We are building a house and the builder is asking almost $3k to install
9 halogen puck lights, low voltage, with 2 magnetic dimmers. The
price seems like a lot, since 9 halogen lights = $100 (at most) plus 2
transformers + 2 Lutron dimmers = $400. And plus 5 hours of an
electrican's labor at $100/hr =$1k total on the high end. Does this
seems like a realistic estimate?
The cabinets (from Cardell.com ) plus crowns/trims go all the way to
the ceiling. So some trim/crown would have to come off to install the
puck light if we wait after the cabinets got installed. How can we
carefully remove the trim/crown without damaging the trim/wood? If we
carefuly replace the entire or portion of trims/crown, would it some
how might cause damage the cabinets?
Any advice/opinion on what we should do will be greatly appreciated.
Yes, $3k seems very high for the work involved. But as you're finding
out, what you're paying for is the logistics of coordinating the
electrical work (including the rough-in wiring, which you didn't
include in your breakdown), the cabinet install, and the trim work. The
builder also knows that there's a risk of delay, callbacks, damaged
cabinets, holes in the wrong place, etc., so a portion of that cost is
padding for contingencies.
As for retrofitting, if the trim is just nailed up, it won't be too bad
to remove and replace. If glue is involved, you'll probably break some
trim, which will mean special ordering replacements for the cabinet
manf. Nothing is simple. Oh yeah, and you still need the rough-in
Personally, I'd skip the in-cab lights and focus on good under-cab
lighting, for which I prefer fluorescent.
Take a look at a Xenon fixture. They run cooler and can use a standard
dimmer. HD has the GE line with two or more bulbs in each fixture.
(5 I think). They also have a hard wire box but can also be plugged
in. I just bought a bunch for our new kitchen to be installed in Sept.
Elec. supply houses also have other zenon brands. Too bad that
LED under counter lamps are not readilly available.
The halogen bulbs I used on a project were rated for 2000 hours ( I
found out after the fact) The next batch Xenon I used were rated at
10000 hours. Not to mention the halogen bulbs cant be touched with
hands with out reducing life more due to oils from your hands. I would
ask the cabinet manufacture but my guess is you will damage the trim
and it might be quicker to damage the trim and replace with new from
the manufacture. Our production shop uses glue and you could pull the
wood apart Labor cost more than the trim. Are you putting these lights
on the top inside of kitchen cabnets. If so the light wont filter down
unless you have glass shelves. With the doors open your light will come
from the room not the puck lights with the exception of the top shelf.
If it were me I would forget the lights. But after my wife said no way
I would ask the builder if I could hire any electrician on my own while
everything was open. His thought to himself will be car dealers make
there money on the extras not the car itself.Good luck
Thanks all for your advices and great suggestions but still need more
answers/help. We have decided to install Xeon for under cabinets task
lighting ourselves later. I haven't thought of asking the builder if
they allow bring in my own electrician...
I forgot to mention that the puck lights are for display cabinets with
clear glass panels, 18" height.
The cabinet is cherry wood with a dark brown stain. The builder stated
that the recessed puck lights are Seagull 9858-05. These lights have a
diameter 3 1/8" and height of 7/8". And since the ceiling of the
cabinet is only 1/2" thick, the light will be recessed 1/2". The
builder stated on the contract that "the holes on the cabinet ceiling
will be drilled centered and will be covered by a filler strip (approx.
6" wide and runs front to back of the cabinet)".
Why would a filler strip be needed here? I'm trying to get an answer
from the builder but no luck yet. Of all the cabinet installation with
recessed puck lights that I have seen, there are no filler strips.
They should just made the whole the exact size as the light
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