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Old 08-05-2013, 11:41 AM   #1
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bright halogen in can lights?

Hey all - I have standard 6 inch can lights around my home. We put the "flood" size bulbs in them - 65W I believe. While these do give off a good bit of light, it's sort of diffused light. We were hoping for the "harder" or more intense light of something like halogen.

But those get hot - and I'm not sure if they are suitable for a can light. Any ideas here?

Separately - any idea if there is a product that can screw into a normal can light, but then have a directional head? So we could spotlight some pictures on the wall, etc.


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Old 08-05-2013, 12:09 PM   #2
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There is no such thing as "standard" when it comes to trims and bulbs.
But you should have a list of recommended bulbs for a given trim inside the can.

Generally speaking, if you have been using a R30 incandescent, you can usually use a PAR30L halogen in its place.

Ask your supplier about an eyeball trim for your cans. They provide about a 30 degree tilt so they can be aimed at a wall. Whether you can actually hit a picture depends on the can location in relation to the picture.


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Old 08-05-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
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Time to get educated on light color....

I think your solution is more in the color you want vs the type of light...

As a starting point...look into bright white LED or CFL bulbs. A much whiter light at a fraction of the electrical load and heat.
Even if you are on the right track, you will still get run over if you just sit there.

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Old 08-06-2013, 11:16 AM   #4
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In the gallery lighting world, simply switching from a box store flood or spot bulb in whatever fixture does not cut it. If you need something with a lens, you can buy them in a range of focus--from floods that cover a large area to spots with 5-10 degree focus that really zero in. If you just need splashed light, switch to high output CFLs until they are banned for the mercury.

Color temperature of a bulb is only part of what you need too! More important is the color rendering index they give off and the way they display things not in their specific color temperature range. And the K scale is a little backwards. The higher the temperature, the "cooler" some say the light looks. 3400-3800K florescents make things look eery if the CRI is terrible and under 80--which most are. They cannot make an apple look like an apple because they do not emit enough of the spectrum. We have all seen green people in photos taken under florescents? It is because the CRIs are terrible.

Many research studies are showing people perform better with daylight temperature bulbs of 5000K or above and nice full spectrum ones are around 6500K or even higher for things like seasonal depressive orders. There are good florescent ones with CRIs of 95 or better. They cost more. They are also better built so they will last longer.

In the color world our monitors are set to 6500K and we seek bulbs of any kind with a CRI of 95 and hopefully 100. Good old incandescents have great CRIs as do most halogens. LEDs have gotten really good. Cheap florescents still make people look green.

Of course the other factors beyond K temp and CRI are lumens, how much a light bulb puts out. Anything will look dull if three sixty watt bulbs are really needed for the job and all your fixture recommends you put in is 60W.

Box stores sell to the masses that do not really care. Order online or from an lighting or electrical supply store. You can get nice halogen flood and spots for can lights that do not get that much hotter, at least to the sides of the canister, than anything else. I wouldn't put my tongue on the surface any more than I would like a pole when it is 30 below outside though.

Last edited by user1007; 08-06-2013 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:11 PM   #5
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Something that I have started using in my home is the LED lights. Yes they tend to be a little expensive, about $25 a pop, but they give a nice bright light and they last and THEY ARE NOT HOT!
I only have 1 lamp in my entire house and I have 48 different sized recessed lights. I gradually stared to change them out, also the ones in the bathroom fixtures over the sink. The wife LOVES those bulbs. Gives her a true light and they are not too bright.
Check them out!

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