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Old 07-31-2016, 01:29 PM   #1
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Really need some help on lighting layout


Hey All,

I posted a variation of this in the decorating forum but it got no play, and things have changed enough and you guys experienced enough that I figure I have a better shot at answers here.

For those who saw my switch placement question, this is the same room (2nd floor son's bedroom) My challenge now lies in how to light the area over/around the bed (pls see attached pic for details). Originally I was going to just jog in the pattern a bit and space two as shown. However that puts one can directly over the head of the bed. I had a few ideas on how to remedy this but could really use some quick advice on the best one (or further suggestions if they all stink )

- keep the 5" can that is opposite the head of the bed (the to red dot) but put two smaller 4" cans behind the bed for reading, possibly on a separate switch (my kid is a voracious reader so trying to hook him up). However I have read that recessed do not make particularly good reading lights, plus one will still be close to over his head due to the orientation of the bed (it has to be in the corner for other reasons.

- put a single can in the middle of that square space the bed is in (you can kind of see the two-square sectioning), wired to the other cans (all on a dimmer). Alternatively I could give it it's own dimmer and put close to the bed. The switch near the door would turn on the blue cans and the 2nd switch the red center. This idea fights a bit with the center light that's already there, but I'm more or less just leaving that to be a fan box anyway.

- put two cans in line with the fan box perpendicular to the bed. It still puts a light over the bed just not in his face.

Again, sincere thanks for any advice... I need to get this room done before my wife kills me! (she'd be happy with leaving the thing alone - I'm the idiot who keeps wanting to do it right while we have the chance lol)

Thanks!​
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:56 AM   #2
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Re: Really need some help on lighting layout


Quote:
Originally Posted by giansean View Post
I posted a variation of this in the decorating forum but it got no play, and things have changed enough and you guys experienced enough that I figure I have a better shot at answers here.

For those who saw my switch placement question, this is the same room (2nd floor son's bedroom) My challenge now lies in how to light the area over/around the bed (pls see attached pic for details). Originally I was going to just jog in the pattern a bit and space two as shown. However that puts one can directly over the head of the bed. I had a few ideas on how to remedy this but could really use some quick advice on the best one (or further suggestions if they all stink )
I have a few problems in interpreting your diagram and your suggestions/questions.

You appear to designate an area of 83” x 108” (about 7’ x 9’) and yet the diagram of this area appears to be (virtually) square ?

Your fortunate son [of what age - 8, 10, 14, 16?] has a “full sized bed” but, what do you mean by that (and what does he think that that may mean - as he grows up)?
(Our full sized bed is about 2000 mm x 1600 mm [6’6” x 5’3”])
More importantly, what is the orientation of the bed within your diagram?

You stated “The switch near the door would turn on the blue cans”, but I cannot discern the door in your diagram, nor the way in which it “swings”. Is it, perhaps, a sliding door, indicated by the thin section at the lower part of the area marked “Full Sized Bed”.

Having said all that, my personal preference for lights for “reading in bed" is to have the light(s) as far behind as possible and above as little as possible.
Apart from shaded "side table" lamps, a wall light over the right (or left) shoulder is a good idea. A higher wall mounted lamp or fluorescent strip light is also good. (You can obtain dimmable fluorescent lamps/ballasts.)
A strip of (dimmable) LEDs under/behind a pelmet may also be an idea worthy of consideration.

If you must use (dimmable) (LED) recessed ceiling lights, they should be as far back (towards the wall behind the reader) as possible.

Of course, all fixed lighting intended for "reading in bed" must be controllable from while in bed, even if this lighting is also switchable from other positions within the room - which, while not essential, is a good idea!

What is essential is to have the "general" lighting of the room controlable from both the Door and the Bedside.

Last edited by FrodoOne; 08-01-2016 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:58 PM   #3
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Re: Really need some help on lighting layout


Quote:
Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post
I have a few problems in interpreting your diagram and your suggestions/questions.

You appear to designate an area of 83” x 108” (about 7’ x 9’) and yet the diagram of this area appears to be (virtually) square ?

Your fortunate son [of what age - 8, 10, 14, 16?] has a “full sized bed” but, what do you mean by that (and what does he think that that may mean - as he grows up)?
(Our full sized bed is about 2000 mm x 1600 mm [6’6” x 5’3”])
More importantly, what is the orientation of the bed within your diagram?

You stated “The switch near the door would turn on the blue cans”, but I cannot discern the door in your diagram, nor the way in which it “swings”. Is it, perhaps, a sliding door, indicated by the thin section at the lower part of the area marked “Full Sized Bed”.

Having said all that, my personal preference for lights for “reading in bed" is to have the light(s) as far behind as possible and above as little as possible.
Apart from shaded "side table" lamps, a wall light over the right (or left) shoulder is a good idea. A higher wall mounted lamp or fluorescent strip light is also good. (You can obtain dimmable fluorescent lamps/ballasts.)
A strip of (dimmable) LEDs under/behind a pelmet may also be an idea worthy of consideration.

If you must use (dimmable) (LED) recessed ceiling lights, they should be as far back (towards the wall behind the reader) as possible.

Of course, all fixed lighting intended for "reading in bed" must be controllable from while in bed, even if this lighting is also switchable from other positions within the room - which, while not essential, is a good idea!

What is essential is to have the "general" lighting of the room controlable from both the Door and the Bedside.
Yeah sorry that post/graphic was neither to scale or detail rich. I have spent a little more time to update (still a little off but better). My son is 10 BTW so I'm not in a hurry to make his bedroom better than ours :P. That said he will destroy anything wall mounted or floor based - not intentionally, he just excels at breaking stuff - so I wanted to put as much out of reach as possible.

With that in mind, someone had suggested doing some track lighting in a "U" pattern tight to each wall. I could also replicate this over the desk area as well, and put all on dimmers. I could leave the center light box for a future fan (it is capable) and put the dimmer for the tracks closer to the bed. I don't know if I could make a three-way dimmer fly unless I cut a box in above the existing 1-gang door box (and excepting foreign options :P) but worst case I can cut in a new one. Overall this seems to be much more flexible than cramming a bunch of cans into a small space with a bed underneath.
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Old 08-15-2016, 07:14 PM   #4
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Re: Really need some help on lighting layout


I see these are different configurations.

first don't put lights above a bed, no one does that. Use a bedside lamp if you want to read. Why turn on the entire bedroom lighting if you want to read on the bed? Reading should be done lower lighting.

The 4 blue might be good enough to light the entire room. If you want accent lighting near the bed, then use 3" remodel boxes and only use 2 on a separate switch. Use lamps by the desk and bed.

Honestly 2 blue center would be enough. What temp of light, what type of baffle? What wattage? All these will play a factor in what you end up doing. The most common mistake is too many lights installed people make.

Consider any windows that will give you natural lighting as part of your solution.
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:55 AM   #5
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Re: Really need some help on lighting layout


For kids bedroom, I would only do bright lights above the closet doors and study desk. As bright as possible flood LEDs there. Everything else should be bedside table lamps or standing lamps. You can also control those from the main switch via receptacles - it is allowed in bedrooms.
A rule of thumb on many websites is spacing recessed lights at half the ceiling height. It's probably true for spot lights, but floods at 120 degrees should allow for longer spans. Avoiding dark corners is another tip, so cans should be no less than 3' from walls.
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