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Old 02-23-2011, 02:54 PM   #1
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Recessed Lighting Layout - HELP


Hi All,

I am a long time lurker which has been helpful with my projects. I am converting my basement woodshop into a finished game/multi-use room and I am having a little dilemma on my recessed lighting layout.

I have a combination drop/drywall ceiling (drop ceiling is highlighted in grey) and I boxed around the beam in the middle of the room which is lower than the rest of the room. I would like to put the recessed lighting only in the drywall section of the ceiling and can't figure out any spacing options.

I have attached the basic layout with all the dimensions of the room and ceiling heights.

Any input as to how you would layout the recessed lighting would be helpful; I would also be using 5" cans.



Thanks

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Old 02-23-2011, 03:34 PM   #2
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Recessed Lighting Layout - HELP


8 lights. Starting left to right on your diagram...2 in gray area, 2 in the white 6' area...4 in the white 12' area.

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Old 02-23-2011, 06:31 PM   #3
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8 lights. Starting left to right on your diagram...2 in gray area, 2 in the white 6' area...4 in the white 12' area.
Thanks, that is what I originally thought of but the problem is I can't install recessed lights in the drop-down ceiling (grey area) because there is no room due to my electrical/plumbing in that area.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:47 PM   #4
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Recessed Lighting Layout - HELP


If the ceilings are different heights and you don't want any lights in the gray areas, I'd say you're going to get dark areas and a not asthetically pleasing layout no matter now many lights you put in. But it is what is and as such I would simply treat each drywall section as its own space. In the bigger section I'd put 6 and in the smaller section 4. If you find you get shadows or dark areas, work with wall sconces and/or floor/table lamps. I suggest more lights to even out the dispersion since you have a lower ceiling. Its easier to step down the wattage or add a dimmer than it is to add more lights after the fact.

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Old 02-23-2011, 06:54 PM   #5
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Recessed Lighting Layout - HELP


Since you can't put ceiling lights in the gray areas, you could wire switched outlets there and use lamps (turned on and off with the same switch).

Or wall sconces for those areas?
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by foxwoods321 View Post
Thanks, that is what I originally thought of but the problem is I can't install recessed lights in the drop-down ceiling (grey area) because there is no room due to my electrical/plumbing in that area.

Thanks for the suggestion.
What about a 3" pot light, or a 4' florescent? Something that is a bit shallower?
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:11 PM   #7
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Recessed Lighting Layout - HELP


Okay, how about 4 cans in the right hand white area, 2 reg cans in the left, and then 2 more right along the edge near the walls (corners of white on dia.) with eyeballs aimed into the grey area? Put em out near the walls where there's likely less traffic.

Just thinking out loud...
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:35 PM   #8
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Based off a recomendation from somebody which I think might work what do you think of this layout with the measurements, do you think I am too close to the overhang/wall and the light will be too washed out.

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Old 02-24-2011, 05:36 PM   #9
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Recessed Lighting Layout - HELP


It's not a sales floor, put them where you need them. Recessed lights are "task" lighting! If you know how you plan to lay out the room with furniture, put them where they will give you light where you need it. If you want ambient lighting in the room I suggest you install a couple surface mounted fixtures, either ceiling or wall mounted to cast light everywhere. Then use the recessed lights in the areas where you need direct light, like over a couch or chair where you might sit and read.

If you put (15) 5" recessed lights in a 12x24' room you are going to be in glare city and you won't be happy!

What will the room be used for?
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:14 PM   #10
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Recessed Lighting Layout - HELP


I agree with sparks1up.
Assume a 5-6" can light will provide lighting to the floor about the distance they are from ceiling to floor (say 7'). IMO having them 2-3' apart is really going to overlight (is that a word?) the room. I'd go about 5' or so. Make sure you provide dimmer capability for your circuits; may want to break up the ceiling into more than one circuit so you can dim them as needed. Others who do this daily will likely have a more informed opinion.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:20 PM   #11
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I'd go with this. Refigure out your measurements. I agree 15 is too many but I disagree with task lighting unless you have fixed objects. What happens when you get new furniture and the layout changes? Recessed lights can most definitely be used for general lighting. I would not worry too much about dead spots with your new layout. The light spread will not be affected by a six inch drop in ceiling height. I would still plan on some sort of floor/table/wall sconce in the larger gray area to the left if you find you have a need for more light.

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Old 02-24-2011, 08:25 PM   #12
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Recessed Lighting Layout - HELP


there are some nice shallow puck lights that are either 120vac or 12vdc. problem with 12vdc is that you have a xfrmr which can be a point of failure.

I recently used in a bookcase a 120vac puck light that looks really good. as long as you can get power to it, you can simply hole saw your opening and connect it up. they are dimmable (which the 12vdc lights don't really like.

i also agree with an earlier post that the lights should be placed where you need them, but at the same time not so specific to make the room restricted to change (eg. moving a couch, etc).

i would personally have lights on a couple of different switches, so you have general light up the room lights and then task specific lights on a different switch for the game table, fireplace, shuffle board, etc...

the other consideration will be colour... i always go with white (mostly because i firmly believe that a ceiling MUST be white. this makes the lights semi concealed and less noticable...

oh yeah, check out bulb prices, makes sure that a $12 light doesn't take a $10 bulb.

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Old 02-24-2011, 10:32 PM   #13
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Recessed Lighting Layout - HELP


I have a 17x24' area with a cathedral ceiling that I installed 3 can lights with 13w CFL floods
They light the whole area up
The other side of my addition I installed 4 can lights
They light up the 20x19' area without a problem
I tested by adding wire with plugs to the lights
Then moved them around to test the light spread

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