Need help with can/recessed lighting

remodelflaOctober 11, 2009

I know nothing 'bout them really except I have them in my current home and wonder what my options are since we're remodeling our retirement home. I don't want to just go with what the electrician brought over (which were white and 4"). My other fixtures are brushed nickel... is there such a thing in recessed lights or cans? The ones he brought over are inexpensive to me ($35 each) but I don't now if that's standard or not. Is this one area I can save money where it really won't matter much? Are cans ... cans? The part that the light bulb goes into is brushed chrome, but what about the part the part that lays against the ceiling (trim kit?) Does that come in brushed chrome typically too? Apologize in advance for showing my ignorance in this area.

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Some brands have trims in satin nickle. Quality does vary with price and there are high end fixtures with better features.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 10:28AM
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I keep googling and reading and for some reason it's not sinking in. I x-posted over on the kitchen forum and it seems as if people use different things. So I want a warmer but not yellowish light (I think), but mostly I just want something that won't get hot (So. Fla. here), is functional, and looks decent. So do I get LED's, florescants, or halogens (too hot?)? OH... I dont' want to spend a fortune on the cans. I'm already spending a fortune on other things. These will be mixed with pendant lights, a fixture over the table, and a ceiling can with light kit in the sun room which overlooks the kitchen.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 7:53AM
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There are tradeoffs for each type of light.

Halogen is nice lighting with good color rendering but produces more heat. Look for more energy efficient lamps that are able to turn more of the heat into light such as Philips IRC. (you won't find at HomeDepot)

LED and fluorescent are more efficient at making light instead of heat but don't do as well with color rendering or dimming. They are availble in different color temperatures but just don't satisfy everyone.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 12:19PM
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The 3 3/4" diameter Lightolier recessed light fixture options are:

Line Voltage
1. Deep annodized aluminum reflector - (usually an Alcoa "Alzak" highly polished "specular" surface in specular gold, specular clear or clear diffuse) with a 60w. BT15 (general service halogen)lamp for a wide general light.

2. Aperture cone aluminum reflector - (smaller reflector only near the opening with the same finish as above but also in brushed gold, brushed clear, specular black and matte white and the option for the flange to match) with a 50 or 75w. R 20 (tungsten reflector)lamp or a 50w. PAR (tungsten-halogen parabolic aluminized reflector)lamp for a focused beam of light. Other lamps can be used like 40 to 60w. A19 (regular tungsten light bulb) or 45 & 75w. Par 16 lamps.

[the size of the lamp (16, 19, 20, 30, etc.) represents the diameter in eighths of an inch]

3. Step baffle - (no reflector but a white or black horizontally grooved cone below the lamp to reduce lateral reflection) with the same lamps as the aperture cone above.

[the lower wattage lamps listed are required to be used in fixtures where insulation will be touching the housing (IC or "insulation contact" housings and AIC or "air seal insulation contact" housings used below roofs/attics]

4. various specialty lights: pinhole, eyeball, shower, etc.

Low Voltage
1. Aperture cone aluminum reflector - using all the finishes listed above for the line voltage recessed aperture cone and using a 20 to 50w. MR16 halogen lamp for a strong clean focused light.

2. Recessed adjustable step baffle - using the same horizontal grooved baffle as in the line voltage version above in black or white and the same MR 16 lamps as the fixture immediately above.

3. Mini swivel round (gimble ring) - using an MR16 lamp mounted flush with the ceiling with full swivel and rotation adjustability.

4. Eyeball, pinhole, slot, and shower with MR16 lamps.

Compact Fluorescent
1. Open Downlight - with clear diffuse, specular gold or matte white reflectors with single 13 or 18 w. triple or quad lamp

2. Single Wall Wash - with same finishes for reflector and same lamps but with part of the reflector designed to light a wall.

3. Downlight with clear, opal or fresnel recessed lens, same finished and lamps

Other small aperture fixtures
1. There are 3" fixtures that use low voltage 50w. MR16 lamps and line voltage 50w. GU10/ES16 lamps with many special features like a black baffle with 45 degree tilt, wall washer/gimbel ring with a shield, pinhole, slot elbow, cross blade, decorative glass trim, and many different metal trim finishes (including gold plated), etc.

Contractor prices including the lamps:
The line voltage fixtures are in the $40 to $60 range and the low voltage fixtures are in the $90 to $120 range.

Cost also varies with the type of housing (non-IC IC, AIC, new work, or remodeling)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 10:12PM
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