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Recessed Can Lights?

Old 05-04-2011, 01:17 PM
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Question Recessed Can Lights?

I'm doing some remodeling and the wife wants some can lights in the kitchen and livingroom.

Anyone have any input on location or sizes? Most are 6" but smaller ones seem to be getting more popular.

Thanks
Old 05-04-2011, 01:24 PM
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Smaller is better IMO. Lightolier is good stuff and you can install PAR 20's in a 3" trim fixture.

I can't advise over the web without a set of plans and the desired room layouts. I will tell you to consider Multi Set lighting controls no matter what you do. Do a search on their web site. Lutron also does the same thing but I don't know what they call it. My Lutron guy is an AH.
Old 05-04-2011, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Mist-Rest View Post
Smaller is better IMO. Lightolier is good stuff and you can install PAR 20's in a 3" trim fixture.

I can't advise over the web without a set of plans and the desired room layouts. I will tell you to consider Multi Set lighting controls no matter what you do. Do a search on their web site. Lutron also does the same thing but I don't know what they call it. My Lutron guy is an AH.
Agree with the multi set controls. I think my favorite electronic dimmer control is "On Set" by Lightolier. I have some Lutrons also but On Sets are the most intuitive I'ved used. Just be certain you use the correct type of switch for the load.

Regarding the can lights; small diameter my be more fashionable but you'll need more of them compared to a 5" or 6" can to light the same area. Really difficult to tell where, and how many, you'll need without seeing the space or plans.
Old 05-04-2011, 01:54 PM
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Cree LED, http://www.creeledlighting.com/produ...ights/CR6.aspx
Home Depot has them for $20 or $25 each, very good deal.
Old 05-04-2011, 02:54 PM
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The R40 bulbs that fit the 5-6 inch cans are going bye-bye because of EPA.
They are coming out with a retro-fit insert for the big cans to accommodate the R30 and R38 bulbs. Though they do make a R40 sized CFL.
Old 05-04-2011, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by HTV View Post
The R40 bulbs that fit the 5-6 inch cans are going bye-bye because of EPA.
They are coming out with a retro-fit insert for the big cans to accommodate the R30 and R38 bulbs. Though they do make a R40 sized CFL.
So should I use the 4" for that reason? They seem kinda small.

Thanks Guys
Old 05-04-2011, 06:54 PM
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I have done a lot of recessed lighting and just tried the HD 4" cans for one of my bathrooms I just redid last week. They are made a lot better than they used to and for the money they weren't bad.

I like the Lightolier line because of the various trims you can get. If you really want to make the place look sick, my best example of what I did was in my past one bedroom condo.

I had 3 wall washers above the couch about 18" from the wall. I had two MR16 lamp adjustable cans that put a punch light on the fireplace. A bunch of regular can's around the perimiter of the room that I used halogen Par lamps. This was for a living room and small bump out room. 15x23 and a 6x9room. Total of 15 lights. I like to use 20-24" off the wall as a guideline. had 4 zones with a Grafic Eye.

If you plan on having a few zones a Lutron Grafic Eye is much nicer than a bunch of switches on the wall. 4 preset settings and a bunch of options.

http://www.lutron.com/Products/Singl.../Overview.aspx
Old 05-04-2011, 08:41 PM
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if your utilities are high, look at the Cree 6" line but not the one Home Depot carries. They have a few versions and the HD version is inexpensive because there is not a great deal of light coming out of it. The fixture puts out 575 lumens and a 60 watt halogen PAR38 (6" can lamp" puts out 880. If you go with MR16's, make sure you understand how to lay them out to cover the area you are illuminating as they are more of a "point" source than the larger fixtures. If you like, send me a sketch and I'll give you some advice. I've designing and selling lighting for a looong time.
Old 05-05-2011, 04:50 AM
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PAR bulbs last much longer than BR bulbs. I've got everything from 40's to 16's I prefer 30's and 20's. MR's are good for artwork but work well for general down lighting with the proper beam spread.

I'm hard pressed to tell the difference in the amount of light given off between 30s and 40's.
Old 05-05-2011, 05:30 AM
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I used mostly 5" throughout my house because 6" just felt "too big" unless you have very tall ceilings. 6" are the common non-decorator size and are dirt cheap.

4" or even 3" are more popular in the "bright points of light" decorator category and lots of choices in 12v which again is the preferred decorator setup... there are more colors in 12v halogen bulbs/throw patterns and lots of different decorator trims available from speciality shops. I didn't want to deal with 12v transformers, or speciality shops for that matter, so went with a standard 120v can. As the 120v cans get smaller, the max wattage bulb gets smaller, so if you are going to use incandescent bulbs, keep a close eye on that.

HOWEVER -

To echo what MacCTD said - home depot sells a SCREW IN LED module (looks just like his photo) for $49 if there are no rebates in your area.

This is made to fit in 6" cans but works fine in 5" cans as well. I have 15 of them in my house and they are going on 6 months and so far they are excellent excellent excellent. This is not the over-engineered heavy model with a huge heatsink that is in the light can isle, these are sold next to all their other light bulbs and are pretty lightweight. I think they are rated at 10-15w somewhere in there.

I could not be happier with these LEDs and I am the kind of person who bought 10 different incandescent/flourescent bulbs trying to find ones I liked. These leds throw a very wide / soft bright, white light - and they dim very well too! This is a combination light/trim so you save $10-15 on whatever trim you would have bought. If I recall correctly they carry a 3 year warranty from HD directly, as long as they hold up over time, these are a great deal.

Last edited by Flot; 05-05-2011 at 05:44 AM.
Old 05-05-2011, 06:09 AM
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Go with a standard incandescent recessed can and put an LED lamp in it. The cans are cheap, but the LED lamps are a bit pricey. The upside is that you'll probably never have to change them out...most have a 50,000 lamp life. Many are compatable with standard incandescent dimmers, but read the literature carefully...some only work with specific dimmers. A company called Light Emitting Designs makes lamps specifically meant for retrofit into existing incandescent recessed lights. They make standard A19 (medum base), along with R20, R30 lamps that you find in 4" and 6" recessed can lights. LED's are the trend now...mostly due to the additional energy savings and disposal issues that are inherent with fluorescent lamps. Right now, most LED's are available in cool white or daylight color temperatures...look for more choices as technology improves. Also, look for the price on LED's to come down substancially over the next couple of years.
Old 05-05-2011, 06:43 AM
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This reference guide may be of some use showing incandescent end dates
http://www.rpjohnsons.com/uploadcach...ion%5B1%5D.pdf
Old 07-11-2011, 03:11 AM
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Now she wants small eyeball lights so I'll need to make some changes before the ceiling goes up in the kitchen.
Old 07-11-2011, 04:33 AM
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4" cans about 4' apart work well in my kitchen. Hopefully Congress will repeal this idiotic light bulb ban and we can still use lighting that looks normal.
Old 07-11-2011, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by saltydog251 View Post
Now she wants small eyeball lights so I'll need to make some changes before the ceiling goes up in the kitchen.
Most 4 & 6" can lights have eyeball trims available. The same fixture uses open baffle trims, shower trims, and eyeball trims. Check with the manufacturer of the lights you are planning to use.
You can use even smaller recessed cans...but many are low-voltage...keep everything at 120V--less headaches.
Old 07-15-2011, 03:10 PM
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Thanks guys but no matter what I do I can get the cans to look right because of the trusses.

She wants to look into track lighting for the kitchen and I'm going to make a new post on that subject.
Old 07-15-2011, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by saltydog251 View Post
I'm doing some remodeling and the wife wants some can lights in the kitchen and livingroom.

Anyone have any input on location or sizes? Most are 6" but smaller ones seem to be getting more popular.

Thanks
I built our house in 1994, and used them everywhere. We have 120 recessed can lights, mostly 6", with some smaller in foyers, etc. A little track lighting in certain areas as well. We have no lamps in our house, none (I hate them). Biggest shock for me was the cost of replacement bulbs (I buy them by the case). Have to say we really like them.
Old 07-15-2011, 03:55 PM
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Salty, I would go with led lighting. The 6"/4" can lights are terrible for the amount of heat that penetrates the home. If I recall you have an older home that you are remodeling. Unless you can put the tents over the cans, go with led. IMHO
Old 07-16-2011, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by saltydog251 View Post
Thanks guys but no matter what I do I can get the cans to look right because of the trusses.

She wants to look into track lighting for the kitchen and I'm going to make a new post on that subject.
I cant tell you how many hours I have spent with architects and clients trying to get lighting set "correctly" in a kitchen, so it functions and looks "right".

Bottom line, it doesnt matter as much as you think it does. No one, and I mean no one, will ever stare at your ceiling and critique that your can lights are not evenly spaced.
Just get it close, within inches.
Old 07-16-2011, 05:56 AM
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The critical element is the HEIGHT of the ceiling...that determines the number of lumens available at counter level. Most florida ceilings are 8', so a 6" can isn't necessary.

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