Late 70's Square Recessed Ceiling Lights - Replacement Options? - Interior Decorating - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 07-25-2013, 09:15 PM   #1
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Late 70's square recessed ceiling lights - replacement options?

We have four 12" square recessed ceiling lights as originally installed in our 1978 home; one light is out - replacement bulb did not work; I have not torn into it yet to verify the problem.

We'd also like to see if there are any options for more up-to-date fixtures that won't require ceiling drywall work.
The room has a 10' ceiling with a pool table in the middle.
The lights are 11-5/8" od with a 10-1/2" cutout.

I have come across the following LED lights.
- Anyone know if these are dimmable? If so, standard dimmer work?
- I'm concerned that the 5500 color temp will be too white; my wife wants some warmth, not a surgical operating room...
- Any other suggestions?



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Old 07-26-2013, 11:26 AM   #2
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First a little bit about color temperature. The trend, which is a good one, is for lights 5,000K or above. 6,500K is the standard those of us who work in color set monitors and lighting we have for viewing things. This is only part of the story though.

More important is the color rendering index of a light source. Nothing looks natural under a lamp that only emits the spectrum around its color temperature. An ideal artificial light bulb gives off a full spectrum of color so apples, look like apples, oranges look like oranges and your pool table looks like the felt cover color you think it has. In the color world we seek CRIs of 90 or above and hopefully above 95 and close to a hundred.

Florescents can be terrible when it comes to delivering full spectrum although there are great options out there. They just cost more and your box store may not have them. The good news is full spectrum daylight bulbs will last longer because they are built better. Good old fashioned incandescents have near perfect CRIs and halogens do too which is why we used them a lot in galleries. Better quality LEDs can have both decent color temperature and high CRIs but again the cost, while coming down, and the amount of light output can be hard to deal with.

Anyhow, for your situation? If you remove the dated in-ceiling fixtures why not some nice track lighting? You can get track to blend with the ceiling and just run on top of it. Also look at the near hidden tracks that are but wires on which fixtures you hardly notice sort of float. You can move the fixtures anywhere on the track. You can bulb them, depending on the system you choose for either line or low voltage. You can install dimmers for halogens and LEDs but probably not if you bulb fixtures with CFLS. You can of course mix different strengths and focus angles of spots and floods along the track. You can even hang pendants in places. I just bought a bunch for my own home online at but there are many competitors out there too.

You are still going to have to fill in the fixtures you remove. Track lighting itself is easy to install.


Last edited by user1007; 07-26-2013 at 11:34 AM.
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