 AM
I
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,944
Received 43 Votes on 41 Posts
Is there attic above? If not it will be tough to do this without ceiling damage. Even with a long flexible drill bit, there is a long enough space between the lights to make it difficult to do without cutting into the ceiling.
 
  #5  
Old 02-03-15, 08:18 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
There is a big attic above this ceiling, and the units I'm installing are IC-rated. I've already installed one can in a separate hallway, but this replaced an existing fixture, so that was much easier. Nonetheless, I'm confident I can get the cans in place, but I'm really unsure of how to wire them.

So if I use that (white) cord that's going to the ceiling fan now, am I going to have to splice it? Or do I run new cords (at the electrical twist caps) to my can lights? That's still the hangup that has me confused.
 
  #6  
Old 02-03-15, 08:28 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Running cords would be a code violation. You need to run cable.

You would temporarily remove the fan from its junction box to make work easy. The red of the 3-conductor cable coming in to the fan box will be used for your lights. You will run the new cable for the lights into the fan box and connect white to white and new cable black to red of the old cable in the fan box. When the fan goes back you can cap the fan blue since you are removing the fan light.

New cable will be run to the first light then from the first light to the second light and from the second light... well you get the idea.
 
  #7  
Old 02-03-15, 08:38 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
God bless the Internet. I join this forum and half an hour later I'm all ready to go.

Thanks so much for the help. I'm a rookie to the DIY game so I'm sure I'll be posting all kinds of naive questions on this forum. I'll do my best to avoid those code violations!
 
  #8  
Old 02-03-15, 09:10 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,150
Received 87 Votes on 74 Posts
I think you are going to get a strobe effect from the center lights so close to the fan blades.
 
  #9  
Old 02-03-15, 09:34 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Will having six downlights (recessed, not extending out of the baffle) mitigate the strobing effect?

I'm not sure how else I could appropriately place those cans.
 
  #10  
Old 02-03-15, 09:36 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,150
Received 87 Votes on 74 Posts
If the fan blades impinge on the cone of light you will have some strobing.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 02-18-15 at 12:41 PM.
  #11  
Old 02-03-15, 09:49 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
You might consider leaving the fan light connected and using the cans around the fan. That might limit strobe effect but I'm not sure.
 
  #12  
Old 02-03-15, 10:00 AM
Handyone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,451
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You said you're a rookie to the DIY game. You just hit a grand slam home run.

It doesn't get much better than this. You can power and switch your new lights by only running cable in attic. This is an electrician's dream come true.
 
  #13  
Old 02-03-15, 10:42 AM
Geochurchi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 4,797
Received 72 Votes on 68 Posts
How close are the fan blades to the cans?are they directly below ?

Geo
 
  #14  
Old 02-03-15, 11:00 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
The blades are not directly below the cans. I'm not at home to take measurements or additional photos, but this angle might give you a better idea of what I'm currently planning.

Name:  IMG_1676.jpg
Views: 581
Size:  24.8 KB

I'd MUCH rather have six lights in this room, but perhaps I'm better with four, just so I can avoid any strobing? I just don't think that'll put out sufficient, even light.
 
  #15  
Old 02-03-15, 03:25 PM
Geochurchi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 4,797
Received 72 Votes on 68 Posts
Have you checked the mfg spec's for spacing? They usually suggest spacing with regard to ceiling hgt.etc.
Geo
 
  #16  
Old 02-18-15, 10:34 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Thanks for all the help, guys. The wiring advice you gave me was fantastic, and everything works perfectly. FWIW, I went with the Philips Warm Glow LEDs, and I like them a lot. No buzzing or flickering whatsoever.

Thanks again!

Name:  IMG_1715.jpg
Views: 362
Size:  26.7 KB

Name:  IMG_1716.jpg
Views: 372
Size:  25.7 KB
 
  #17  
Old 02-18-15, 12:43 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,150
Received 87 Votes on 74 Posts
Well done. .
 
  #18  
Old 02-18-15, 12:51 PM
I
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,944
Received 43 Votes on 41 Posts
Looks great!.............................
 
  #19  
Old 02-19-15, 12:16 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Quick follow-up question: is running ROMEX off the red wire from the fan light to my new can lights a code violation?

Also, I've been told by a guy with real estate experience that I really need to get permits. If this is true, should I go ahead and do the other rooms this way first? Or am I going to get fined for not getting the go-ahead in advance?

Thanks again for all of your help.
 
  #20  
Old 02-19-15, 12:36 PM
Handyone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,451
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I don't want to review entire thread. It was decided I think to take neutral off of ceiling box, and red off ceiling box, switching red. This is perfect and in no way a code violation.

I might get blasted here, but I personally would not get a permit to add lights to my home.
Permits are good and helpful, I don't agree one is needed in this case.
 
  #21  
Old 02-19-15, 01:00 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,150
Received 87 Votes on 74 Posts
IME, the permit is supposed to be pulled before the work starts, but I have started and then gotten the permit. Some areas want permits for everything, others set a certain dollar amount. Since all the work is retrofit there really is nothing to see before the work starts. It would only be a final inspection.
 
  #22  
Old 03-17-15, 06:57 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Thanks again for all the help, guys. Since the initial post, I have now installed recessed lighting in another room and a hallway - 13 cans in all. They work perfectly, and I couldn't have done it without your advice.

A new question, though: what if I were to install these in a house with no existing ceiling light? My sister wants help installing these in her living room, but she has no existing lighting for that in place. Could I run new wire from an existing switch (where the porch light currently is, for example)? I'd assume I'd need a bigger electrical box/plate there, but would I need to run anything new from the fuse box?
 
  #23  
Old 03-17-15, 09:21 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Could I run new wire from an existing switch (where the porch light currently is, for example)? I'd assume I'd need a bigger electrical box/plate there, but would I need to run anything new from the fuse box?
The switch box would have to have power. Not all switch boxes do. If both wires on the switch are black and there are a group of two or more white wires connected to each other then the switch box likely has power. I doubt she has a fuse box. More likely she has a breaker box.
 
  #24  
Old 03-17-15, 03:21 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,150
Received 87 Votes on 74 Posts
Whether you can add to an existing circuit dependent on how heavily loaded the circuit already is and the amount of the new load. Some circuits cannot have lighting on them.
 
  #25  
Old 03-17-15, 04:11 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I'll get my sister to send me a pic soon, but the circuit I think she wants to use is already running a porch light. If we were to change that to an LED bulb, and use 6-8 recessed LEDs (so about 100W total max), would the existing wiring be able to handle that kind of load?

I'll post pics as soon as I receive them.
 
  #26  
Old 03-17-15, 05:35 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
It would be unusual for there to only be a porch light on the circuit.
 
  #27  
Old 03-17-15, 06:49 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,651
Received 86 Votes on 76 Posts
My sister wants help installing these in her living room, but she has no existing lighting for that in place. Could I run new wire from an existing switch (where the porch light currently is, for example)? I'd assume I'd need a bigger electrical box/plate there,
That living room probably has one or more switched receptacles, you could use that switch or possibly add a switch at that location.
 
  #28  
Old 03-18-15, 12:40 PM
S
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 438
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
nice work (below)!

WRT your sister: I just added a light where there was no overhead wiring. I tapped off a recepticle and ran a second cable to a new switch location. Wasnt hard
  1. one cable from outlet to fixture, spliced black to black / white to white on outlet side; connected white to fixture (neutral)
  2. For the line side, (black at the fixture)... I connected the BLACK on the first cable to WHITE on the cable the I ran to the switch--I colored white black to indicate power. At the switch, I then connected the colored-in white to the switch top, connected black on this 2nd cable to the bottom of the switch and then connected--at the fixture--the black from this 2nd cable to the fixture.

Not sure if that makes sense with out a diagram. Im at work now, so I dont have the time to sketch anything...
 
  #29  
Old 03-18-15, 06:04 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Okay, here's the current setup.

Name:  a12.jpg
Views: 298
Size:  23.4 KB

You can see the outlet/switch on the left side of the front door.

It looks like this:

Name:  a11.jpg
Views: 668
Size:  23.7 KB

The two horizontal switches on the right are for outdoor security lighting. The middle switch is for the entry light seen in the picture above. The left switch is a complete mystery. It doesn't appear to control anything, not even activation of wall outlets. So that's the one we're hoping to use for her recessed lights.

I asked her to pull the switches out for a better look, and this is what we're dealing with:

Name:  a13.jpg
Views: 340
Size:  40.2 KB

Name:  a14.jpg
Views: 466
Size:  44.6 KB

Name:  a15.jpg
Views: 317
Size:  42.1 KB

I assume that hunting down the mystery of the left switch will involve some potentially destructive adventuring, right? Am I okay to just forget about that, considering it's an old house?

Should I get a new electrical box/receptacle there? I understand I have to run romex down the wall there from the attic, but I'm not sure how to tie it in.

Thanks so much again for all of your advice.
 
  #30  
Old 03-18-15, 06:09 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Also, I forgot to mention: she has a 15 amp circuit there, so I guess that's 1800W max load? Unfortunately she has a bunch of lights already connected to it (closet lighting, bedroom overhead and outlets, along with the previously mentioned entry and security lighting). If we switch the majority of those to LED, however, it shouldn't be a problem with regard to exceeding 1800W.
 
  #31  
Old 03-18-15, 06:59 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Technically the U.S. code does not have a limit on the number of lights per circuit. It is more common sense. Not all lights will be on at the same time. I'd just do it. If you have problems you can move the receptacles to their own circuit. You have power in at the switch box so adding the lights is easy. If you wanted to keep the mystery switch you could even use another duplex switch but I'd say just cap the lead to the mystery load.
 
  #32  
Old 03-18-15, 07:30 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Okay, so I can cap the mystery lead. I assume I should pull the receptacle box out in order to get the romex fished down from the attic. Is the end at the switch just pushed through the back of the receptacle and wired in? Haven't done anything like that before.

Also, should I go back to black, white to white, and copper to ground on this - like I did before? The previous post about a different wiring scheme threw me off.
 
  #33  
Old 03-18-15, 07:48 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
I assume I should pull the receptacle box out in order to get the romex fished down from the attic.
And replace with an old work box.
Also, should I go back to black, white to white, and copper to ground on this - like I did before?
White of the new cable to the group of whites and black of the new cable to the switch.

Terminology: When used for switches it is usually called a switch box when it has switches.
 
  #34  
Old 03-18-15, 08:08 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
All right, so at the "new old work box" I'll go black cable to the switch, white cable to the group of whites, and ground to the switch or the group of grounds?

Also, at the fixtures, everything goes like before, right? (white to white, black to black, and ground to ground)

Thanks again for your help and apologies for the questions. The thought of burning down my sister's house gives me pause.
 
  #35  
Old 03-18-15, 08:22 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
I'll go black cable to the switch, white cable
No, wire not cable. Cable is two or more conductors in a sheath. But yes, that is how it is wired.
 
  #36  
Old 03-19-15, 07:43 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,150
Received 87 Votes on 74 Posts
Are the original cables grounded? If not, the circuit should not be extended.
 
  #37  
Old 03-20-15, 03:57 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Name:  IMG_1837.jpg
Views: 460
Size:  29.4 KB

Name:  IMG_1836.jpg
Views: 296
Size:  29.5 KB

This is how it looks now with the old work box put in. Again, I'm not entirely sure on which cables go to what, or which cable is the power source. The ones on the right (already hooked up to the other switches) go to the outdoor porch and entry lights, and the new fresh romex in white will go to the recessed cans. If in doubt, should I just cap those wires together?

Also, just to be sure, I'm only going to have a single black wire connected to my new dimmer switch (from the romex)?
 
  #38  
Old 03-20-15, 04:10 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
The black wire that was daisy chained to all three switches is your hot. For me pigtaling is easier. I'd cut the hot wire back to the first bare spot and add three pigtails. Run one pigtail to each switch.
 
  #39  
Old 03-20-15, 04:52 PM
Geochurchi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 4,797
Received 72 Votes on 68 Posts
Not to be pickie,but strip that white sheath back close to the clamp in the box.
Geo
 
  #40  
Old 03-20-15, 05:26 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Do you mean to just pigtail all the black wires from the wall, along with three short black wires, one to each switch?

I still don't know which one is the hot. I can't go back and find that one that was daisy chained to everything previously, as I disconnected it all when putting in the old work box.
 

Last edited by BobStrauss; 03-20-15 at 05:54 PM.
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: