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Do It Yourself or Not: Install rail lighting

By Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Content Agency on

We first noticed rail lighting in trendy restaurants, and today they’re popular in homes with fixtures mounted on rails across a ceiling or along a wall. They offer a lot of versatility to create a dramatic design element or a practical solution used as general overhead lighting in a room or to showcase a particular wall or feature.

A rail system has two components: the light pendant fixtures and the rail, sold both as a kit and as individual components making it possible to create a unique design. You’ll find rails straight or curved, monorails in different lengths, usually 4 to 8 feet, and fixtures ranging from traditional spotlights to stylish designs and pendants. Some systems connect to an existing junction box in the ceiling and operate on standard household voltage, while other low voltage systems require a transformer.

Assuming you have experience with electrical projects and basic electrical tools, you can buy a 12-foot-long low voltage rail system with six directional spotlights and install it yourself for $600. An electrician will charge $998 to do the job, which includes labor and material. If a new electrical line is required, hire an electrician to do the job.

Pro Cost: $998 — DIY Cost: $600
Pro time: 4.1 — DIY Time: 6.0
DIY Savings: $398 — Percent Saved: 40%



To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com.

©2020 Gene and Katie Hamilton. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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