I am building a house and only 7 recessed lights come with it. THe builder is charging $150.00 per can.. Is he price gauging me? It seems like a LOT of $$$$.
How much things should cost depends on the cost of doing business in your specific area as well as the type of wiring and fixtures and the scope of service being provided. For your builder to add custom work to a standard plan usually means a change order and the time onsite and in the office to make that happen on top of actual cost of the thing you want. Paper work, calling electrician, explaining to electrician, double checking that it's done right, etc. There is more involved than stopping by the store to grab a fixture. $150 is not unreasonable.
The lights themselves could cost nearly that much. The baffles cost a sizable amount, especially the "alzac" type. I think those are $75 each themselves, depending on manufacturer etc.
Overall $150 is not crazy high, unless you're getting a super-cheap fixture. But that's probably about $100 in parts and $50 in labor, which isn't unfair.
Can lights can also be 6-pk for $50 -- as they are in CA due to Title 24 and the need to have ones you can throw away after your inspection is done.
Know what you are getting.
Find out exactly what the $150.00 includes. Is that labor ad well as the fixtures. You should know what fixtures, housings and trims he is installing and you can check the cost at any good lighting store or on-line. If you are adding them in the beginning of the project they should be less than if he is having to make changes once he is into the project. Know what the product is and $40-50.00 per unit labor is rather common. The price of recessed varies greatly depending on the product.
I almost fainted when I got my initial estimate for the recessed lighting in my house - 85 cans. It was 8500 dollars! That price included the wiring, the can, and trim kit. It worked out to 100 per can, 75 of which was labor and 25 was for can and trim kit which was not high quality hardware.
I wound up installing all of the cans myself. I used higher quality hardware (e.g. JUNO) than the eletcrician standard and it was worth every penny. The juno cans come pre-nailed and were very easy to install. The hardest part was spotting where each can had to go to not only give me the lighting coverage, but also fit within the constraints of the webbed floor truss locations above. It turns out that this is not as easy as it might seem - I spent an entire day spotting amd marking where the cans needed to go.
150 per can seems a bit on the high end but if it includes quality hardware then it may be in line. AFter doing all the work myself installing my cans, I can see why they charge as much as they do.
Thank you all for your input. All of the lighting is in now (the builder was on vacation while the electrician was installing) and we were much at fault for the cost being high.. Well not the actual cost of $150 but we went a little recessed light happy before we knew how much it cost. But I know they are relatively good cans, the electrician has been pretty honest with us and told us "off" the record that he only charges $100/light the builder charges us $150.. Oh well.. it's done and i guess that is what we are paying.. thanks again!