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Old 08-05-2009, 01:21 PM   #1
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Recessed lighting & ceiling fan installation advice


I am currently looking to install recess lights and ceiling fans in 3 rooms for a total of 12 lights and 3 fans. All the rooms currently have a single light fixture that I want to replace with the ceiling fan. I have attic space above these rooms.

I am getting different opinions from different electricians and despite having ZERO electrical knowledge, some of the info that I am getting does not sound right to me. I need some help in getting my facts right.


(1) What are the SMALLEST size cans out there? And are smaller cans more difficult to install than the bigger ones?


(2) Are 4" (or smaller) cans a fire hazard while 5" (and larger) cans are not????


(3) Is it true that recessed light dimmers will *not* work with energy efficient lights?


(4) What lights / voltage is recommended for recessed lighting?


(5) Is it "harder" to install a fan with a shorter "rod" or "flushmount" fans (for a low / shorter ceiling) than one with a longer "rod"?????


(6) How "difficult" is it to install a dimmer for the lights and program a remote control for the fans?


(7) Finally, how much (a very rough estimate is all I am looking for, not an exact amount) should it cost me to install each light and the fan in the above scenario? I live in the South Bay Area (California).


Thank you very, very much for your time and advice.


-Sally.

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Old 08-05-2009, 03:32 PM   #2
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Recessed lighting & ceiling fan installation advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by SillySally View Post
I am currently looking to install recess lights and ceiling fans in 3 rooms for a total of 12 lights and 3 fans. All the rooms currently have a single light fixture that I want to replace with the ceiling fan. I have attic space above these rooms.

I am getting different opinions from different electricians and despite having ZERO electrical knowledge, some of the info that I am getting does not sound right to me. I need some help in getting my facts right.


(1) What are the SMALLEST size cans out there? And are smaller cans more difficult to install than the bigger ones?

I believe 4" is as small as they come. The trim will allow for a smaller appearance. Eye balls would be a good example. All are equal as far as installation goes.


(2) Are 4" (or smaller) cans a fire hazard while 5" (and larger) cans are not????

Use IC rated can fixtures. They have built in heat protection and will shut themselves off if they overheat. Size has nothing to do with it.


(3) Is it true that recessed light dimmers will *not* work with energy efficient lights?

CFL's (compact fluorescent bulbs will not work with dimmers). Regular incandescent bulbs will work with dimmers.


(4) What lights / voltage is recommended for recessed lighting?

120/230 volts AC is the nominal voltage in your house if you live in the USA. The lights operate on 120 volt AC. It will be your preference on the lights. Whatever suits your fancy.


(5) Is it "harder" to install a fan with a shorter "rod" or "flushmount" fans (for a low / shorter ceiling) than one with a longer "rod"?????

I find all ceiling fans to be about the same as far as installing them. Flush or long rod, you still follow the same procedure. Slightly different, slightly. High ceilings are the exception.


(6) How "difficult" is it to install a dimmer for the lights and program a remote control for the fans?

The remote will control the fan lights and the fan itself. The fan remote has a built in dimmer for the light or lights. Only on the fan. Not other lights in the room. No programming required. Only dip switch settings. Simple and easy.

Installation depends on each individual circumstance. So saying installation is easy or hard would be impossible.


(7) Finally, how much (a very rough estimate is all I am looking for, not an exact amount) should it cost me to install each light and the fan in the above scenario? I live in the South Bay Area (California).

Get 3 quotes from licensed, insured and bonded electricians. I have no idea what this will cost.


Thank you very, very much for your time and advice.

No problem. Hope we have been of some service to you.


-Sally.
Good luck and keep us posted.......John

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Old 08-05-2009, 03:45 PM   #3
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Recessed lighting & ceiling fan installation advice


1. For new work, IC rated - 4"; for remodel IC rated - 5"
2. If IC rated, neither is a fire hazard. If non-IC, then they need 3" of clearance from combustible material
3. You need special CFL's ($$)
4. 120V or 12V, 120V is less expensive.
5. Slightly harder. Cheap fans are harder to install than mid to high $$ fans.
6. Replace the regular switch with a dimmer, buy a fan that has a remote control
7. To many local variations to give an accurate figure.
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:50 PM   #4
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Recessed lighting & ceiling fan installation advice


Sally, welcome to the forum. As the name DIY denotes this is primarily a DIY forum so this is not a good place to ask for prices, but we may be able to help with the other questions.

It looks to me that at this stage you don’t really have a clear view about what you are really looking for e.g. smallest cans or energy efficient lights.

Once you get a better understanding of the options you will be able to communicate your wishes to your electricians. They may have all been very knowledgeable but you were both talking in different languages.
  1. Smallest cans? ANS: Commonly 3” http://www.cooperlighting.com/specfi...36TAT_spec.pdf
  2. 4” or smaller vs 5” a fire hazard? ANS: NO
  3. Dimmers will not work with energy efficient lights? ANS: Yes & No These are CFL bulbs they are most commonly non-dimmable but there are dimmable CFLs: http://www.greenlightingsupply.com/S...Bulbs_s/34.htm
  4. Best voltage for recessed lighting? ANS: depends on you.. dimmable CFLs need Line voltage. For halogen the answer is still depends: http://reviews.ebay.com/FAQ-Recessed...00000010294917
  5. Harder to install Fan with “shorter” or” longer” “rod”? ANS: You need to decide which fans you want. There are many variables. Note the price range categories on this Link: http://www.lightingshowplace.com/dec...GOA&floor=none
  6. How difficult for dimmer & Fan remote control? ANS: Depends..... dimmer can be relatively easy if you utilize the original switch locations but you will likely need bigger boxes to include fan controls. Some fans come with a remote but a programmable control will be more complex. You need to bring up your requirements e.g. specific programmable on/off times (most simple)
  7. Rough Estimate? ANS: Sorry
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
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Recessed lighting & ceiling fan installation advice


All those recessed lights are a LOT of penetrations into the attic, which means lots of outside air coming in. You can get lights on your fans. Be sure to seal with caulk or spray foam around every fixture and insulate above. It is worth it to get dimmable CFL's.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:07 PM   #6
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Recessed lighting & ceiling fan installation advice


(1) What are the SMALLEST size cans out there? And are smaller cans more difficult to install than the bigger ones?


4" but don't use them in this case. Smaller holes = more difficult/less light

(2) Are 4" (or smaller) cans a fire hazard while 5" (and larger) cans are not????

4" Low voltage cans aren't rated for insulation contact.

(3) Is it true that recessed light dimmers will *not* work with energy efficient lights?

Yes

(4) What lights / voltage is recommended for recessed lighting?

In your case I'd use 5 or 6 inch line voltage (120v) cans.

(5) Is it "harder" to install a fan with a shorter "rod" or "flushmount" fans (for a low / shorter ceiling) than one with a longer "rod"?????


I recommend flushmount for 8" ceilings. They will have less wobble.



(6) How "difficult" is it to install a dimmer for the lights and program a remote control for the fans?

Dimmer is generally easy if there is room in the switch box. The fan remote is easy but it barely fits in the canopy.

(7) Finally, how much (a very rough estimate is all I am looking for, not an exact amount) should it cost me to install each light and the fan in the above scenario? I live in the South Bay Area (California).

Fan, furnished by you, using existing jbox and power = $100 each.

Four cans, one switch = $800

Do all three rooms and cut maybe 10% off.

If it's newer construction there may be a 3 wire cable going to the ceiling box and it would cut another $50 off each room.


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