Recessed lights for living room

mahnrutJune 10, 2011

We are thinking of putting recessed ceiling lights as accent lights into a dark living room that has 4 original sconces and two table lamps currently for lighting. We thought of putting the lights in the middle area of the long walls (on each side to accent art on the fireplace wall and the opposite wall with the long picture in the photo - the art and the furniture are being changed) and to lighten up the sides of the room a bit(there are windows at each short end). We thought of 3' in from the walls and 3 lights 4' apart as being possible positions. We will have swivel cans and want halogen but cannot decide between 4" line voltage halogen Par 20s or smaller MR16s. Any comments or suggestions very welcome. The photos are not that great for this project but were ones available and I can take more if wanted. Thanks.

Here is a link that might be useful: living room views

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triphase

The MR-16 is a really nice light. Go with a 4 inch low voltage if those are you choices. I like the LED's better, but the MR-16 light is very pleasent. Tons of trim packages for the low voltage as well. Also the LED's will soon be good enough for the low voltage lights that you can use them in there while being able to use the nicer low voltage trim packages.

Mike

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 4:22PM
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mahnrut

Thanks Mike

Low voltage halogens both trim and lamps are a lot more expensive I see than line voltage halogens of a similar size.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 10:08PM
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triphase

If you shop around you can get good deals for elco low voltage recessed lights. It's a much better light.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 3:29AM
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texasredhead

FYI, low voltage fixtures are actually wired line voltage but each fixture has a transformer. That's what makes them more expensive. It is not uncommon for those transformers to fail in time. Similar to ballasts on florescent fixtures. LED lamps, IMO, give a different type of light but they literally last forever.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 9:56AM
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mahnrut

texasredhead and triphase. I looked at the Elco website and saw that they have "4" Line Voltage MR16 Downlights (for use with LOW voltage MR16 trims)". These bulbs I assume don't need a transformer. Do MR16 halogens running on line voltage give a different light?

Also should we get the trim and then experiment with LEDs and the MR16 Halogen lights?

Thanks so much for your time answering what must be elementary quesions for you.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 11:31AM
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triphase

Don't get scared with the transformer, we have installed thousands of them without one transformer ever failing. Elco uses the best transformer in their lights. Clients from 6 and 7 years ago that we have done lighting for have told us they have yet to have one go out. It is one more piece of the light that can fail, but we have yet to have one. 5 years ago Elco used to use crimps in their wiring of the transformer to the line voltage coming in, and that would sometimes fail, but now they use wire nuts and if you check them before you install them, you will have no issues with your lights. Transformers for these lights have a very low failure rate. Very low. As far as MR-16s go, the 2 pin mr-16 is a better light as you have many more options for them. The low voltage is by far the better way to go.

Mike

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 2:47PM
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mahnrut

Thanks Triphase and I will remember the 2 pin MR16 (didn't know there were others) but what intrigued me were the :4" LINE voltage lights advertised on the Elco site as using MR16 bulbs. I thought that MR16s were low voltage only but it definitely said LINE.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 3:28PM
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David

MR16 lights come with the bi pin base for low voltage and the GU 10 base for line voltage.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 6:28PM
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triphase

What David said. The 2 pin looks like 2 little pins. The gu10 is 2 sort of knob style pins, with bigger ends. The mr-16 can only be used with low voltage systems.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 9:13PM
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mahnrut

An update on my original posting. We are considering installing small LEDs in the ceiling along the center portions of these two long walls of the living room (to illuminate the fireplace and the sofa areas).

We have wall sconces on the end walls of the room and some table lamps as well so this will not be the only lighting.

We got quotes today of some 3" 16W LED recessed lights by CSL a division of Troy Lighting after seeing them in a local showroom. The product number of the housing is EDL-RM_ww. The low voltage electronic dimmer quoted was LUT LXELV-600PL-WH. Does anyone know anything about CSL lights and this dimmer? Thanks for your time.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 7:11PM
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susanlynn2012

I would like to bump this thread up since I am now thinking of low voltage recessed lighting using the MR-16 halogen 4" recessed lights because I love the way my tiles look under the halogen lights of my Zephyr gas range hood. I wish I knew what part of the light spectrum my halogen r16 lights are that my range hood uses to see if I can find a color LED that will use the same light.

Will I be able to switch to LED in the low voltage recessed halogen MR-16 lighting in the future if the LED's become better and less expensive or if the halogen becomes discontinued?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 12:39AM
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