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How many recessed lights for 12x22?

10242 Views 17 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  DIYRemodeler
I'm finishing out my basement and it looks like the bedroom is going to be 12'x 22'. There are no windows and I'm planning on going with 6" recessed lights. How many would you recommend ?
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are 2 total windows in the basement and a walk-out, just no windows in the bedroom part. No building codes to speak of in my area. I'm just wondering if 6 lights would be enough for a room that size.
 

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There are 2 total windows in the basement and a walk-out, just no windows in the bedroom part. No building codes to speak of in my area. I'm just wondering if 6 lights would be enough for a room that size.
Regardless if there are no hardened building codes where you own the residence, you are still required to have an egress window in that bedroom area, per the 2009 International Residential Code. http://www.icreatables.com/codes/egress-windows.html Your state will have the same requirements as the IRC or even more strict under their rules.
 

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The lights, I would not put any recessed in the bedroom, unless you use LED recessed. Any 75 watt bulb for a recessed fixture, will heat that room up pretty quick. Placing the window in there, you have to follow the IRC requirements for Egress, and you could either order it with a one way UV Tint, or place the tint on the glass after you install it.

For the rest of the basement, same thing. Use LED lights in the fixtures, vs. CFLS. I use 23 watt 800 Lumen 6500k CFL's in our Kitchen & Bath, and get plenty of light. I would use a dimming style bulb above the tv or near it, if there will be one in either the bedroom or basement.

Even just having a 3-way table lamp with a 800 lumen 6500k CFL at the middle setting, or first setting, will make the picture look better, then using a lower lumen or say a 3600k bulb. I have found it very hard to get a high enough lumen LED bulb, that is small enough to be placed into the bath fan & fixture above our mirror in our bath.

You want light, but you do not want the heat down there, especially if you are in an area that is warm for the majority of the year. If you are up North, you could easily change out the LED's for Incandescent bulbs, to help heat up the basement area.

I know that I hit on the egress problem fist, due to that stuck out like a big Red flag, when I read your first post. I feel that really needs to be addressed first, before doing the lights. That way any touchups can be done after the window & lights are in.

This site is owned by Lowe's. It has quite a few choices to choose from. http://www.atgstores.com/recessed-can-lights_318.html Lamps Plus is a good site also http://www.lampsplus.com/recessed-lighting/ I would also check the prices on amazon.com. Most of these sites have a store front on Amazon, or you may be able to get the same fixture for less on there.
 

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Second form of egress is only required if there is a bedroom in these parts,
 
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View attachment 81228

I'll hang this on the wall and call it good.

6 lights it is.
You seem to not take the egress requirement seriously. You really should. Unless you have actually experienced a structure fire (I have, in training anyway) you cannot comprehend the panic and confusion of being in a dark, smoke-filled space and not being able to find a way out. Trust me, you will NOT remember there's a window in the next room (which is likely not a legal egress window either). Do yourself and your family/guests a favor - follow the law.
 

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While a second form of egress isn't required (here) with a bedroom, you do have a bedroom and need to install that second form.

A homeowner doing his own electrical and no second form of egress? Sounds like a death trap to me.
 

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If you don't have full 8' ceilings, I would steer clear of recessed cans and go with something shallow that will disperse the light far and wide, and not project 4-8 spots of light onto the floor. A few well placed wall sconces might even be a better choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm not doing the electrical myself, I'm merely picking up the supplies and wanted to get plenty of lights, but at the same time not go overboard. I will certainly take the egress window deal into careful consideration.
 

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A few more than you need is better because you can put them on dimmers. LEDs are really nice. They are are cool, save energy and last a long time but are more money and sometimes not as bright as halogens. Don't put them too close to the walls because you are just going to light up the walls and you will see all the drywall defects and not light up the room too well.
 

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A few more than you need is better because you can put them on dimmers. LEDs are really nice. They are are cool, save energy and last a long time but are more money and sometimes not as bright as halogens. Don't put them too close to the walls because you are just going to light up the walls and you will see all the drywall defects and not light up the room too well.
There are newer ones that are brighter then halogens, and they actually pay off over time, with electrical savings, and not having to swap them out.

Halogens can overheat and cause the room to get hot. The one place you do not want a Halogen lamp, is in a bedroom. If you want extra lighting, use a couple of table lamps. Really with a bedroom, it should just have one overhead light, and a couple of table lamps.

If there is a task area, I would then place a couple of track style lights above that area, vs. canned in ceiling lights. Then you can adjust the lights if you need to.
 

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Here is my diagram for my living room project of 12'x20' with 6" cans. I used a total of 9 lights (8 for the room and 1 centered over the fireplace).

If you wanted to use 8 lights, I woudl set the fixtures 3' in from each wall for a 12'x22' which would give you 5' 3" between each light in the long direction and 6' in the short direction.

I used 65w BR30 bulbs in HALO remodel fixtures with dimmers to control the light level.

Its bright on full but evenly lit and can easily turn it down to the needed level.



 

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It depends on what you want/need to accomplish in terms of lighting the room. I have recessed lighting in two similar sized spaces---a living room and a family room. In the living room with lots of art displayed on the walls we have (6) wall washers and (6) down lights. But in the family room, we have (6) down lights and (2) wall washers. For your bedroom space I can't see using more than a total of (6) lights. Good Luck!
 
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