Last week I was thrilled to have my parents, aka. “the nuggets,” come to Alexandria and stay with us. The last time they came to our house was November, for the birth of my niece, and since then the projects for my dad had piled up.
If you know my dad, you know that he is incredibly smart and handy. Wood working, tiling, electrical work… you name it, he can do it. I grew up shadowing him and helping with projects around the house. He’s a quiet man so just having the time together was enjoyable to me. I didn’t realize how much I was actually learning during those projects but I realize it now. I do the home projects I’m comfortable with, but one thing I leave for my dad (for now at least) is electrical work.
When Kurt and I finished our Painted Kitchen Cabinets and turned the lights on, I knew the fluorescent light in our kitchen had to go. The painted cabinets definitely looked better than they did before, but the fluorescent light made the cabinets, and the whole room, look bluish and cold. I knew recessed lighting would definitely change the tone of the room and help it fit in with the rest of the house.
Supplies for our Recessed Lighting & Under-Cabinet Lighting
- Exacto knife or box cutter
- Power drill
- 4 6in Halo White Recessed Light Kits
- 2 Utilitech 5-Pack 2.6-in Plug-In Cabinet Xenon Puck Light Kit
- 3/4in Spade drill bit
- 10in-12in Drywall taping knife
- Drywall saw
Kurt and I decided to get the process started before the pops came into town so we could know what we were working with before hand. We started by removing the existing fluorescent light. First, we took the clear cover off and removed the light bulbs. Next, we ran the Exact-o knife blade in between the surrounding molding and the ceiling to help prevent pieces of the ceiling coming off during removal. Kurt wiggled and pulled the molding down from the ceiling slowly and carefully. It was attached with nails so after enough work we were able to pull the molding away from the ceiling.
After detaching the wiring and removing the screws, it was the moment of truth. Would there be minimal damage? Or would there be a hole too big to fix?…. MINIMAL DAMAGE! Woohoo! Cue the victory dance!
My parents stayed with us Sunday-Thursday. Unfortunately, Kurt and I had to work and couldn’t spend time with them during the day but my dad had plenty of work to keep him busy… so I THOUGHT. When I got home from work on Monday, he had already installed recessed lighting AND the under-cabinet lighting. Can you say BEAST? Yeah… he’s is THE beast.
These are the 6in Halo White Recessed Light Kits that my dad used. We bought 4 for less than $20 a piece.
When I asked him how the recessed lighting installation went, his answer went along the lines of, “It was easy! I just cut 4 holes, inserted the cans and connected the wires. Black to black, white to white, and copper to copper.” This is coming from a man who has done this a million times, but it sounds easy enough to try myself in the future.
These are the under-cabinet puck lights that we decided to go with. They were around $35 for a kit of 5 lights. We had installed them in our previous condo and I loved them.
My dad drilled holes for the puck light wires, using a spade drill bit, along the back of the bottom of the cabinets. He also drilled through the back of one of our cabinets into the wall to tap into the outlet to keep the wires hidden. In our condo, we ran the wires directly under the puck lights and through the middle of the cabinets which took up valuable cabinet space. I love that the wires are running along the back of the cabinets and are out of the way. With a lip that runs along the bottom of the cabinets, you can’t see the wires anyways. I didn’t know this when I bought them, but these lights came with a touch pad that adjusts them to 3 different levels of brightness!
This is what I came home to after work on Monday 🙂
After all the lights were installed, my dad sanded the visible edge where the fluorescent light was. After sanding, he used a 10in or 12in drywall knife to spread spackling over the area. The wider the blade, the easier it is to get a smooth finish. Once the spackling dried, he sanded and painted the ceiling.
I can’t even express how excited I am with the results. Our kitchen looks SO much better without that ugly fluorescent light and now the kitchen actually fits in with the rest of our house. Along with that, I now have bright under-cabinet lighting to help illuminate my workspace when cooking! EEEK!