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View Full Version : Recessed Lighting Help Needed



homerlanefarms
12-14-2008, 07:13 AM
Hi: We are getting ready to build and I have heard so many pro's and con's about different brands of recessed lighting? Does someone want to suggest a good brand to use that won't bankrupt me. We want to use 4" line voltage IC can. What are the advantages of useing low voltage vs. high voltage. Any help you give we will be much appreciated.

jimbo
12-14-2008, 07:21 AM
If you stay with a mainline brand like Halo, you will always be able to find replacement trims, and you will have a wider selection of trims to choose from. Your local electrical supply house may have another brand that they stock. Stay away from the home stores.


Where are you using this? Many municipal codes do not allow recessed lighting at the main light source in kitchens or bathrooms. It is quite INEFFICIENT in terms of providing general area illumination. It is really meant for accent and mood lighting.

Low voltage mainly allows you to use smaller cans that use the MR16 bulbs. The bulbs are expensive, and the transformer will occasionally have to be replaced.

Consider using fixtures which are set up for the plug-in compact fluorescent bulbs.'

Speedy Petey
12-14-2008, 07:41 AM
Does someone want to suggest a good brand to use that won't bankrupt me. We want to use 4" line voltage IC can.This is an oxymoron. 4" low voltage cans are EXPENSIVE! If you are on a tight budget do not even think about using them.
They are about five times more than "standard" 5" or 6" line voltage cans and trims.
They are also NOT the correct choice for general lighting. Why are you considering them?






Where are you using this? Many municipal codes do not allow recessed lighting at the main light source in kitchens or bathrooms. It is quite INEFFICIENT in terms of providing general area illumination. It is really meant for accent and mood lighting.Sorry Jimbo, I have to disagree. A lot of recessed lighting can be a very nice source of general light if done right. Only thing is IMO using MR16's is NOT doing it right.

Don't forget, you are in the People's Republic of California. You have some of the strictest rules of any place in the country, and I hope it does not spread. Although NY does unfortunately follow suit with many of CA's stupid laws, rules and codes.

I am all for using energy saving methods, I just do NOT want to be forced into using something, like CFL recessed cans, that may be obsolete in a few years and do not give any flexibility. I mean, there is not even a "standard" socket for them yet.
If Ca wants to phase out incan lamps they should simply tax the sh*t out of them and subsidize CFLs. The average person is not about to go over state lines to bootleg 100W/A lamps. :D

Dunbar Plumbing
12-14-2008, 07:46 AM
Nice Signature SP.


Get enough people out there doing this and it will put a hurt in their clientell base.


I'm stuck where I can't reload another card right now and faced with paying the balance down the hard way. :(

jar546
12-14-2008, 07:50 AM
If cost is a factor then stick with 6" cans.

Budget wise, I use Progress Lighting cans which has a lot of trim options.
Halo is another choice and the big box stores(which I hate) seem to sell them too.

There are some nice LED can lighting options which may be more expensive but will save you money in the long run due to energy savings and the fact that they last a very long, long, long time. Much longer than CFLs and more efficient.

Progress does not have an LED setup that I am aware of.

homerlanefarms
12-14-2008, 07:53 AM
If you stay with a mainline brand like Halo, you will always be able to find replacement trims, and you will have a wider selection of trims to choose from. Your local electrical supply house may have another brand that they stock. Stay away from the home stores.


Where are you using this? Many municipal codes do not allow recessed lighting at the main light source in kitchens or bathrooms. It is quite INEFFICIENT in terms of providing general area illumination. It is really meant for accent and mood lighting.

Low voltage mainly allows you to use smaller cans that use the MR16 bulbs. The bulbs are expensive, and the transformer will occasionally have to be replaced.

Consider using fixtures which are set up for the plug-in compact fluorescent bulbs.'


WE are planning on using these in the kitchen and living areas and they will be the main source of lighting.

homerlanefarms
12-14-2008, 08:15 AM
If cost is a factor then stick with 6" cans.

Budget wise, I use Progress Lighting cans which has a lot of trim options.
Halo is another choice and the big box stores(which I hate) seem to sell them too.

There are some nice LED can lighting options which may be more expensive but will save you money in the long run due to energy savings and the fact that they last a very long, long, long time. Much longer than CFLs and more efficient.

Progress does not have an LED setup that I am aware of.

You mention other options? Like what? I'm interested.

To answer some of the otherquestions...building is in Pennsylvania

Why 4" recessed? My architect thinks they look better. I might say, my son is the Architect...lives in NYC.

220/221
12-14-2008, 08:23 AM
This is an oxymoron. 4" low voltage cans are EXPENSIVE



We want to use 4" line voltage IC can



We use Halo brand although the crap seems to be getting crappier and more flimsy every year. And, I HATE the spring style trim retention method because they don't provide a good place to attach the spring.

A 5 or 6 inch can will spread twice the light of a 4 inch model. I avoid 4 inch cans for general lighting.

In the kitchen, place them directly over the counter/work space about 18 to20 inches off the wall. Do not encroach on your upper cabinet crown moulding.

Also, keep them away from ceiling fans.



My architect thinks they look better


Yes....the old form vs function debate.

I generally use a combination of 4" and 6" cans in my house. 6" cans do look like hell if you look straight up in them as you can see the interior of the can. 5" cans minimize this.

Speedy Petey
12-14-2008, 08:27 AM
Why 4" recessed? My architect thinks they look better. I might say, my son is the Architect...lives in NYC.
This explains a LOT. I deal with the same thing ALL the time.
They just don't get it. Is he more concerned with how they look on the ceiling or how well they will light?????

Please don't get me started on architects. :mad:

cattledog
12-14-2008, 11:11 AM
Last year, I completed a complete electrical remodel where we used six inch Halo cans for general lighting. These were the choice of the electrician who overall did high quality work. We used white trim on a white ceiling. Whether or not you can live with he aesthetics of the 6" cans and trim is a decision you will have to make.

There is an energy efficiency downside of all the ceiling penetrations but there is some additional sealing you can do with an IC can, and I think that there may be some totally sealed cans (more expensive) available.

I chose to use non dimmable, standard A base BR30 CFL floodlights everywhere. They have an internal starter/ballast and do not require anything special in the can. After trying may brands of lamps in an single can before purchasing for the whole house, I selected the Home Depot brand N:vision soft white(2700K) 14w (65 watt equivalent) BR30. They are rebranded TCP 2R3014's. TCP is one of the top tier manufacturers. In my opinion these bulbs were the best choice overall with regard to color, cost, and rapid turn on time. I found that across bands, the same advertised color temperature could have different appearance and color rendition.

I have lost one lamp out of 65 with an early failure, after about one year. Who knows if the advertised five to seven year lifetimes will be achieved.

You will have to decide if the energy savings and environmental benefits of CFL's are worth the main performance drawback which is the non-instantaneous ramp up to full brightness. Actually, in a bathroom in the middle of the night it is a advantage ;-) There is an "instabrite" version of the lamp available from TCP but they are twice the cost of the standard. I have used a few in closets. I have no experience with the dimmable version of CFL's. Spring lamp CFL's do not work well in recessed lighting.

Whether or not to go with CFL's now or wait for affordable LED's is another call you will have to make. In my opinion, significant market pentration of the LED's was quite a way off, and I chose to take the benefits and drawbacks of CFL's now.

jar546
12-14-2008, 11:15 AM
Here are some trim options from Progress:
http://progresslighting.com/products.aspx?Category=70

Also, I have come across problems when out of state architects do drawings for people. I know he is your son so I will be gentle.

PA is an ICC code state and right now the IRC 2006 must be complied with. NY takes the IRC and changes it so what he knows about the IRC in NY may not be apply in PA.

What part of PA will the home be in?

jwelectric
12-14-2008, 11:41 AM
What part of PA will the home be in?

I bet it is not Lancaster County, PA

Chris75
12-14-2008, 12:12 PM
Okay, heres my 2 cents on the subject...

6" cans are ridiculous, they look like a meteor came through the ceiling, You can use 5" cans with the same wattage lamp... 4" cans are not a good idea for general lighting, you'll need too many to accomplish the same thing that 5" cans spaced properly can do, 4" Low voltage cans are out of most peoples budget.

I like brands like Juno, & Lightolier, I dislike Halo, the trims turn yellow after a while.

I wont discuss that your sons an architect. :D


Here is a pic of 5" cans spaced correctly in my kids playroom in the basement.

http://s171.photobucket.com/albums/u292/stickboy1375/th_IMG_0202.jpg (http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u292/stickboy1375/IMG_0202.jpg?t=1229286440)
Click to enlarge, I could not get the last two lights in the pic, but you get the idea.

homerlanefarms
12-14-2008, 01:32 PM
Here are some trim options from Progress:
http://progresslighting.com/products.aspx?Category=70

Also, I have come across problems when out of state architects do drawings for people. I know he is your son so I will be gentle.

PA is an ICC code state and right now the IRC 2006 must be complied with. NY takes the IRC and changes it so what he knows about the IRC in NY may not be apply in PA.

What part of PA will the home be in?

Western Pennsylvania...north of pittsburgh

jimbo
12-14-2008, 08:23 PM
Some of you may be in for a surprise. California, also Oregon and Washington, 2 years ago implemented EPACT ( Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005). That limited the wattage available on R bulbs, forcing a shift to more expensive PAR. Also limited A bulb wattage, and completely eliminagted incandescent floods over 100 watts for most situations. WELL, girls and boys, that act is in effect NATIONAL as of Jan. 1, 2009. You will be in for some shockers!

beekerc
12-15-2008, 10:20 AM
Recessed lights can be used equally well for main lighting or accent lighting. In my basement remodel, I am using 4 tube flourcescent troffers as my primary light with dimmable lower wattage (40 ~ 65) 6 inch cans for ambience, wall washing and spot usage.

5 and 6 inch cans are much more cost effective, have a wider variety of trims and offer a wider range of bulb wattages and form factors. Personally I like Juno, but Halo makes comparable equipment (kinda like the Coke & Pepsi).

If you have access to Platt Electric supply, they are running a promotion, until the end of the year, for a 6" Cooper can, a 65 watt PAR (i think) bulb and white trim for $7.95. I don't know if they do walk-in retail sales, so you may have to go through your electician/lighting designer/contractor. I picked one up recently for evaluation and it's a decent package. I'll most likely get a bunch of these for my basement once I have a talk with the drop ceiling people.

My humble $0.02 worth,
BeekerC

jar546
12-15-2008, 04:32 PM
once I have a talk with the drop ceiling people

What? You're not going to do it yourself?

beekerc
12-16-2008, 02:49 AM
What? You're not going to do it yourself?

many years ago, i helped my dad hang a drop ceiling in our basement. i came away from that experience having learned two important things.
1) how to properly hang a drop ceiling
2) knowing that given the choice between doing it yourself and hiring someone to do it for you, that i'd hire someone.
:)

hey, at least i'm doing all the electrical work myself. although it's kind of a shame now that the walls are starting to go up, all that work to pull wires, properly secure them, prepping outlet boxes, etc, all the work that i'm proud of, gets covered up.

Bill Arden
12-19-2008, 01:30 AM
I bought two 7 watt LED lights from W-mart for $35 ea and tried them in 6 inch cans. They are in a Par20 size and put out a 200 lumen spot.

I've found them to actually look quite nice and put out just as much light as a 60W(equiv) CF light without a reflector since the light is better focused.

I can't afford to replace all 36 lights with LED's, however as I see it you have two options.

1. Cans
2. recessed suspended ceiling light

Edit:
If I could redo things, I would either raise the ceiling height or make recessed boxes so that I could use single bulb 4 foot florescent lights.

kate731
07-04-2009, 08:12 PM
Aughhhhh..... I have been reading this thread and now I am more confused than ever about recessed lighting. I am updating my kitchen (in PA) incrementally and I am now ready to do the lighting. The kitchen is small ~ 9 1/2'x12 1/2' and currently has one ceiling light fixture. I WANT recessed lighting - is that realistic? (the bulkhead over the cabinets which are only on one wall takes up ~ 14 inches from the ceiling.) And if I get what I want....how many? Should they be in 2 parallel lines or staggered or what?? Who knew lighting could be such a pain....it looks so easy on TV!!

jadnashua
07-05-2009, 02:14 PM
Depends on if you want task lighting or general illumination. The manufactuer's website will show the beam spread for various fixtures at standard heights. To keep lighting even, you need to overlap the beam patterns.

220/221
07-06-2009, 03:35 PM
In the kitchen, use 5 or 6 inch cans and place them directly over the counter/work space about 18 to 20 inches off the wall. Do not encroach on your upper cabinet crown moulding.

Also, keep them away from ceiling fans

Scuba_Dave
07-07-2009, 03:01 PM
We have a small kitchen & I used (4) 4" CFL cans in the ceiling
They provide a lot of light & we use them all the time
They had a $15 instant rebate coupon & the cost was $18 BEFORE the coupon :D
I bought about 12 of them

For my sunroom (open to kitchen) - cathedral ceiling - I went with (2) 6" cans
Further off the ground & better able to spread the light
Along one wall I installed (3) 4" cans to light the area where the table will go

Between the kitchen & sunroom will be a peninsula countertop with another (3) 4" cans

In the new great room I am also going w/6" cans - cathedral ceiling
The game room will have 6" cans too
The bar area will have the 4" cans again

PEW
07-09-2009, 10:16 AM
When they make led's that can be dimmed I will be interested. We never or at least very very rarely run our recessed lights full out. Until then, my inventory will last my lifetime.

ActionDave
07-12-2009, 03:46 PM
I WANT recessed lighting - is that realistic?
Four to six feet apart works for me.

Go to the store, buy six cans, come home, look at your kitchen and say, "I want a light here."(place can on floor), continue process 'till feeling of calmness and satisfaction rests on your mind. If you think you need more go back to the store.

My cans don't line up but I wanted to stay away from the runway look. Other people seem to like conformity and straight lines.

jadnashua
07-12-2009, 04:05 PM
It might be more work than you want, but you could temporarily hook them up while on the floor pointing to the ceiling and look at the pattern. Adjust the positions until you get an even illumination pattern you like. The height of the can will allow the pattern to be slightly bigger once installed in the ceiling. Also note that the type of lamp you use will make a big difference in the spread you get, as can the trim you select.