2.28.2010

Recessed Lights - Day 2

S was not joking when he said he wanted to wake up early to modify the lighting layout. When he snuck out of bed it was still dark out. At least I think it was dark; I barely opened my eyes and I sure as heck did not get up. Apparently 7am is a respectable hour to be woken up on a Sunday in our house because that's when I was pulled from my warm bed to go measure new ceiling dots.

When I turned the corner to the kitchen I was greeted with a dozen sheets, shower curtains and drop cloths hanging from every exposed surface, which we discovered later was totally necessary and not overkill at all.
We decided to go with layout option #2 from last night and based all eight lights off the center light. Nothing will line up with the cabinets, but the center row will line up with the center of the window.

Each of the light housings came with a template that you stick on the ceiling and cut around. But, because we have the wrong housings we couldn't use them and still be able to return the housings as new. S came up with a rather ingenious solution by making a paper compass with a center hole and an edge hole equal to the radius of the circle holes we needed to cut.
His tool made perfect circles, much like a compass would if we had been able to find ours.
When we had all the circle cut-lines drawn on the ceiling, S drilled center holes in each. He then threaded a coat hanger through each hole and poked around a bit to make sure we weren't facing any joist, plumbing or other obstruction issues.
Thankfully all was clear, so he pulled out the reciprocating saw and set to work cutting a swiss cheese pattern in the ceiling.
At this point things got really messy and S's dad showed up to lend a hand, so I made my way downstairs to tackle the massive goodwill pile that has been mocking our organized basement for months.

A few things happened while I was gone. First, the distance between the center light and the pendant light was too far to be able to drill through two joists to string wire. As a result we've gone back to the 3x3, nine light layout with a recessed light in line with the pendant. They're in line with each other so it will look just fine. Second, S and his dad discovered that a few of the holes are deep enough to be able to use the deep housings we bought yesterday. We'll have some light tonight! And finally, the ceiling really looked like Swiss cheese at this point.
With the room taped off tight I only had one angle to squeeze my camera in through a crack, my view otherwise looked like this:
They quickly set to work stringing wire from one hole to the next
And then started to install the fixtures in the holes, at least in the holes where the height of the light fit.
After all our time consuming, meticulous planning the execution of this project is certainly moving along quickly.

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