The Kitchen – it’s done – thanks to a little weekend lighting project…

As Tad likes to say (and did say this weekend) “It’s not a project without at least 3 trips to Home Depot”.  Our weekend only included 2 trips to Home Depot, but there was the initial trip a week ago for a total of 3 trips.  So, we’ve got a project to report here – we installed a recessed can light in our kitchen – or pot light as the Canadians like to say.


Trip #1 (just me – a week ago because I thought I was doing this project last weekend) – I picked up the supplies.  A recessed can fixture that was the right size and IC rated – check.  The trim piece that was the correct size – check.  I figured we had everything else already – tools, wire, stuff – this isn’t the first recessed fixture we have installed.

Trip #2 (both of us – on Saturday afternoon – after I had lunch with friends, and Tad went to work for a bit and then the grocery store for some pop in preparation for the project) – We picked up a hole cutter that attaches to the drill even though we had a hand drywall saw at home.  I like to say “It’s not a project unless Tad convinces me that another tool is needed”.  We also ended up with an unplanned purchase of 8 LED bulbs because the ones that I like had a huge price drop – down to $12.97 each – more on that later!


Trip #3 (both of us – on Saturday night at 8:30pm in the snow) – As we were excitedly finishing up the project, I discovered that I had bought the wrong trim piece – it was the right size, just not the right style.  If we were in The Amazing Race, this lack of attention to detail would have likely gotten us eliminated:(  On a side note, we tried out for The Amazing Race a week or so ago.  We love “The Race”, as we both like to call it.  The chances that we will get picked are pretty slim since we are pretty normal and happy, but at least we can say we tried.  Anyway, if we do make it to The Amazing Race and we have a task that involves installing a recessed light,  I will make sure the trim piece is the right size and style.


It is hard to believe – but – we have a room in our house that is completely finished,  The reason I say it is hard to believe is because this is the only room in our house that is finished or has ever been finished the entire time we have lived here – in over 15 years.  So, in the famous words of others, it is “done”, “good to go”, “the final piece of the puzzle has been placed”, “the fat lady has sung”, “the curtain has dropped”, “it’s a wrap”, “the last chapter has been written”, “the sun has set”, “the last word has been spoken”, “that ship has sailed”, and simply “it’s over”…

Our kitchen is officially off the To Do List!  Well, really I left it on the To Do List, but crossed through it – to highlight that we have successfully completed everything in one of our rooms – at least for now.

The last light fixture has been recessed!


You might recall (or not) that our open shelving/dish storage area was a bit dark.  I was too lazy to go to the store to get another fixture when we were installing the electrical during our kitchen renovation.  I knew I was going to regret that initial decision.  At the time, I insisted that all the other lights in the room would be enough to illuminate my open shelving nook.  I was wrong.  The lighting in the majority of the kitchen is so great that it really highlights the fact that the open shelving area doesn’t have it’s own light – and it really should.


Well, this weekend project idea of mine got me motivated.  As I mentioned earlier, I had actually gathered all the supplies last weekend and was ready to knock this out.  Then, Tad was all wanting to be involved, but he was working last weekend.  So, I had to postpone the event until this weekend.   Then, Tad asked me several times if I really wanted to do this. My answers were yes, yes, and yes – I still want this additional light.   Then, he mentioned that his electrician friend – who helped us with the electrical when we first renovated the kitchen – doesn’t really like recessed lights because they are task lights.  My comment back was that I want some task lighting in my dish nook area so I figured Joe, the electrician friend, would have to agree that one more recessed light was in order.

The first thing we did was check to see where the ceiling joists were – to make sure we could get this light somewhere in the general vicinity of where I wanted it.  We used the stud finder for this.


We then measured out from the wall – with a tape measure – to determine the center of the open shelves.  We also measured out from the back wall in an effort to locate the light right in front of the shelves.


Then, Tad pulled out the plumb-bob so we could see where the center of the light would shine below.  Tad also quizzed me about when we last used the plumb-bob.  I couldn’t remember.  He reminded me that we last used it for our center surface mounted kitchen light fixture – to make sure we had that fixture centered in the room.  Then, Tad mentioned that a laser level or some such thing would be better than the plumb-bob.  I ignored this comment.  The plumb-bob did the trick – no need for a laser on this project, Tad.


We drilled a small hole in the ceiling where we wanted the fixture to go.  Tad then headed up to the attic (the photo is blurry because Tad was moving at lightning speed – he doesn’t like being in the attic).  I offered to go instead, but he reluctantly said he would do it.  I say this to get it on record – that I did offer.   He pulled back the insulation and checked to make sure there wasn’t anything in the way of our next light fixture.  There happened to be a wire right in the area where we wanted the new fixture, so we had to adjust and move our new fixture out about 1-2 inches, which wasn’t a problem.


Next, we cut the hole for the fixture – after Trip #2 to Home Depot for the hole cutter, and a stop for an early dinner, and a stop at Enstrom’s for some Almond Toffee Popcorn.


I will admit that this little tool was a pretty good thing to have.  It was $20 so we could have saved by using our hand drywall saw that we already had, but it made the project a lot quicker.  It’s adjustable so you can cut any size hole you need.  It fits onto the drill like a drill bit without needing to purchase additiional adaptive accessories.  It comes with a plastic bowl that catches the majority of the drywall dust.  It took about 1 minute to cut a perfectly sized, clean edged hole.  If only I had been the inventor of this thing…


Tad wired up the new fixture, turned off the breaker to the kitchen, and headed up to the attic again.  This time it was in the dark so I couldn’t get any photos.  The new fixture was to be tied into the center fixture so work in the dark attic was minimal.  Tad just had to secure the new fixture to the ceiling joists and thread the wiring through the box of the center kitchen fixture.  The rest of the wiring was done from the kitchen.


We replaced the center light fixture without any problems and turned the breaker back on.  It all worked!


The final step was to put up the trim.  That is when we discovered I had purchased the wrong trim piece…

Back from Trip #3 to Home Depot – we’ve now got light shining down on our open shelving/dish nook area – and we’ve got a completely finished room at the old bungalow!


Time it took:  3pm to 9pm – not including trip #1 to Home Depot – but including the 2 additional/unplanned trips to Home Depot – and a dinner break – and some Almond Toffee Popcorn snacking.  So, not totally quick and easy, but not too bad either – and we’ve got a completely finished room at our house.  Sorry, I can’t stop thinking or talking about that.

See the entire kitchen project or any part of it below:

It was totally worth it.


Very Bright!  Very Exciting!