Recessed Lighting - Layout Recommendations


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Old 11-11-17, 03:08 PM
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Question Recessed Lighting - Layout Recommendations

I am new to the lighting world and am trying to make sense of my research. I have a family room with 8' ceilings. We are renovating the room which includes updating the fireplace with a new mantel/surround, moving the TV to the left wall, and removing a single 4-bulb fan/lighting fixture and replacing it with recessed lighting. We'd like to accent the fireplace somehow.

Current condition:
The fan is located in the center of the room with 2 switches (one for the fan - one for the lights). It'd be great if I could use those same circuits so I don't have to rip into the wall to fish line through the header beams.

Questions:
How much light do I need? I have read online recommendations of 10-50 foot candles (lumens per sq. ft). What is correct? I assume my LED recessed lights will be 650 lumens. My room is 308 sq. ft.
What size of fixture should I use? 6-inch sounds like it is pretty standard?
If I want to accent the fireplace with 2 directional lights - does this change the general lighting in the room?
Does placement of the TV matter? Is there a way to avoid general reflections off the TV?

** Note, I've attached a couple drawings with some possible thoughts, including the room's layout. The joists are 16" on center from left to right (parallel with the fireplace wall). There is one 8 feet from the bottom wall that I'll have to pass wire past. That's my only known surprise up in the ceiling I'll have to fish wire around somehow.

Any thoughts for this rookie would be greatly appecicated!
 
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Old 11-11-17, 03:56 PM
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Really there are no hard fast rules on light placement and it is really up to the individual.

That said I like your 2nd layout better then the first. When laying out 2 rows of cans I try to split the room into quarters and then place each row one quarter from the wall. In your room example it is 14'5" wide, or 173" wide. Divide that by 4 = 43.25" gives you how far to place the can from the wall. Doing this will make the room not look like a landing strip. Visually that is what you have in your 2nd picture. Of course you can (and might need to) adjust these as needed.

I also like the row of cans in front of the fireplace/bookcase wall. You could do some 4" wall washer cans there and 6" for the main area. And since you have two switch legs available you could put the 4" on one switch and the 6" on another. I normally do not recommend 4" cans but in your case I think they will work well.
 
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Old 11-11-17, 04:30 PM
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@Tolyn Thank you very much for the recommendation! I updated my design with your recommendation on placing the lights 1/4 into the room and it feels much less industrial, as you had mentioned. Great suggestion!

If I did use 4" lights for a wall wash, would placing them 2' off the wall be the right placement for something like that?
Would it be better to have them shine straight down? Or direct them at the wall a little? Sorry for all the newbie questions!
 
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Old 11-12-17, 03:02 AM
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My 2 cents, having gone through an entire basement of recessed light.

1st design is more lighting than you probably need, second looks better but I'd do three lights in front of fireplace/bookcase.

Sort of like the landscape rule, odd number always looks better.
 
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Old 11-12-17, 05:58 AM
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How far from the wall will depend what kind of trim you are planning to use. If you use a down trim you will want them closer to the wall then with a adjustable trim. Also it will depend on how deep the bookcases/fireplace will be and items you are planning to put there. (Artwork, etc.) 2' is a good place to start though.

IMO if you are using 6" cans for along the bookcase/fireplace 3 would likely be fine. With 4" cans I would stay with 4. 4" are good for accent lighting, but do not provide as much light as a 6" can/lamp will.
 
 

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