recessed lighting help

seashineNovember 5, 2013

Thanks in advance if anyone can offer any help. I'm new to the world of lighting and overwhelmed. We have an electrician coming to our 1940's house next week to rewire and upgrade. He suggested recessed lights be put in at least the living room. I was reluctant because all I could think of were the older style that look like glarey eye balls looking down at me. I've since realized there's a whole world of improved recessed lights that look attractive and won't irritate me.

Question: How do I figure out placement (hoping for suggestions)? Evenly spaced across living room? We don't have a furniture plan and it's likely to change over time.

Question: Should we go ahead and put recessed lighting in the dining room, hall, and two bedrooms?

Question: 4 inch or 6 inch? Is one an old standard, one a newer standard?

Question: Should we go straight to LED recessed lights?

The Juno wheat haze/white trim is part of what won me over that recessed lights could light a space and disappear into the background. Should I consider/ask for these or something else.

I'll post a floorplan soon.

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Currently there is no overhead lighting in the living room, and one I don't like in each of the bedrooms, hall, and dining room.
Here's the floorplan:

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 2:54PM
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Q1: Will need to know your ceiling height. If it's the common 8 foot, I'd probably go with 8 lights in a 2 x 4 matrix in the living room, or maybe 6 in a 2 x 3, and four lights arranged in a square for the other rooms. Roughly 3 feet in from the walls, about 7 feet apart, but it depends on the lights you use and their beam spread.

Q2: IMO, yes

Q3: It's a matter of personal preference. Neither is "the standard"; and 6", 5", and 4" cans are all popular. You can get 3" cans too. I like the 6" cans for most uses, as getting the same amount of light from a 4" can results in more glare if you look up at them. Although that can be rectified by using more lights with less-bright light bulbs or ones with a narrower beam spread.

Q4: Yes, use LEDs from the start - might as well start saving money on your electric bill now, and not have to replace the light bulbs alot, maybe ever.

The go-to LED downlight for many of us here is the Cree CR6, or the Home Depot version called the Ecosmart ECO-575L, which fit into 6" cans. The latter are usually less expensive - $30 if you buy them in two- or four-packs online. In their stores they're normally $35 each but may be less expensive, sometimes much less expensive, if you live in an area with some sort of incentive from the local power company or government. One usual reason we like these for new installations is that they include a built-in trim baffle, saving the $10 or so it would normally cost per lamp. However, they are white and you want wheat. Fortunately Cree does sell a anodized wheat insert (CT6AB) that probably looks something like the Juno trims you liked (this will be surrounded by a white ring when installed), though they'll add about $15 to the cost, but that's about what a separate trim ring would cost for a traditional halogen/incandescent recessed light. I use the CR6 extensively, because they're reasonably priced, use very little power (about 9 watts each), give off terrific quality light that looks just like an incandescent bulb, can be dimmed easily with most dimmers, spread light evenly, turn on without delay, and are very high quality.

There are other choices that may work better in some circumstances, like if you have sloped ceilings or prefer a smaller light. If you like those little 3" cans (or 4" cans when fitted with conical trim baffles), you may want the SORAA Vivid 2 GU10 bulbs which are somewhat less bright than the CR6 but also give off excellent quality light and are well made, and are available in a choice of several beam spreads, and are priced in the low $30s range; these do not have integral trim baffles so you can use the Juno trims or another brand. You'll probably need more of these to light a large room than with the 6" cans. The Cree CR4 (again available at Home Depot as the ECO4-575) for 4" cans is frequently recommended, but it's available only with the intregral white trim or optional chrome, not wheat.

This post was edited by lee676 on Wed, Nov 6, 13 at 11:56

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 11:54AM
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