Lighting is a problem

So we have started picking out the “options” for our new house. A lot of people think that this is the fun part of the process. I assure you that this is NOT FUN! This is the stressful part of the process when all is said and done. This is the “jump through hoops” and try not to get screwed by the builder part of the process. It is do just enough to get things done but not upgrade so much that you pay too much up front.

That being said, however, there are just some things that make sense to to do them up front because it is more costly to do them after the fact. Moving cabinets 6″ is just not a reasonable choice several years from now. Could we? Sure. Matching cabinets is not something that is necessarily easily or cheap to do in the future. So if you think you’re going to want to upgrade your cooktop and range hood in the future, just doing it now is a feasible option.

So those are the decisions we are making. We are deciding what to do now because it makes sense. We are deciding what not to do now so as to not get screwed by the builder. Hard decisions sometimes.

If you ask me, I would just have them leave all the crappy bathroom hardware out of the house. At the very least, I would prefer that they do NOT install any of it. I DO NOT WANT IT! After my experience purchasing hardware from Harney Hardware, I am way happier with the quality that I got there. The crap that the builder installs is just going to tear up my walls and I am going to have to patch sheetrock and install quality later. I am going to be up front here – I am going to ask them if they will leave it out. I know that the answer will be a resounding, “no.” I will then ask if they will leave it uninstalled. The answer will likely be another resounding, “no.” It kind of sucks.

So in our current house we did not upgrade any of the lighting. We did not need to. We just went with the standard issue lighting options. They were reasonable. They made sense. They had a variety of lighting options in rooms that had multiple light types. We had flexibility.

In our new house, however, that is not going to be the case. Evidently the breakfast nook comes with 2 canister lights. That is all. Just 2 canister lights. Likewise, the kitchen comes with 4 canister lights. That is all. Just 4 canister lights in the kitchen.

For the ordinary person, this is probably not a problem. For those who suffer from chronic migraines, they are probably rubbing their heads right about now. They get me. They understand. For my little Lance, it is a nightmare from the minute we walk in the house. In our current house, we have found an ease in the problem since we swapped all the canister light units out to LED recessed lighting options. I admit that it is better. It is NOT perfect. They are just so dang bright. It helps, but bright lights are still very hard on people who suffer from migraines especially when they have an active migraine.

So for Lance these options were not perfect. We could in theory swap all 6 of the canister lights in these 2 rooms to these retrofit LED recessed lights. It would eliminate the immediate migraine nightmare the day we walk in the house. It would not be perfect. It would be a workable temporary solution. I could try to find some that were not quite as many lumens as the ones we put in our existing house.

However, at over $20 per light, that is still an expensive fix for something that would still cause pain and suffering in the end.

There has to be a better solution…

If the recessed lights have retrofit kits from incandescent lights or compact florescent light fixtures to an LED light unit, could we retrofit the recessed light unit to do something else? That was the problem I needed to solve. So I started to research that. The beauty of the internet is that you can quickly research topics and find potential solutions to problems in a matter of minutes.

The good news is that we have a few options other than going from recessed lighting to recessed lighting. The bad news is that we may not be able to control where the lights are in the room. We will have to talk to the builder on that. If the lights are reasonably placed in the room, we might have more flexibility. There are 2-3 retrofit kits that I found for converting the recessed light units to something other than a recessed unit. Some of the options I found are built right into the light units – small pendant lighting units.

It ultimately becomes a decision of what we want to do. It does not look like we have to pay the high price to wire an extra light in the breakfast nook or to have pendant lights above the island in the kitchen. If we can control where the recessed lights are in the kitchen that will be even better.

I am just happy that we have options that do not come with a $250, $350, or $800 price tag. I can choose to spend what I want on the lights of my choice. Most of the pendant lights were less than that.

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