Several kitchens in my neighborhood, including mine, have dropped ceilings with translucent ceiling panels and fluorescent bulbs. The rest of the kitchens around me have upgraded to canned lighting and I want to do the same. I can spend a weekend and easily take down the ceiling but the electrical job is a different issue. How much should I budget to have canned lighting installed?
Stacee P. ~ Toledo, Ohio
Stacee, I think that this is an excellent way to upgrade your kitchen lighting. Although your current fluorescent lighting probably creates an adequate amount of general lighting for your kitchen, I think fluorescent tube lighting is best suited for office spaces. On the other hand, canned lighting, also known as recessed lighting, can give a room a nice clean look, as well as lots of general room lighting and important task lighting when the cans are positioned over counter top work spaces.
The costs associated with this type of home improvement will vary, depending on what type of fixtures you choose and how many you purchase. Incandescent recessed lighting normally costs between $18 and $40 per unit, and after you add in the cost of the needed trim pieces($7-$30), you can expect to spend between $25 and $70 per light, depending on which style you choose. I estimate it might take a licensed electrician about 3 or 4 hours to install 9 cans, so your new kitchen lighting could cost you approximately $200 to have installed(assuming that the existing circuit wire can adequately carry the electrical load of the new canned lighting).
I suggest that you contact an electrician and have him inspect your kitchen ceiling so that you can get a firm cost for this lighting upgrade. You may also want to purchase the cans directly from the electrician, because lighting supply stores generally give a discount to electricians and professional contractors.