Retrofitting recessed cans in a Family Room

trk65December 1, 2008

Our family room is in need of additional lighting. I'd like to have 4 cans installed. Here are the problems as I see them-

The home is complete. There is no access to the ceiling from above-it's a first floor room.

The room has an 11 foot ceiling and heavy trim with coffers-

There is a double switch on a wall in the room which controls the gas logs and also has a switch for a future fireplace blower. We don't intend to ever install a blower, and I'd be willing to give up that switch to control the cans.

My main concern is how much of the ceiling and walls would need to get torn up to get the wiring run. I'd really rather not have to cut holes everywhere. We added cans to our old kitchen, but we used the wiring from the old flourescent rectangle fixture so there was already a source in that ceiling.

How hard is this job going to be?

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This is one of the most difficult retrofits. The coffers require precise layout and you'll run into differences in where the ceiling joists are within that grid. The path of the cable between switch and blower may not be near where you need it. You need power to start the lighting circuit from somewhere. Lots of holes will be required to get wiring past the coffer without hurting it.

If you have carpeted rooms above don't rule out taking up the flooring for possible access and making use of a lighting control system with remote switch so that no direct wiring between the cans and the switch is required.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 10:43AM
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I,ve done more of these cans than I care to count. Basically, we locate two cans on each side of the room between rafters and cut out the holes and run romex between the holes on each side. We then use a very long flexible drill bit to drill through joists and fish romex to wire the four together. We then do the same thing to connect the wiring to a hot switch. As a general rule, we need to do very little cutting of dry wall.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 9:35AM
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I have the same exact question and situation as the OP. Would this project be any easier if the the lights installed were track lighting instead of recessed?


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 2:56PM
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