4 inch Cans & Dimmable CFL's

mad_p67July 10, 2007

I've purchased Halo 4 inch recessed cans for my 9 x 15 foot kitchen. I'm looking to purchase dimmable CFLS's instead of halogen. Which dimmable CFL's have been used and are you happy with them?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mightyanvil

For new construction you should first check out a recessed CFL fixture (usually 5") instead of trying to force a generic CFL to work in a fixture designed for a halogen PAR reflector lamp.

Go to a good lighting store and ask what is best for your installation and switch/dimmer arrangement.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 1:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mad_p67

Mighty, thanks!

It's a remodel, not new construction. I know there are several dimmable CFL's out on the market at the moment. I suspect more and more will make their wave with the new mandates.

I may just have to do this trial and error and report my findings....

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 1:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mightyanvil

Check with Halo first to be sure CFL's will work with the incandescent recessed cans.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 1:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
DavidR

Several people here have reported favorable results with Greenlite brand dimmable CFs.

I've done well with Philips brand. I haven't used any of their R lamps, but I don't see any reason they'd be different from the ones I have.

Examples here and here. This is not an endorsement of the supplier - I know nothing about this vendor ("Black Energy").

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 3:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mad_p67

David, many thanks - I've made copies of those two.

I have a true basic question - what is the difference between R20 and R30 bulbs? Would R30's fit the 4" cans?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 4:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
DavidR

The number after the R is the diameter of the lamp in eighths of an inch. (Ah, for the metric system! <ducking>)

So an R30 is 30/8 = 3.75" in diameter. An R20 is 20/8 = 2.5" in diameter. A PAR38 is 4.75" in diameter.

I'm not a fan of recessed lights so I don't have direct experience, but I expect you'll probably need an R20 for 4" cans. Others here may have more informed thoughts.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 7:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mad_p67

David, thanks once again and you are correct. I will be needing R20's for 4 inch cans. I haven't found any dimmable CFL's so I suspect they are slow in appearing.....

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 8:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jon1270

From reading this thread and the parallel one you've got going in the kitchen forum, it looks like you seek a dimmable fluorescent reflector CFL that will fit in a 4" can that was designed for incandescents. I think you're going to have to let go of some of those requirements.

If you're using cans designed for incandescent bulbs, then the trims available for those cans will also have been designed for incandescent bulbs. With 4" cans and trims, I'm afraid you may not be able to use a cfl larger than about 15 watts, and even that is likely to stick out of the can in an odd way. Dimmable cfl's seem to be a bit larger than equivalent non-dimmable cfl's, exaggerating this issue.

While a 15W cfl produces a fair amount of light, it is nowhere near as focused and directed as an incandescent reflector bulb such as a PAR halogen. As a result, these might do a fair job of providing general/ambient lighting but they won't do a good job of putting intense task lighting on the countertops, though undercabinet lighting can help here. To light the counters well from recessed cans,you'd need higher-wattage cfl's, and that probably means larger cans.

There's also the issue of whether you even like the look of dimmed fluorescents. When incandescents are dimmed, they don't just get dimmer; they also change color, swinging even more towards the warm end of the spectrum and providing the familiar candlelight-like glow. Dimmed fluorescents , from what I've read, just get dimmer without changing color. I can imagine liking this in certain circumstances, but then I like cloudy days too. Not everyone does.

On top of this, standard cans are not designed to make the most of the light from fluorescent bulbs, and will likely waste some of the light you're striving to produce efficiently.

Having recently wrestled with the lighting in my own kitchen, my feeling is that some of the lighting should be dimmable but not all of it needs to be. In your position, I think I might give up on the idea of dimming the cans, use 4" or 5" cans that are designed for fluorescents -- I know there are 4" fluorescent cans that will take an 18w bulb, and 5" that will do 26w -- and pair them with dimmable xenon undercabinet lighting. The cans would provide bright, diffuse general lighting, and the UC's would provide intense, dimmable task lighting.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 7:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mad_p67

Lots of great information there Jon. Thanks.

It seems I may have to opt having regular halogen bulbs in the 4 inch cans for now - maybe? The plan is to order regular halogen and perhaps order one dimmable CFL to see how it looks. The 4 inch incandescent cans have already been ordered and will be installed tomorrow or Friday. I wouldn't want to delay this any further. If I like the way the dimmable CFL works, then I'll buy those instead. I have already purchased Juno Xenon Pro undercabinet lighting so that will definately help for tasks. These will go in next week as soon as the cabinets are in place. I've learned a lot about lighting with the help here.
Thanks so, so much.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 8:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ccoombs1

I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I am facing a similar problem. My ceilings are sloped, so I need sloping cans (I hate eyeball reflectors). I can't find a sloping 5" can made for florescents. Can I purchase cans made for incandencent lights and use reflective compact florescent bulbs in it?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 10:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
DavidR

Let me suggest that if you're married to cans, you consider using helical or tri-tube dimmable CFs, rather than CFs in the R-flood format. You'll have more choices.

Some folks think it'll look bad, with the bare CF in the can; but a friend of mine has done it and she says nobody even notices. How often do your guests stare at the ceiling, anyway? (No wink-nudge comments, gents, I didn't mean it THAT way. ;-)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 3:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ccoombs1

That is a good point, and they cost much less. I can always install a couple and see how they look before ordering enough to do the whole house.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 3:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mad_p67

I can also give that a try as well.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 6:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dallasbill

RE: "When incandescents are dimmed, they don't just get dimmer; they also change color, swinging even more towards the warm end of the spectrum and providing the familiar candlelight-like glow. Dimmed fluorescents , from what I've read, just get dimmer without changing color."

Just for for the record, from experience: Greenlite's dimmable R40's, of which we have 16 in 3 different rooms, are 2700k. Just like an incandescent. They have the same warm color at any dim level, and look just fine.

And they do stick slightly out of the can. But, as was pointed out earlier, nobody spends time looking at the ceiling. Except an architect who was over with a friend a couple of months back, and proceeded to lecture us on lighting and how halogens would "look cleaner," and didn't stop to ask first who was paying the electrical bills!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mad_p67

You had me chuckling about yor architect friend. Seriously, what gives anyone the right to do that? lol

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 9:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
majut1_aol_com

Please Help, I too am in CA and am desperately trying to find 4" fluorescent "remodel" cans, at a REASONABLE PRICE, I CAN'T afford $50 each. Anyone got a source. I am sorry I cannot offer any advice. I am too Busy fighting with the City!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 12:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jon1270

Mark, you might consider using larger fixtures that produce more light, so you can buy fewer of them and still get the job done.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 7:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cw-b_earthlink_net

What about these: http://www.1000bulbs.com/product.php?product=33543
or these
http://cgi.ebay.com/R20-WHITE-90-LED-Narrow-Angle-Light-Bulb-E27-110V-PAR20_W0QQitemZ200142476078QQihZ010QQcategoryZ20706QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 12:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rr4444

There are no good dimmable CFL in the market which funtions well with smooth dimming. The only lamps that I know that dimms well (smooth) is Litetronic's Microbrite lamps. These are Cold cathode CFL lamps which are twice the life of ordinary CFL lamps, and saves more $$$. You can find all these lamps in www.litetronics.com

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 8:56AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Artwork lighting with recessed cans
I have 6" recessed can lights throughout my house....
sch9171
dining area lighting dilemma
We are building our retirement home, and have a large...
golfergirl29
linen lighting shades
do linen shades hold up well in bathrooms?
wldougall
What should be dimmable in my kitchen?
We are doing a kitchen renovation, and like most new...
progressnerd
MBR ceiling light or fan
Hi all, We have a farmhouse/colonial that was built...
Anthony
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™