alternatives to recessed can lights

kren_paOctober 12, 2007

hi all we are having an addition designed for our 1926 house. it's a small house (bungalow style) and we are basically adding a family room. the room will be approx 18 x 20. the contractor has suggested 6 recessed can lights. the only problem is that i dont like can lights, at all. i would prefer two sconces over the planned fireplace mantel and additional sconces plus 1 or two ceiling fixtures. my question for you old homers at the forum is how many ceiling fixtures would you suggest for an 18 x 20 family room. the room will have two sets of french doors (one on each side of the fireplace) and 3 windows along the other side. TIA for your suggestions kren

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My guess is that it will depend on how you plan to arrange the seating and other furniture or focal areas. It will also depend on the style of fixtures and the maximum wattage the fixtures will allow. I've found that in a lot of fixtures that look like they'd be substantial you can't use bulbs with very high watts so they weren't as good light sources as I'd hoped and I had to keep searching. Maybe you could think some more about those considerations and it will give you a better idea of how many.
I think you are right in not wanting recessed can lighting. I don't like them either, except perhaps in utility areas where you don't care as much about appearances and period styling. It sounds like you'll have a lot of natural day lighting, although you don't say what direction the windows and doors face.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 2:14PM
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kren, my living room and dining room are both about 15 x 17 and each has original, 3 bulb (60 watt max each), ceiling fixtures. They hang down from the 9 ft. ceiling about 1 foot (on a stem) to a colonial pan and then have about 10 inch chains to each pendant globe. There is abundant light for each room. When we had the fixtures restored and the house re-wired, we put a dimmer on the dining room fixture. Soo nice. I would think for an 18 x 20 room you would not need more than a 4 bulb ceiling fixture. I love Rejuvenation for fixtures. You can look up their site on the web, and it has lots of advice about how to judge the size of fixtures a room might need. Remember too, that old houses tended to be less well lit than modern ones. A lot of times, I leave my ceiling fixtures off and just light lamps for the ambiance. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 5:37PM
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