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  #1  
Old 2011-02-15, 12:07 AM
brentb613 brentb613 is offline
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Default Tamarack Pot Light Prices

My wife and I just came from the design center and were surprised (I was shocked) at the price per light from the builder. I jokingly said 'at that price I could drop the ceiling, run my wire, hang drywall, install pot lights and hire a taper to come finish and I would still have money left over...and I'm not talking about a few hundred dollars in savings.
We were then informed that there is a option to have the wires run and the boxes capped for a fraction of the price at the time of construction. This seems like a great alternative but

My question is:
has anyone gone this route?

My concerns are:
I plan to use retrofit pot lights (Par 20) which only require a 2.75-3" hole for the entire assembly to be inserted. What size hole will be under the cap? If its a standard octagonal box this hole will be far to large...leaving us with a huge mess which will have me having to drop the ceiling and start from scratch, with the exception of already having the wires run.

If we were to go this route, do the electricians use screws to secure their boxes or nails?

Any comments are appreciated.
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Old 2011-02-15, 07:25 AM
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good2know good2know is offline
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pot lights like that don't require an octagonal box - likely they will just hang the wires out the holes (confirm they will drill those holes)
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Old 2011-02-15, 09:28 AM
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mc_ottawa mc_ottawa is offline
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If you get a capped outlet with the builder, it'll be the octagonal box.

What others with Tamarack have done is get one potlight installed in the room, then do the others are closing.

OR

alternatively, what others have done as well is go into the house during the build process and map out where the wiring is. The Tamarack ceilings have strapping in them, so if you mark out where the strapping is, it would be far easier to drill a hole into your ceiling and attach your potlight to the strapping either.

In the end, we just chose to go with the builder pot lights and pay and arm and a leg, but the two options above are what others with Tamarack has done as a DIY lighting solution.
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Old 2011-02-15, 09:57 AM
bcpl bcpl is offline
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We are going through the same thing right now.

It is a kicker if you have had any wiring experience and know that there is little difference between installing a pot light and a box.

Screws are usually used with octagon boxes but no guarantee and no guarantee if they use screws that you will have access to them. Plus, pulling the box itself out will be a pain with the drywall and mud all around (although I guess you could just leave it up there once you get the wires out). Still, the PITA with dealing with the box will quickly make the cost savings seem minimal.

Definitely consider having them put in one light on the switch that you want and then run the wire and do the rest of the pots yourself (with extra savings for not getting capped lights). The BIG catch is that you can only have 8 fixtures on a string of wire. The electricians will not be budgeting for you to install extra fixtures after, so you will need to find a way to plan for that.

First, ask Tamarack to wire the single pot light where you want it with the switch on a dedicated run of wire. If they will do that, then you are set. Just cut the holes where you want the pots and fiddle the wire through to them. The only place where you will have trouble is with the original light as you will need to pop that out to direct the wire to the new ones. Likely though, you will just be taking the whole thing out and replacing it with kthe same type as the new ones.

If they won't run a dedicated light, you can still do it yourself but it will require a little more wiring know-how and access to the wall where the switch is (access meaning either from below in an unfinished area of the basement or from the attic, if you are talking about upstairs lights)

We are with Tartan, but they also have strapping. It is great because it means that you can run wire each direction. When they are building the house, just have a look (through the window) to see which way the strapping is running.

To be sure, I have not done this yet in our house but I worked with an electrician for a couple of years and I have thought about it A LOT. It is very doable, if you like this sort of DIY.

Last edited by bcpl; 2011-02-15 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 2011-02-15, 12:06 PM
brentb613 brentb613 is offline
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Thanks for the remarks.
It's nice to know the builder uses strapping which will make running wire a breeze. I have experience with installing these pots. They look great! I installed close to 20 in our existing basement and did the whole job including wire for around $550 (this included all wall boxes, switches, plugs, plates, breaker, and wire).
Given your thoughts, I think we will have them install 2-3 pots on dedicated switches... giving us 2-3 areas which we can control the ambiance after the fact. I'll make sure to make note of the location of their wire locations, chase locations, and direction of strapping during our walk through.
Any other thoughts are welcomed and appreciated

B
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Old 2011-02-15, 12:24 PM
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Can anyone explain me what is so special about those pot lights? In our PA we were promised one pot light above the kitchen sink, but because of vaulted ceiling they could not do it. After few negotiations they allow us to use this pot light any other place of the house, and I had difficulties to find a place for it. Finally, I decided to place it above ensuite bathtub so I can read there. Most houses nowdays have 9' ceilings; honestly, not much light reaching down from those pot lights.
Why do you like them so much?

Last edited by Natasha; 2011-02-15 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 2011-02-15, 01:00 PM
bcpl bcpl is offline
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Well, there are a couple of advantages

1) pot lights will not show off the poorly drywalled celing as much. Almost a necessity of you are going for a flat ceiling instead of textured.

2) cleaner lines in the house with fewer things hanging down.

Also, higher celings will actually allow the light to spread out more...

Those are our big reasons, I am sure that there are others (both for and against)
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Old 2011-02-15, 01:16 PM
Natasha Natasha is offline
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Well, they for sure lite up the ceiling, and spread light well, but they do not reach the floor as much as regular ones. So, technically, they can not substitute the regular light fixtures or can they?
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Old 2011-02-15, 01:30 PM
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Pot lights are used as ambiance lighting as well, to add to other fixtures or what not.

As well, I think a lot of the appeal to potlighting is due to personal preference.

Pot lights for small areas are great too (ie. above a stand-up shower, for displaying pieces of art or something on the wall, etc.)
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Old 2011-02-15, 01:30 PM
bcpl bcpl is offline
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Not sure how they light up the ceiling, most pot lights are directed downward from within ceiling. This spreads the light downward (although the light is more focused).

Admittedly, it doesn't work great to have only pot lights, it is better to have different layers of light (e.g., table lamps, etc.)
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