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Old 02.12.2015, 11:21
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Recessed Ceiling Lights

On a standard plastered swiss ceiling, how easy would it be to fit, say, four recessed ceiling lights in a living room or kitchen ceiling?

Is that a huge costly job to get it done professionally?
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Old 02.12.2015, 11:25
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Re: Recessed Ceiling Lights

Fitting the lights isn't hard, if you can get around two issues:

* How do you get power to them? If you have a floor above you can lift that gives access to the ceiling below, or a ceiling void, then no problem, otherwise you're looking at running cables through the existing ceiling plaster and a full reskim and paint.

* What's the ceiling (/ floor above) made of - if it has a steel layer that isn't deep enough for the recess, obviously that's a bit difficult, you probably have to go for semi-recessed in that case.

I have both problems - steel about 2cm into the ceiling, and tiled underfloor heating above
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Old 02.12.2015, 11:32
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Re: Recessed Ceiling Lights

(I am going to take for granted this is about concrete ceilings. prepare for long post)

First question to ask is: is it even possible?

If the concrete ceiling has not been prepared for the implementation of recessed ceiling lights, you will not be able to do it. Let me explain:

In apartment buildings:

- The concrete needs to have a specific thickness (about 25-26cm minimum) for structural reasons. The first 3 cm of this concrete layer is just concrete mass, so you can drill at will. However, after the first 3 cm, you have the steel bars. You can't cut those steel bars willy nilly. Recessed lights are usually thicker than 3 cm - I guess you know where I am getting with this.

You will also have to dig around the ceiling to place all the wiring, which will mean a complete new work for the plaster guys (and believe me, this is expensive).

Another problem is the acoustic. According to acoustic norms, a ceiling between 2 apartments should never be thinner than those 25-26 cm. If you drill a hole to place a recessed light, the concrete will be indeed punctually thinner, causing problems.

That is why when we know the client (or we architects) want to include recessed lights, we plan in advance a thicker ceiling or special fittings to ensure acoustic insulation and structural integrity.

In houses:

- As long as you do not reach the steel, you should be able to do whatever you want. I seriously doubt, however, that you will have enough "flesh".



HOWEVER



I have good news!

Some brands have lights specifically developed for homes which do not have recessed light planning, but the client would really love to have something similar. They have a thinner plate, or are simply outside the ceiling. Let me get back to you with some examples (need to get the catalogues first).

Got one here:



I can't give you a price because this differs a lot (this time not necessarily from Kanton to Kanton... :P). You have to count on the lights (which can get really expensive depending on the designer and quality). You also have to count on the drilling around for the cables, and the subsequent plastering of the ceiling (this part can get expensive because you need to do the whole ceiling, not just punctual points). Easiest way is to ask around for some budgets (sorry that I always say this, but it's pretty much the truth...).
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Last edited by Helm; 02.12.2015 at 11:44.
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Old 02.12.2015, 11:33
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Re: Recessed Ceiling Lights

Depends on what is currently in the ceiling, if there is space above it to snake wiring. You may have to explore with a snake camera. If there isn't, you would have to put up a new ceiling.


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I have good news!

Some brands have lights specifically developed for homes which do not have recessed light planning, but the client would really love to have something similar. They have a thinner plate, or are simply outside the ceiling. Let me get back to you with some examples (need to get the catalogues first)
There are flat LED lights, but their color temperatures are in the cooler range.
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Old 02.12.2015, 12:34
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Re: Recessed Ceiling Lights

Or you could put up a suspended ceiling like the one krlock3 is trying to get rid of.
Swiss Wooden Ceilings: What's above them?
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Old 02.12.2015, 16:04
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Re: Recessed Ceiling Lights

If you are moving or putting new cables in the wall/ceiling you will need a fully qualified Swiss Electrician to do the job to keep the building certificate. It's the way it is here.

If you are replacing lights on to wires already there, you can do that or get a handyman to do it for you
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Old 02.12.2015, 16:45
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Re: Recessed Ceiling Lights

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Or you could put up a suspended ceiling like the one krlock3 is trying to get rid of.
Swiss Wooden Ceilings: What's above them?
Would they by any easier to put in the suspended ceiling then?
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Old 02.12.2015, 18:07
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Re: Recessed Ceiling Lights

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Would they by any easier to put in the suspended ceiling then?
Of course, specially if we are talking about a wooden contruction instead of concrete floors! It's easier to drill a hole in wood than solid concrete And even if there is a concrete slab behind, you should have the 3-5 cm air chamber I refered to in the other thread, which means no digging in the concrete/paster to place the wiring!

Here is a version:



The main point between this and a concrete slab is that in this floor/ceiling the structural part is usually only the wood beams, while in concrete it's the whole slab. Meaning you can theoretically drill a hole between beams. (Emphasis on the theoretically because each case is a case...). So, again theoretically, the wooden construction could help you out

P.S.: This specific drawing shows how it's done with plastered ceilings, instead of the wooden pannels. Basically you have large sized plates (in this case fermacell) which have a air chamber behind (made with wood battens or special metal clips) and under this big plate you apply the drywall to make the pretty little plastered ceiling. Which should answer your other thread too.
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Old 02.12.2015, 18:18
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Re: Recessed Ceiling Lights

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Of course, specially if we are talking about a wooden contruction instead of concrete floors! It's easier to drill a hole in wood than solid concrete And even if there is a concrete slab behind, you should have the 3-5 cm air chamber I refered to in the other thread, which means no digging in the concrete/paster to place the wiring!
I find most recessed lights require around to 10cm of clearance space in the ceiling. That goes for GU10 Halogen fixtures. More space is needed for larger bulbs. Flat LEDs can be made a lot thinner for smaller spaces.

Apart from clearance space, you would need lights that emit its heat outward, not to the back of the lights, as this can accumulate heat and fry your lighting circuitry or even start a fires.

You know, there are many lighting/electrical firms that specialize in these kinds of projects, and can give you specific consultation.
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Old 03.12.2015, 15:49
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Re: Recessed Ceiling Lights

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You know, there are many lighting/electrical firms that specialize in these kinds of projects, and can give you specific consultation.
Absolutely, but it's the kind of advice that we share here on EF that is to me even more valuable, for first steps before involving a professional. And of course, those electrical firms are trying to sell you something.

I've no problem with approaching such a firm, but I am really happy when I have half a clue about the situation before speaking to them.
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Old 03.12.2015, 16:04
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Re: Recessed Ceiling Lights

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Absolutely, but it's the kind of advice that we share here on EF that is to me even more valuable, for first steps before involving a professional. And of course, those electrical firms are trying to sell you something.

I've no problem with approaching such a firm, but I am really happy when I have half a clue about the situation before speaking to them.
Sure. It could save you a lot of money, and you can tell if and where they may be gouging you. Or knowing exactly what you ask for will help minimize overruns.

One thing I notice the lighting firms will do is offer the very high end fixtures. So I did that for the recessed lights in the kitchen and some nice switches and outlets with stainless steel frames. They convinces me it was for Swiss Quality. But then some of it went bad, and needed repairs I had to repay for.

On the other hand, I found some DYI fixtures, and did a similar project for a patio. The parts the parts cost a fraction of the Swiss Quality brands. Same lights. It has never given me any problems.

So I think some electricians will insist on only using products they can markup.
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