Minor remodeling

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Old 02-05-06, 08:45 PM
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Minor remodeling

I am hoping to get some information on remote control for the lighting and low voltage lighting. I have a very dark living room and will soon take one of adjacent kitchen walls down. Instead of running wires under the vaulted ceiling I thought of using remote lighting like X10 or insteon. I never did this before and feeling a little apprehensive about it. Any pointers someone can give will be greatly appreciated.
Since I need a lot of light in that room I am not sure what is better to use, conventional track lighting or low voltage. From what I remember from last low voltage I installed, transformer cannot be hidden in the attic, but has to be inside the room. I have a limited number of circuits on my main panel and believe have only 15 amps on each, so what max. I can hook up to 15 amp circuit and will it matter it’s incandescent or low voltage? I wanted to use track lights because I assume it will be easier to mount it on exposed support beam rather then look for the studs…

Thanks a lot for your suggestions!
 
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Old 02-05-06, 09:44 PM
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Instead of running wires under the vaulted ceiling
Usually cables can be concealed or made aesthetically pleasing.


Since I need a lot of light in that room I am not sure what is better to use, conventional track lighting or low voltage.
How about conventional plain lighting?



I wanted to use track lights because I assume it will be easier to mount it on exposed support beam rather than to look for the studs…
Not really a reason unless you are hanging a fan or chandelier.


When you say "lots of light", that is contrary to inefficient low-voltage lights and the typical spotlighting of track lighting.

How about some fluorescent clouds floating from your ceiling with dimmable incandescent wall sconces?
 
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Old 02-06-06, 08:16 AM
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Remote Control? How are you thinking of using (actually wiring) remote control and why? You have to use a controller, which is usually either a wall switch, plug-in or outlet, for each different light or set of lights to be controlled. How are you thinking of running power to these lights?

X-10 gives you the ability to control a light where it may be difficult to run a switch leg to a convenient location, but power is available for that light.

Line voltage versus low-voltage? You have a lot more latitude when running low voltage cables, but your lighting loads are much more sensitive to the size and length of cable used for low-voltage, and you do have to find an accessible location to put the transformer. In order to dim low-voltage lamps, you must use a dimmer compatible with the transformer. Low-voltage lighting is less efficient than line voltage lighting and costs more for the materials.

Track lighting is usually easier to install along a beam, but it depends on how and where you want to run your cable. Also condsider how much the heads stick out. Track lighting allows you to easily add extra lamps and aim the light where you need it. You will need a live end-feed to supply power to the track.

Your electric system doesn't care whether it's line voltage or low-voltage lighting. A watt is a watt. 500 watts of light in a room is a lot of light. 500 watts is not a huge load on a 15 amp circuit (1800 watts).
 
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Old 02-06-06, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by fixitron
Your electric system doesn't care whether it's line voltage or low-voltage lighting. A watt is a watt.
That depends on where in the system you are.


500 watts of light in a room is a lot of light. 500 watts is not a huge load on a 15 amp circuit (1800 watts).
Yeah, but you are talking north of the transformer which will draw about 5A.


At 12V those 500 watts draw almost 42 amps!

What gauge wire are you going to run for that?



I think for "lots of light", 120V lighting is the way to go.
You have no heat loss from a transformer, fewer components to have go bad, greater efficiency, and cheaper fixtures and bulbs.
 
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Old 02-06-06, 04:52 PM
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Never use low voltage for inside applications unless you know exactly why line voltage won't work for you.
 
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Old 02-06-06, 08:22 PM
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Lightbulb thanks

OK,

First of all thanks to all who has replied to my post! All is helpful.
The reason why I was considering a low voltage was because I felt safer to work with it, but I did not like the idea of transformer etc. points just described below. The reason why I wanted X10 or similar was because I have power practlcally 2ft away from the place where track lights would go hence no need to mess up the dry wall and then try to fix it. Same reason for not using scones and other conventional lighting. So I am dropping the idea of low voltage, will use track though and still look at x10 (hope to find a decent looking set up) and wish me luck

Thanks again,
 
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