By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Lights mounted on rails across a ceiling or along a wall are often practical, but they can also be a dramatic design element, too. The rail and light pendants can be used as general overhead lighting in a room or tasked to focus on one wall in particular for a decorative effect. The two elements of a rail system, the light pendant fixtures and the rail, are sold both as a kit and as individual components so you can combine them to create a unique design. Fixtures range from traditional spotlights to colored glass pendants; the rails can be straight or curved monorails in a variety of dimensions, but they usually come in lengths of 4 to 8 feet. While some can connect to the existing junction box in the ceiling and operate on standard household voltage, other low voltage systems require a transformer.
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An electrician will charge $1,034 to remove and replace an existing ceiling fixture with a 12-foot low voltage rail system with six directional spotlights. That includes labor and material. You can buy a rail and lights for $650 and do it yourself, assuming you have experience with electrical projects and basic electrical tools. If a new electrical line is required, definitely hire an electrician to do the job.
Wrapping up, given the average cost to install rail lighting you can compare the price of a contractor’s bid with doing it yourself. For a local cost input your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2018
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.