Recessed Lighting - 3" vs 4"


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Old 04-17-15, 02:57 PM
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Recessed Lighting - 3" vs 4"

Hello!

Does anyone know if there would be a difference between 3" and 4" recessed lighting?

I am putting them in a basement, which is 35' x 11'. I am following the 1.5W/sq ft rule and putting twelve 50W pot lights in total, on a dimmer. The ceiling is a standard 8ft(ish)

That being said, I can't find any guidelines as to the size of the actual light. Would there a be a difference between 3" and 4"?

As always, your responses are much appreciated!

Thank you,
Nic
 
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Old 04-17-15, 05:11 PM
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IMO you may find that will not quite be enough light to provide even coverage. It might work on a 10' ceiling... even a 9' ceiling, but the lower the ceiling, you sometimes want more lights. Depending on the depth of the bulb in the fixture, it will create a cone of light. Too far apart and that can create voids that would cast distinct areas of light and shade on a standing person, or someone walking through the room.

Let's assume you put them in pairs, 3 ft away from the side walls. Those pairs of lights would be 5 feet apart. If you wanted them to be 3 ft away from the end walls (just as they are on the sides) and wanted to keep the spread of light even, you would need 14 lights to create 5x5 grids.

12 lights distributed evenly might be 27" away from side walls (6.5 ft apart) and would then be spaced about 6.5' apart down the room. I think you may find that with 12 lights, (a 6.5' x 6.5' grid) it may create some voids as you walk along.

I also don't know that you would want to go smaller than 4" for your lights.

Plus, you often just need to figure out your ceiling joist layout and then just go with it. I.E. your cans might be on 64" centers since that would evenly fall between joists.
 
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Old 04-17-15, 08:00 PM
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This isn't an answer, just an opening up for input. I have seen responses where some people prefer the 4" cans. I prefer the 6" cans. I definitely would not go lower than 4".

To me the 4" are for task lighting, such as two each above a sink or kitchen peninsula.

I'm not sure if I would want to light an entire room with 4" cans.
 
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Old 04-17-15, 09:33 PM
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XSleeper - thanks, that makes alot of sense. I hadnt thought about the spacing/joist/grid stuff. I don't mind putting 14. I guess I'll just have to have a look at my ceiling and figure it out.

Handyone - that's interesting because today I read that bigger than 4" was usually used for higher ceilings and not the opposite. I guess it's just a matter of opinion, but if they sell 3 and 4 inch pot lights in packs of 6 and 10, surely they expect people to use them to light a whole room and not only use them for task lighting?
 
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Old 04-17-15, 10:19 PM
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Yeah, I'd hang with Sleeper on this one. Like I said, some others go for the 4" also.

I must say, even though I favor the 6" cans, I have seen some very nice homes with 4" layouts.

Remember, I can learn some things here also
 
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Old 04-19-15, 10:47 AM
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Awesome stuff Handyone - very humble!

I get 15% of the item of my choice at the hardware store this weekend, so I'm going to go buy 3 6 packs of 4" 50W cans, and start figuring my stuff out.

Bless this forum!
 
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Old 04-19-15, 02:03 PM
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18 lights on a single circuit with dimmer is a lot. May need to break everything up a little. I will defer to the electrical guru's on this, but I think special considerations may need to be made. Even if you plan on using LED's, I think that you still have to rate a can at its full potential usage with incandescent bulbs.

Here is an interesting article from this forum in the past. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...h-circuit.html
 
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Old 04-20-15, 03:42 PM
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it'S 14 on 1 dimmer, which means 50W x 14 = 700W

I may be understanding something wrong here, but 700W on a 1000W dimmer seems legit to me... no?
 
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Old 04-20-15, 05:17 PM
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Again, happy to defer to the experts on this. But from my understanding, you have to assume the max. wattage regardless of your intent, as someone who purchases the property after you may not go down the same path. Again, will defer to the experts, just tossing in my two bits.
 
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Old 04-20-15, 05:30 PM
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Yes.... 700 watts on a 1000 watt dimmer is ok but why not look into something a little more energy efficient. That's a lot of wattage to light a room....and a lot of heat too.
 
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Old 04-20-15, 06:58 PM
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I think you might be right. Putting that much lighting in a small house like mine might not make sense at all heat and energy wise.

ugh. Back to the drawing board.

-_-

I think I'm going to take pictures and post pictures of this whole ordeal in the design area of this forum, try to do something that makes more sense.
 

Last edited by Shivaya; 04-20-15 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 04-20-15, 07:51 PM
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Don't get frustrated yet. Your plan can still work.

The point is you don't need 50w bulbs, you can get the same light output (or better) with 1/5 the power consumption.

Let's see if someone recommends a particular bulb.

You can post the model number of your housing and the trim kit model and that will help determine the best bulb to use. By bulb I mean LED's.
 
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Old 04-21-15, 06:48 AM
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My concern with that is that as czizzi was saying, I have to plan as though the lights are running at full capacity. Even if I put high efficiency LEDs (or whatever they are called), I still have to take into account that someone down the road might put 50W bulbs in there, which means I still have to use a 1000W Dimmer, and still has to potential to use way too much energy and produce alot of heat.
 
 

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