higher-wattage 3-inch halogen recessed lights

diymomof4January 4, 2010

I'm getting ready to put some recessed halogen lights into my kitchen (just starting a renovation). I like the 3-inch size, but after hooking up one 50-watt light, I'm not sure 50 watts is going to cut it. Can higher-wattage bulbs (75 or even 100) be used in a 50-watt fixture? Does anyone make 3-inch 100 watt halogen gimbals? I'm already planning on including under-cabinet lights as well, but want most of my lighting to come from these recessed lights. Thanks in advance for any guidance on this. I'm getting older and I want LOTS of light!

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macv

For small diameter recessed lighting (3 3/4" or 4" diam.) the brightest lamp would be a low voltage 50 watt MR16 halogen lamp. A less bright lamp for these fixtures would be a line voltage 50 watt PAR 20 halogen.

If you use a lamp too large for the recessed fixture the fixture will shut off when it overheats and turn back on when it cools.

3 inch diam recessed fixtures are usually specification grade commercial fixtures and are more expensive but can use a 65 watt MR16 lamp if it doesn't need to be rated for insulation contact or air-tightness (under a roof or unheated attic).

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 9:13PM
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normclc

the maximum wattage in a 3" can is 50 watts.
You can buy what is called 50 watt IR lamps from most good lamp manufacturers which will give you the lumen output of a 75 watt lamp.
Keep in mind that as we get older , we need more light to see with, but as we age, glare becomes very uncomfortable. A 3" gimbal produces the most uncomfortable glare of any recessed fixture.
Small is not always better ,and a trim that regresses the lamp back up into the housing is the best bet.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 9:17PM
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jjaazzy

I installed 3" recessed cans into my master bathroom area 3 over the 6 ft vanity area, 2 in the shower area, plus 2 more in different spots. I love the light that the halogens put out. But If I were you I would go with a larger can. I have a small room 14' x 8 or so its a strange shape room plus I am going to install 2 wall sconces. But I have dark spots in the room that would drive me nuts in a kitchen. I don't think your going to be happy with the light level in your kitchen. If you don't want to see the cans choose a white trim. If you have already purchased these try and line them up in front of some focal point. Then add bigger ones for general lighting Mine are directional so I can tilt them a bit and bounce them off the wall.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 12:12AM
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