lighting design/recessed lights

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Old 12-10-05, 09:01 AM
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lighting design/recessed lights

I want to install recessed lights in my basement rec room for general lighting. Are there any guidelines for planning recessed lighting? So, I'd like to know
1) what distance should they start from the wall?
2) how far apart should they be?
3) should I make it a grid across the entire ceiling or just along the walls?(there won't be many other light sources in the room)
4) what size is most common today - 4", 6"?

Room size is about 19' x 25'. Ceiling height is 7' 4". I'd appreciate any suggestions.

thx, Don
 
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Old 12-13-05, 09:36 AM
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If you go to a reputable electrical supply store with your room dimensions they should be able to give you a layout and suggest how many lights.I'd stay away from the big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot.They never seem to have anyone with the knowledge to help
 
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Old 12-13-05, 07:02 PM
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Read this.
 
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Old 01-05-06, 10:52 AM
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John,
Thanks for the great link to Cooper Lighting. Similar to dmestan, I am looking to improve the lighting in my living room (not basement). The room is about the same size as the one on the web page you linked. My only problem is that, based on their design, if I put 12 75W fixtures on the existing living room circuit (which powers two other existing lights and a switched outlet), I would use up half the capacity of the circuit for lights alone!! My entire living room (all outlets and two recessed lights), plus the two lights in the adjacent kitchen are on one 15A circuit. I don't think I could safely add another 900 watts (7.5 amps) per their suggestion without running another dedicated circuit just for those lights. Since all walls/ceilings/floors are closed both above and below my living room, adding a new circuit and wallswitches, etc. could be a task. Any other suggestions or links? Right now I have a 300w halogen torchiere, which lights up half the room great, but also trips the circuit breaker if we turn on a space heater in the room (cold floor, it is above an unheated garage).

Do you know anywhere that gives general requirements in footcandles for different areas of the house? I do general street lighting design now and then at my job, but nothing ever inside a house.

Thanks,
Neil
 
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Old 01-05-06, 11:50 AM
scao
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Neil,

I'm racking my brain over the same problem you have, but my space is a small kitchen.

Found this site/link which has a photometric calculator for you to compare spread and brightness of different bulbs. Hope it helps.

http://www.ccl-light.com/photometrics.html
 
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Old 01-05-06, 08:47 PM
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Every room is different in terms of how much lighting it needs. It depends on the type of activities that take place in that room, which depends on your family and your lifestyle. A living room typically needs a lot less light than a kitchen.

rockford33, your house is wired with too few circuits. You're going to be fighting this at every turn until you bite the bullet and get some more circuits installed. I suggest that you immediately stop using space heaters. With your electrical system, you don't have the capacity for them. Put on a sweater instead.
 
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Old 01-06-06, 08:37 AM
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John,
Thanks for the reply. From what I have found, most recommendations for a living room seem to fal in the 5-20 footcandle range, which is fairly broad. I am going to shoot for 10 footcandles and install dimmers. Looks like I might have open web floor joists, so that will make running the wire easier.

I agree with not having enough circuits. I assume the house was built per code and it is only 5 years old. We limit the use of the space heater, but with the living room over an unheated garage, it never really feels warms in that room (only one heating vent for the entire room). Currently, with a space heater and halogen torchiere (plus tv and cable box) on the same circuit, it does blow every now and then, but not consistently. I think if I put the lighting on a separate circuit it will improve things all around (just more switched to remember what they turn on!!)

scao,
Thanks for the link. Cooper lighting actually has some online calculators for some of their fixtures, which I was playing around with last night. Almost all companies have photometric files, which I can plug into my lighting program here at work (I use it for roadway lighting, but it does have an interior component I could play with). I would actully like to try and find a remodel fixture with compact fluorescent (T4 or similar) bulbs. They seemed very efficient and produced good lighting per Cooper's website. Just need to find the best CRI and color temperature in a fluorescent bulb.

-Neil
 
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