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Let There Be Light!

Hey folks,

Yes another late update, but this time it was not my fault :-).

In an attempt to improve my update efficiency, I decided to buy a new action camera so I was not wasting so much time dealing with video issues.  Well, did not work out that way.  I recorded about 70 minutes of video for two updates and then when I got back to the office, I discovered that the video sounded like I was singing with the Chipmunks. There is something wrong with the codec of the camera.  After lots of fussing with the video files, I figured out that if I uploaded them to YouTube and downloaded them again, they were ‘fixed’ and I could bring them into my editing software. Hence this posting going out 10 days after I shot the video.

Now lets get into the nitty gritty.

As I mentioned, it took a long time to be comfortable with the lighting design and specifically the amount of lumens per square foot needed for different areas of the home.  Many of the websites have old obsolete data dealing with incandescent lighting.

I did hours of research, identifying a rough guide on converting incandescent bulb wattage to lumens, and then trying to come up with a guide of what was needed per room type.  Some sites had guides showing the total lumens needed for a room, but these did not state the room size (these sites were typically dealing with incandescent and would have something like a single 100 watt bulb for a ‘small’ bedroom).

Some of the sites I found more useful are: &

In the end I came up with the following table to determine the general lumens needed per square foot of room:

Room Foot Candles Needed
Living Room 10-20
Kitchen General 30-40
Kitchen Stove 70-80
Kitchen Sink 70-80
Dining Room 30-40
Bed Room 10-30
Hall Way 5-10
Bathroom 70-80
Home Office 60-80
Workspace/Garage 80-100
Reading 40


And then used this table to determine what additional lumens were needed for specific tasks:

task requirement – min lumins
reading 100
closet 381
dressing 1680
dining 315
kitchen task 360
range 450
sink 450
toilet 45
vanity 1680
outdoor entrance 996
path 297
flower beds 972
stairs, halls 1200


And then finally checked this against a conversion I did from incandescent recommendations to foot candles then to lumens:

kitchen 5k-10k
bathroom 4k-8k
bedroom 2k-4k
living room 3k
dining room 5k
office 3k-6k


And after all of this research, I mocked up a small room (our mud room), with the amount of lumens calculated above to see if we were happy – And We Were!  (See Finally for more info on this mock-up).  With the design behind me, I ordered all of the LED fixtures from Green Canada LED who have EXCELLENT pricing and great service.  The quality of the fixtures has been great without a single problem to date.  As mentioned in my video, the only problem will be getting some of the drivers down the hole, but hopefully the inspector and I can come up with a solution.

The electrical is progressing well- as of today I finished the general rough-in for all of the AC circuits on all three floors. This includes dressing out the boxes for all receptacles and light switches (terminating all the wires so the only thing left to do is pull out a bare bond, white neutral, and black hot (power) to connect the receptacle after the drywall is in place and painted (light switches only have a black hot and a black from the fixture to connect).  As I show in the video, I have also completed all light fixture rough-ins on the first floor and the required ones (for occupation) in the basement.  This only leaves the ones on the second floor that I will do after getting a partial electrical inspection and discussing a solution with the inspector.

It is my hope the inspector will authorize me to insulate the first floor (walls and ceilings) and walls on second floor.  If he does, I will then switch gears and complete all tasks needed for a framing inspection (more on this in a later update) .   Once this hurtle is passed, I will then try to have a crew insulating the first floor while I work on the second floor lighting.

Steps to dress an electrical box

This is the starting point. All the cables have been brought to the box but not terminated. This was a junction box near my low voltage transformers. I fed the transformer from it but also used it as a major hub for this circuit.
It is good to terminate your bare bond wires first and tuck them up out of the way. I used a attachment for the drill that twisted these for me and then I put a crimp ferrule on them. Later in the rough-in, I bought larger ferrules for when I had more than 5 bare bonds to crimp to eliminate the double up you see here.
Next I like to terminate the neutral conductors. This was done before my order of 8-port Wago connectors came in, so there are a few more 4-port connectors. I really like the Wago connectors. They are fast, take up less room in the box (because they are square and pack in nicely) , but I think they also make the best connection. When using wire nuts on more than 2-3 conductors, it is really hard to ensure that you get a proper connection with all conductors being even before winding on nut.
The end result – ready for drywall (not that there will be drywall at this specific location)


Some of the bounty from our garden this year

Snow Peas, Tomatoes, blueberries and rhubarb
As above now also with our first zucchini.
Last major tomato harvest for season and our first cukes.


Finally, I promised some more info on the delivery of the wood chips by Burley Boys.

This is what it looked like on the day before the visit.


Prior to the truck arriving on the morning of the delivery, I drove the tractor back and forth to make sure that there were no mud holes.  But I only drove it as far as the black pipe you see at the bottom of the above photo.

And this is what happened immediately on arrival


One set of wheels sank into the filled in gas line trench I had dug earlier in the week.  This was right in front of the black pipe I had stopped the tractor at 🙁

They ended up having one of the large bucket trucks come by and hook a chain to the front and I pushed on the back corner with the tractor bucket.

If they had to call a wrecker to pull them out, the bill would have been passed along to me!
Now the real work starts.
Eventually, I tackled what I knew had to be damaged below the surface and found this 🙁   The tires had sunk deep enough (24″) to crush the 4″ pvc gas pipe sleeve I had installed.  The good thing was the gas pipe had not been installed yet and it did not matter where my sleeve terminated, so I just cut it off at the undamaged location and re-marked the end for the gas company.


As always – thanks for visiting!

“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” —Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991) Writer, Cartoonist, Animator

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” —John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) 6th Us President

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