High cost of 4 Inch recessed lights

hehatemeMay 18, 2011

We are remodeling our basement and for our home theater we need 13 4" recessed lights. We wanted to do low voltage.

Our electrician gave us a quote of $80 for each line voltage recessed lights and $180 for each low voltage recessed lights. I have no other information about the model of the lights he is supplying.

A friend of mine just install Elco 4" inch recessed lights in his home theater. He has had no problems with them. He only paid $35 for each low voltage recessed light.

I know that June makes good recessed lights. Are their lights worth 5 times the cost of an elco fixture.

I have a few days to figure out what I should do.

Let me know if you have any suggestions for me.


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You are learning why recessed lights are so expensive to install - you need a lot of them to get good light coverage. They are good for highlighting small areas, but an abomination for general lighting. For some reason cans are still fashionable, although that's now been the case for so long that they ought to be going out of style soon. :)

Surface mount fixtures, which send light in all directions, are much cheaper. You need fewer of them, too, so you save on quantities and labor. You also don't make your ceiling look like swiss cheese.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 11:57PM
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I already plan to have pendants over the island. Pendants will be Halogen.
Can you give me an example of surface mount fixtures?
I am not in love with cans. If there are surface mount fixtures out there that provide enough lighting and still don't come in the way I am very open to using them.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 10:10AM
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The contractor price for a Juno or Lightolier Lytecaster line voltage PAR20 recessed fixture (IC housing, trim & lamp) should be about $50 to $60 depending on the reflector cone or baffle selected.

The contractor price for a Juno or Lightolier Lytecaster low voltage MR16 recessed fixture (IC housing, trim & lamp) should be about $90.

These prices can double if the lamp is deeply recessed or highly adjustable.

Your electrician's higher price should be for wiring, switching, installation labor, overhead & profit.

The $35 price is probably for a lesser quality brand without installation, with a non-IC housing, no tax, and no lamp. The wattage of the lamp in such fixtures must often be reduced when installed in insulated ceilings (I assume yours is insulated for sound abatement). If the normal wattage lamp is used, the fixture will turn off and on as it heats up and cools off. The more expensive fixtures can take the higher temperature.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 6:58AM
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Some of the advice in these forms kill me. Anyways the size and scope of the room will determine how mnay you need. I charge $135 for low voltage elco recessed lights, and $145 for IC rated elco low voltage. We have installed around 4000 or so in the past 5 years. I really like the elco's, they are good for the price. Are the prices you told us, the install prices with parts? When doing a room like this, the best lights to go with are a 60 degree beam spread. You may not ned a smany as you think depending on the room size and color of the room.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 1:31AM
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