which recessed halogens while waiting for LED

cherylb13August 24, 2008

I'll be adding recessed lighting to my family room and am unsure what to use. Not interested in florescent and think that LED might not be quite advanced enough.

The adjoining kitchen & hallway have ~20 6" incandescent cans with black interior trim. We're looking to retrofit those someday too and the cree LR6 seems like a great option as prices fall.

My preference for the new lights in family room (based on looks) is a 4" halogen with wheat trim. Dimming is critical and I use Insteon dimmers to control lighting scenes. (The insteon folks tell me that 90% of magnetic transformers work fine.) But my electrician is pushing Line Voltage as a better retrofit alternative (since it's more mainstream and less complicated without transformers.)

So what will be best able to retrofit from halogen to LED in a couple of years? Line voltage or low voltage? 4" or 6"? Are the low voltage (magnetic) transformers used for halogens now suitable for LED (considering heat issues, etc.)?

Thanks! After hours of research I'm just confused!

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Confused?! Well, welcome to the club!
There was a recent thread on this. Maybe it will help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Best recessed kitchen lights

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 2:16PM
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So I bought the CREE LR6 today and installed one, but it's not going to work... I've become addicted to my nice smooth ramp rates when turning lights on and off and since these only dim to 20%, they shut off rather abruptly.

So I guess I am back to halogens for now. Just have to decide low vs. line voltage.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 12:50AM
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Go low voltage. A good quality one will not give you any trouble. The transformer is already wired into the housing, so your electrician's job is the same.

I can see where he might have had issues in the past with lower quality ones. But every lighting design I do is either 100% low voltage or in combination with the Cree bulb.

I'm getting an LED replacement bulb for 3" & 4" low voltage cans soon. It's bigger than an MR16, but is made to fit in the regular low voltage housing. It's 10 watts and delivers the same amount of light as a 50 watt MR16. The coolest part is that it has a selectable beam spread. You just turn the optic and change it from a spot to a flood.
I have to test the actual brightness and dimmability.

The important thing though is that newer LED bulbs will fit in existing low voltage cans.

So go with the smaller, brighter low voltage cans now. When the LED technology gets to the point that you're happy with it, you can easily swap out the bulb.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 2:44PM
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Cherylb 13, if you're still around, can you post an update? Did you use low voltage or line voltage halogen?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 2:00AM
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