Living Room Upgrade - Low Profile Recessed LED Downlights?

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Old 09-16-18, 08:43 PM
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Living Room Upgrade - Low Profile Recessed LED Downlights?

Hi all,

I have a small 14'x13' living room with 8ft ceiling that I would like to change the lighting in. I currently have a single candelabra/fan unit in the center of the room. I'm considering removing the fan completely because we never use it, and it seems to eat up the open space making the room look smaller.

I don't think the ceiling fan is original to the house (built in '92). If it is, the electrician didn't run two hots to the box so that the fan and lights would have separate wall switches.

I am considering the ultra low profile ceiling LEDs I am seeing around the web. I like that I can just cut some circles in the drywall ceiling and lay the LED drivers up there. I think I can manage getting romex around the ceiling.

My questions are...
  • How do I pick the size of the recessed fixture? I'm thinking 4", especially if that means I can or should put more in for even coverage. The room is small, but I would like to prevent shadows if I can. The layout I am thinking about right now would be the 4x corners of a rectange with a 5th in the center where the fan is now (to reuse the hole).
  • How far should I put these from the walls?
  • The room neighbors the kitchen, which you can see into, and I have all of the lighting in there at 5000k. Should I warm up the living room a touch to 4000k? Or is 5000k acceptable in a living room? I like 5000k as the light doesn't seem to discolor things. Pretty sure i don't want 3000k.

Currently looking at this set.
 
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Old 09-17-18, 04:42 AM
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I agree. Ceiling fans on an 8' ceiling feel low and make the room feel smaller. It's even worse if the room is already small.

What lights you pick is entirely up to you. I would look at the pattern the lights cast. Many sites have charts/diagrams showing how the light is emitted from the fixture. I would shoot for at least some overlap of the lights at table height and better would be 50% overlap to minimize shadows. Getting complete coverage in a low(ish) ceiling may require a lot of fixtures. I would consider going dimmable so the room doesn't end up being too bright.
 
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Old 09-17-18, 06:11 AM
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Going dimmable is another reason why I'm making this change. Since the ceiling fan only has one hot, I put a dimmer in for it's light (and the LED candelabra bulbs I got), but I can't use the dimmer with the fan, so it is absolutely pointless being there.

I keep reading guidelines about how far apart to space lights with no consideration for ceiling height, and often times, even the beam angle. I guess with that info I could do some math and figure it out.

I might wire a couple of these up to extension cords and "test out" the coverage before cutting any holes. They have 110 beam angle.
 
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Old 09-17-18, 02:25 PM
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Temporarily wiring one to a cord and trying at ceiling height is a great idea.
 
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Old 09-19-18, 10:28 AM
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OK,

I've got the project half way done. Overall, I love not having the ceiling fan hanging from the ceiling. However, I am not sure if I like the flush look of the LED lights, or if I am questioning it because I am actively working on this...

It seems to me no matter where you look in the room, I can see bright dots on the ceiling. Is this avoidable with a low 8' ceiling? Then again, I was probably always staring at bright lights hanging from the ceiling fan.

If I installed cans with retrofit LED inserts, would the LED be actually recessed enough to not see bright lights? The "baffle type" retrofit lights don't seem to be recessed more than a half inch or so.

I bought these.
 
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Old 09-19-18, 10:37 AM
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It's almost impossible to have lights without seeing the light. But, as you mentioned a regular can with a recessed LED bulb would shield you more from actually seeing the bulb. Many LED recessed lights are very thin and the LED emitters are very close to the surface where you can look directly at them.
 
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Old 09-19-18, 10:39 AM
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Yeah, that's what it seems like... I just don't think they would be recessed enough to not see them and warrant changing them out.

I suppose with holes cut and wiring in place, swapping out later is the easy part.
 
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