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    triptrop's Avatar
    triptrop Posts: 17, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 28, 2005, 07:19 PM
    Recessed Lights Spacing & other questions
    I'm installing recessed lights in my basements finishing job, and I bought a bunch of cans at home depot. 12 to start with, but I'm sure I'll need more. My question is about the spacing for these recessed lights. I found a website that said I should space the lights between 6-8 feet apart for my 8 foot ceiling (.75:1 to 1:1) if I'm using incandescent lights, and 4-6 feet apart (.5:1 to .75:1) if I'm using halogen lights.

    Do the experts on this board agree with this? What are the differences in "feel" of the lights between incandescent and halogen? Which is better? Which looks better in a living room basement? According to the cans, it says my max wattage is: "75W TYPE/TIPO R30,PAR30". The only thing there that I understand is 75Watts. What does the rest mean? And will I be able to use incandescent lights with this can?

    There are a lot of assumptions made in this post... I'm quite new at recessed lighting and the light bulbs required for it...

    Thanks for any help!

    PS here is the website I found information about spacing:
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Mar 1, 2005, 11:37 AM
    Do not take the expert labels here too seriously. None of us had to pass a test. Ultra expert only means I have made a certain minimum number of posts. I am good in dogs, where I have been mentored by a dog guide school for many years. Tom is a retired plumber and really knows his stuff. I think some of the people here are good in computers. Much of the rest is pooling our ignorance. I answer some questions where I know part of the answer, being careful not to go into areas I don't know. I haven't seen many questions on lights and do not have a good feel for what others here know about it. Nobody has answered while I was thinking more about this.

    At one time I was managing a small factory and did learn a little about lighting. I also learned a lot about questioning vendors. One of the things I learned was lighting an area adequately to its use. The link you posted is about lighting an area with a special feature for dramatic effect. How much light do you need for this living area? In many average sized rooms, a ceiling fixture with three 60 watt incandescence bulbs provides enough light, with maybe a lamp providing a little extra light for reading. I am not sure recessed lightning is a good choice for overall room light, but perhaps better for highlighting special areas.

    I am not sure what all the ''TYPE/TIPO R30,PAR30"'' means. PAR is parabolic arc reflector. This has something to do with the spread of the light. Unless you are going to be doing surgery or something, you want fewer, wider spreading lights. Home Depot tries to hire knowledgeable people, but I am not sure they have anybody that knows whether the PAR 30 is best for your application, or what might be better. I can't say. If you really like the recessed fixtures, you could install a number of them and then select smaller bulbs so you don't have to wear sunglasses in the room. I think the halogen bulbs are more efficient, providing more light at a lower wattage. The light from plain old lightbulbs spreads out all over. The spot lights and floodlights are more controlled. I think the PAR 30 means a plain light bulb would spread in the fixture like a PAR 30 spotlight would in an open socket.

    Several companies are selling newer lightbulbs that provide a more balanced light. Ott-Lite, Balanced spectrum from First Street, and Reveal by GE. They make a big difference especially for older eyes.

    One more thing, add up all the wattages of all the lights on one circuit. If you have a 15 amp breaker and #14 wire, you must use less than 1800 watts. My church was having trouble with one light switch heating up. I started counting and I think there were over 100 60 watt bulbs on the circuit.
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Mar 2, 2005, 11:43 AM
    I had a coupon for a free pasta, so I took the dog and went to Pizza Hut today for lunch. While waiting for my order, I noticed their lights. They were recessed lights on 4' x 6' grid. The bulbs looked like flood lamps, but I couldn't read the wattage. The room was uniform and brighter than many restaurants, but not overly bright. I would have hated to have had to sit there with the dog beside me and sunglasses on.

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