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Old 01-09-2009, 11:38 AM   #1
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16 and a half by 14 and a half feet livingroom. light positioning?


My living room is 16 feet and a half by 14 feet and a half. i was planning in doing 6 recessed lights. any ideas on how to get some overall lighting in the room. for ex. where to place the lights and how many feet apart

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Old 01-09-2009, 05:54 PM   #2
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16 and a half by 14 and a half feet livingroom. light positioning?


You have two choices.

1. Lay them out geometrically proportional to the room (ambient lighting)

2. Put them where you need light ie: artwork, over sofas, chairs etc (task/accent lighting)

It all depends on what you want to do. I'm usually not a fan of a ceiling full of evenly spaced cans. I'm not a big fan of straight ambient lighting in residential design. I try and think about where the light falls and the overall look.

If you install them 18 to 20 inches from the wall, they will work serve both functions. They will light the wall and spread the light out a few feet into the room.

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Old 01-09-2009, 08:16 PM   #3
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16 and a half by 14 and a half feet livingroom. light positioning?


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You have two choices.

1. Lay them out geometrically proportional to the room (ambient lighting)

2. Put them where you need light ie: artwork, over sofas, chairs etc (task/accent lighting)

It all depends on what you want to do. I'm usually not a fan of a ceiling full of evenly spaced cans. I'm not a big fan of straight ambient lighting in residential design. I try and think about where the light falls and the overall look.

If you install them 18 to 20 inches from the wall, they will work serve both functions. They will light the wall and spread the light out a few feet into the room.

thank you for the reply. i like the task/accent lighting and they way it looks in a overall effect. but the problem will be that i wouldnt be able to move my furniture after that correct? i mean i could but i would have to put something where the light shines so it lights a subject of somekind instead of nothing. if i went with this choice i would go with this set up...

tv centered on the 14.5 wall. couch centered on the opposite 14.5 wall. 2 recessed lights over the couch, one on the left recliner part and one on the right recliner part (its a full couch with 3 sections, ends recline). those are my 2 cans. my third would be centered over my coffee table/odiment. fourth would be over a single recliner lazy boy on the 16.5 wall and fifth would be over a chair/table by the other 16.5 wall. leaving me with one left (number 6) most likely over the tv or is this not a good idea? is this ok? or no? would it look wierd when you look at the cieling and the lights arent lined perfectly? what if i rearrange my furniture 3 years later?
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:33 PM   #4
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16 and a half by 14 and a half feet livingroom. light positioning?


I installed six 3" cans in my entryway/formal living room. The room is 12x14.. i placed the "corners" approximately two feet off each wall; that is to say, two feet off the south wall, then two feet off the east wall. then I split the difference between them ( 10 feet on the long wall, so 5 feet between each light.)

Now, my floor is wood and very new, so it is quite reflective.. the room is VERY bright. I love it.
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:40 PM   #5
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16 and a half by 14 and a half feet livingroom. light positioning?


oh, by the way: I used the 3" Commercial Electric recessed lights. Home Depot has them with 11 watt CF bulbs for around 18 bucks a pop. They have a Halogen model for around 9 dollars each. I went for the CF version. The light is more towards the blue end of the spectrum and looks great walking into my house.

They are not IC rated, but with a laser thermometer, there was MAYBE a five degree rise in temperature on top of the j-box on the top of the housing from ambient. This was after I had my lights on for about six hours. I bet a guy could rig up a little wire cage to go across the top so blow in insulation does not interfere (my plans for later this spring.)
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:46 PM   #6
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16 and a half by 14 and a half feet livingroom. light positioning?


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Originally Posted by fabian View Post
thank you for the reply. i like the task/accent lighting and they way it looks in a overall effect. but the problem will be that i wouldnt be able to move my furniture after that correct? i mean i could but i would have to put something where the light shines so it lights a subject of somekind instead of nothing. if i went with this choice i would go with this set up...

tv centered on the 14.5 wall. couch centered on the opposite 14.5 wall. 2 recessed lights over the couch, one on the left recliner part and one on the right recliner part (its a full couch with 3 sections, ends recline). those are my 2 cans. my third would be centered over my coffee table/odiment. fourth would be over a single recliner lazy boy on the 16.5 wall and fifth would be over a chair/table by the other 16.5 wall. leaving me with one left (number 6) most likely over the tv or is this not a good idea? is this ok? or no? would it look wierd when you look at the cieling and the lights arent lined perfectly? what if i rearrange my furniture 3 years later?


look into the "eyeball" style lights. You can aim them as they are on a gimbal style mount. My folks had the same issues with moving furniture around and just readjusted the light to suit the new furniture arrangements.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:24 PM   #7
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16 and a half by 14 and a half feet livingroom. light positioning?


unless individually controlled, a light over the tv is not a great idea.

I suggest possibly the same thoughts with the cans over the recliners. If the lights are on for others, when you snooze in the la-z-boy, you are going to have a light shining in your eyes.

aimable lights would help remove the lights in the eyes while sleeping as well as individually or smaller group controlled lights.

Lighting can be a real challange because as you stated, how do you deal with rearranging the furniture and many other things. A LOT depends on how the room is used. Many living rooms are best lit with lamps for general use but an overhead lighting for times when you want full lighting for whatever is happening. I actually like the idea of sconces or an uplighting fixture placed around the room for general lighting and the lamps or specific lights for task lighting. Dimmable on the wall upwash lights is good.

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