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Electrical Gremlins And Old Homes


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Electrical Gremlins And Old Homes

When I bought an old house because I fell in love with the charm, I was completely unprepared for some of the issues that come along with homes of that age. One of the biggest surprises to me was the electrical issues I experienced. Everything from having to unplug everything in the kitchen to use a compressor in the garage to tripped breakers from a single air conditioner left me frustrated and confused. I called an electrician and learned a lot during his inspection. If you are thinking about buying an old house, this blog is for you. I hope that my knowledge and first-hand experience can help you avoid some of the disasters that I faced.

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Installing New Lighting In Your Kitchen

There are parts of your home that need to have good lighting. The kitchen is one room in the house that benefits from plenty of light. When you are cooking or backing in the kitchen, good lighting can increase safety and productivity, and the right lighting can also add to the aesthetic of the room.

Large, Bright Lights

The main lights in any kitchen should be bright and large enough to cover the area you are using for food prep or other tasks. In many kitchens that means a large fluorescent light fixture. There are some very nice looking fluorescent lights on the market that will provide a lot of light without looking too sterile. 

You can find a surface-mounted light that looks nice or install recessed lighting that hides the light fixture but provides the light you need in your kitchen. Shop around and look at the options before you decide which way to go with your lighting.

Recessed Lighting 

If you choose to use recessed lighting in your kitchen, it will require cutting holes in the ceiling for the lights to mount in. An experienced electrician can install the lights for you but you may need to add some framing to the ceiling to support the lights. 

The lights need something to attach to and if they are not right next to a stud in the ceiling, the electrician may have to install some support between the studs from the attic or crawl space in the ceiling. Often these are just a few small pieces of two-by-four lumber fastened between the beams right where the lights will come through the ceiling but talk to the installer or electrician about what is required for the lighting to work as it is intended. 

Positioning the Lights

The layout you choose for your kitchen lights is completely up to you, but there are some patterns that work well with multiple light setups. Look carefully at the kitchen and where you work the most. Concentrate your lighting in the area that you spend the most time working, but include some additional lights in other parts of the room to balance the lighting.

If you are using one large recessed light, you may still need some lighting under the cabinets to help light the countertop area and workspace. Under-cabinet lights are often small and hidden from sight when they are not on. LED lights are a good fit under the cabinet because they provide a lot of light without adding much heat and are pretty easy to install.