July 13, 2011

#174- You Light Up My Life

One of my favorite changes so far to The Lodge was the kitchen cabinet rebuild which took our "L" shaped cabinet over the peninsula down to one cabinet, flat against the wall.


After (as seen before our new kitchen counter tops were installed.)
It's hard to describe how much of a difference that it makes to the space, but the room feels a zillion times bigger.  (Yep, that's zillion with a Z. I have a flare for the dramatic.)  But one of the things that I didn't quite plan for is the off center lighting that would be left behind.  Did you notice it?

Since these can lights were mounted into the soffit, I took a chance that it would be easy to add another.  First things first- turn off the power to the circuit, (if you value your life that is.)  Then I started by measuring the for the exact location I would want my new light, and cut out the circle with a drywall saw. Good news, there were no studs or cross beams up in the soffit, just easy access to the other lights and the power running to each of them.  Things work in your favor so rarely when doing home improvement that I took a moment to bust out a little jig for good karma.  It may or may not have resembled The Carlton.  You'll never know.

Before I continue to ramble, let me say that everything I know about electrical I learned from Super Dad and my Home Depot 1-2-3 book Bible.  And not to discount the vast amount of knowledge that Super Dad has, but my Home Depot book has pretty much gotten me through any situation.  Don't get me wrong, electrical is very dangerous to play around with, and you should be very careful.  But if you are safe, you turn off your power, you make sure you have clean and safe connections, you cover and replace everything appropriately, it's really not that hard.  Honest!  In fact, it reminds me of my 5th grade science class where the lesson was all about closing the circuit to make the light bulb work.  And most of the time, we're smarter than a 5th Grader around here.  So all that's to say, consult a trusted source before starting any electrical in your own home, but don't be afraid to tackle it yourself.

Okay, now back to work.  I started by dismantling the middle light and disconnecting it from the power source.  I then pulled that power cord back through the soffit to my first hole, so I could connect it with my new light. When I twisted the new light wires onto the power source, I also twisted into this same connection a new 14-2 wire that was about 3 feet long, that could then run through the soffit to bring power back to my middle light.  I connected this new wire to the center light, as well as the wire that leads to the third.  It took just a few minutes, and I was cash money.

I've never installed a can light before, so I was really surprised how cheap and easy they are.  The can itself was only $6, and then I purchased a white and black face plate for it to match the others in the room for an additional $11.

So about 27 minutes and $17 later I had this:

With the addition of the new light it's nearly impossible to tell that this wasn't the original cabinet configuration all along.  We initially considered dropping down 3 small pendant lights here instead, but after a lot of consideration we decided that they might take away from the great pendant light we installed over the kitchen table, and hang a little too low over our stove.  In the end I love the amount of light that these guys provide and I'm happy with the simplicity of the space.

Any one else out there ever take on their own electrical endeavors?  Or remember the "connect the circuit" lesson plans from grade school?  Or love how cheap, easy and clean looking can lights are?  If only they were are easy to install when remodeling as they are with new construction.


  1. AnonymousJuly 13, 2011

    We did a project like this last winter. When I cut into the soffit we found a jello mold circa 1960s?! I guess this was a little gift left behind by our builders in 1968.
    - Kara

  2. Hilarious! Please tell me you kept the mold and did something fun with it. (shadow box, spray paint it a bright color for shelf decor, etc...) I love fun conversation pieces like that!

  3. Perhaps you answered this somewhere else (I just stumbled across your blog over at YHL), but where in the world is the exhaust outlet for your range? With as much cooking as I do, I can't imagine not having an exhaust hood to catch all the moisture from cooking.

  4. Great question, my range has a down draft exhaust (and a pretty strong one at that), that leads to a vent outside, and so far we've found that it works perfectly for our cooking needs.