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Recessed lighting opinions

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ChrisJ
ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
edited January 2023 in THE MAIN WALL
I know this isn't really a normal kind of topic here but I need opinions and I know most of you on the forum so I'd like your input.

I'm looking to do recessed lighting in our bedrooms and maybe eventually the kitchen.

I see plenty of options and different styles so I'd like to see what others recommend.

Not really so much color temperature, but the style of light (snap in vs retrofit etc) as well as 4" vs 6" etc.

I see some offer things like a ring around it as a night light as well.  Color changing etc

Brands? 

My thoughts right now were 6 4" 9watt led ones per bedroom that snap onto a hole in the sheetrock.  4 on 1 dimmer and 2 on another dimmer away from the bed that can be used as night lights etc.

The bedrooms in question are roughly 10x16
Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
PC7060
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Comments

  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,211
    edited January 2023
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    I used the halo 4” color selectable snap in type. Very nice units and the the package (1/2”) allow you to place the light where you want even under joists. 
    Be sure to leave a service loop in the supply wire so the power module can be pulled through the hole as required for future service. 
    Re the dimmers I use Lutron Caseta Smart Home Dimmer.  One control head paired with remotes that can be in placed in standard switch box or directly to wall using their adapter. 


  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 998
    edited January 2023
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    @ChrisJ
    Every hole you make in your ceiling is going to be a leak - either for your heat or AC.
    IIRC, I put 22 6" holes in my ceilings. I had to make boxes out of 2" thick Owens-Corning rigid foam to cover each. I like the idea of overhead lighting mainly because then you are not limited as to how the room gets set up - where is the switched outlet, have to have a lamp there, and a table, and a much brighter bulb than necessary to be able to see at the far end of the room. Find a way to do it with low voltage surface-mounted LEDs and avoid making any holes.

    I have read a lot of your threads, and I have to caution you.... you seem to be doing as I did, and just got dumped on by LIFE. And unfortunately I did not learn the hard lesson at a younger age. All the things that I have done to my house and property over the last 20 years was to insulate myself against anything that life could throw at me. And I could spend another 20 years working on it and still never be done. LIFE just changed all of that for me. And LIFE will do this every time, and in ways that you never dreamed possible.

    I am the only child, single and no children. Both of my parents got dementia - Dad went to the nursing home a week before last Thanksgiving, and Mom just went two weeks before this Christmas. Mom wasn't supposed to get dementia, and I just spent the last year getting her house back to functional because when Dad retired, he did nothing, including maintaining his house. I have my unfinished house and now I have to clean out their house. The smart move is to give up on my house and sell it, and move into theirs. I never saw any of this coming, and LIFE just dumped on me big time, despite all of my efforts. It's going to take years cleaning out their house and mine, moving everything, etc. Ok, one time only - LESSON LEARNED!

    Don't do what I did - it's just a house. Hopefully the right buyer will come along and recognize my efforts and finish what I started. Sadly, I will not be the one to enjoy it. :(
    ChrisJ
  • FStephenMasek
    FStephenMasek Member Posts: 88
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    How old is the building? There could be asbestos in the joint compound/texture, so over 50% to 100% of the drywall surface. Asbestos drywall joint compound (mud) was used up through the early 1980s (some claim longer).
    Author of Illustrated Practical Asbestos: For Consultants, Contractors, Property Managers & Regulators
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 604
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    Asbestos drywall joint compound (mud) was used up through the early 1980s (some claim longer).

    Didnt know that. I knew about "popcorn" textured ceilings possibly containing asbestos, but not the drywall mud too. It was everywhere.
    Do you happen to know if it was the more dangerous type of asbestos ? (I forget the same, but the one that is short rods)


    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
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    I believe asbestos is still in talcum powder. There were lots of patching products with asbestos so even if you test original materials you could disturb that. Then what happened to the scraps and such during construction.

    Apparently some of the plasters especially those used in the era of rocklath.

    oh, right, can lights. i used some halo retrofit cans with led inserts.

    size really all depends on your lighting design and what instrument you need to put the light where you need it and what form you can get that in.

    color changing is really a gimmick.
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,559
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    @ChrisJ.. Do you have any tubing in the area that will have the resessed lighting ?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
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    How old is the building? There could be asbestos in the joint compound/texture, so over 50% to 100% of the drywall surface. Asbestos drywall joint compound (mud) was used up through the early 1980s (some claim longer).

    The main house is 1860s but the section in question is much newer, I think between 1900 and 1910. However, the sheetrock ceiling was done in 1987.

    That said, I have to think the amount of exposure someone would have using a drywall circle cutter even if there was asbestos in the joint compound would be minimal.

    @ChrisJ.. Do you have any tubing in the area that will have the resessed lighting ?

    No,
    Why do you ask?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
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    @MikeAmann I think you bring up a good point I didn't really think of.
    I had assumed the fixtures would at least have a foam gasket to seal against the ceiling?

    I could run a bead of caulk around it before pushing it up, but that would make changing them a whole lot of fun.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,394
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    How much lightning do you need in a bed room? Would a couple floor or nightstand lights work. Seems all can or recessed lights go out of style
    my son put a bunch of LED recessed in his basement
    even being dimmer rated they still flicker as they dim

    they are much easier to install compared to the tall steel can type, however
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    ChrisJ
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,157
    edited January 2023
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    https://www.amazon.com/Mounight-Selectable-Ultra-Thin-Can-Killer-D6JB14W2K-6/dp/B09QLWVPJB/ref=sr_1_40?crid=1ZGENLLLJRIZ8&keywords=amico+6+inch+led+recessed+lighting&qid=1673104190&sprefix=amico,aps,108&sr=8-40. My son just used these in his master bedroom addition.
    Works with Alexa by using a smart switch. the center will get full bright or use the Halo feature as mood lighting. He is pretty happy with them.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    ChrisJMikeAmann
  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 1,044
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    Recessed luminaires that penetrate the attic ceiling or thermal envelope must by ICAT-rated. Insulation contact air-tight. They have a gasket to the ceiling and a high limit snap disc switch that prevents overheating. LED cans have eliminated many of the problems with cans overheating. Still, anything made by man can and will eventually fail. Follow the IRC
    ChrisJ
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
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    ChrisJ said:

    @MikeAmann I think you bring up a good point I didn't really think of.
    I had assumed the fixtures would at least have a foam gasket to seal against the ceiling?

    I could run a bead of caulk around it before pushing it up, but that would make changing them a whole lot of fun.

    A better way to do it is to caulk a baggy sheet of plastic over the whole thing, assuming it is rated for that and you have access.
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
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    Recessed luminaires that penetrate the attic ceiling or thermal envelope must by ICAT-rated. Insulation contact air-tight. They have a gasket to the ceiling and a high limit snap disc switch that prevents overheating. LED cans have eliminated many of the problems with cans overheating. Still, anything made by man can and will eventually fail. Follow the IRC


    Except Monitor Top refrigerators.
    Get it right Bob.....

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Solid_Fuel_ManWMno57
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
    edited January 2023
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    hot_rod said:

    How much lightning do you need in a bed room? Would a couple floor or nightstand lights work. Seems all can or recessed lights go out of style
    my son put a bunch of LED recessed in his basement
    even being dimmer rated they still flicker as they dim

    they are much easier to install compared to the tall steel can type, however


    Two of the bedrooms are for the kids, so in their case they do a lot more in their than sleep.
    For my room I could get by with a candle. No, seriously, I could.

    That said, style and trends do not tend to effect me much.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,404
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    I avoid can lights where there is insulation above it. Like others have said, in that case you are punching a hole thru the thermal envelope of the building. That said I have made extensive use of 6" new work can lights in my basement, and the small 2"(I think) old work led can lights in my kitchen. The reason I used them is functionality. With a 7ft ceilings in the basement I just don't have much head room, and with the kitchen I have ones that can be directed, which are all pointed to the counters to provide task lighting. 

    Personally I've found I like the smaller lights over the big ones but that's just a difference in style and taste.
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
    edited January 2023
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    JakeCK said:

    I avoid can lights where there is insulation above it. Like others have said, in that case you are punching a hole thru the thermal envelope of the building. That said I have made extensive use of 6" new work can lights in my basement, and the small 2"(I think) old work led can lights in my kitchen. The reason I used them is functionality. With a 7ft ceilings in the basement I just don't have much head room, and with the kitchen I have ones that can be directed, which are all pointed to the counters to provide task lighting. 

    Personally I've found I like the smaller lights over the big ones but that's just a difference in style and taste.

    Is this guy serious right now?
    I can't tell if he's bragging, joking, or serious.

    I'm 5'6 and my head rubs on the joists above me in the basement...............


    @JakeCK The only part of me that's partially confused is you calling them can lights. The one's I'm considering, well, primarily considering look like pancakes that snap into the sheetrock, so there's no "can". Just the LED, lens and junction box. But, you are right, it would be making a hole in the ceiling, but as @Bob Harper said that hole should be fairly sealed.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    ethicalpaul
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
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    You really need to look for fixtures that properly diffuse the light and that dim properly. There are a lot of fixtures both inexpensive and expensive that don't get the technical parts right. If it is poorly diffused the light will be harsh and difficult to look at, like those tube replacements they use in convenience store coolers that have no diffusion.
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
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    mattmia2 said:
    You really need to look for fixtures that properly diffuse the light and that dim properly. There are a lot of fixtures both inexpensive and expensive that don't get the technical parts right. If it is poorly diffused the light will be harsh and difficult to look at, like those tube replacements they use in convenience store coolers that have no diffusion.
    You're absolutely right.
    Flickering won't be tolerated in my case.


    But for air concerns here's what I see on cheaper ones at homer


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Matt_67
    Matt_67 Member Posts: 295
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    My only comment is whatever you decide on, try to find something that will still be available if one dies in a couple years. I put some in my kitchen during a remodel in 2019, one died and I couldn’t get an exact replacement so now I have one oddball that looks a touch different, is a slightly different color and is a tad brighter.
    ChrisJmattmia2JakeCK
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,767
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    I like Halo usually the 4". They have a switch on them to adjust the color.

    You can use a hole saw or circle cutter inside a plastic container and virtually catch all the dust. You can by one or make one....many u tube videos on this.

    The Halo are only 1/2" thick and are IC rated to be buried on insulation.

    Some are dimmable and some are not. Be careful with the dimmers. Most all the trouble with LED's come from dimmer issues
    ChrisJ
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
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    I put some halo cans in my kitchen about 7 years ago. At the time it was a housing with an led trim that had an adapter that screwed in to the edison socket. I have been mostly happy with them. i have one that is acting a little weird, i pulled it out and reseated the adapter in the socket and it got better but is still doing a little buzzing.

    With the "airtight", be careful, i think that refers to some standard that is not in fact air tight. The halo cans are called air tight but they have some holes for the clips that secure it to the ceiling and this cheesy super low density foam gasket on the trim. The spiders have no problem finding their way through them.
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,559
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    The reason for asking was that there are claims that UV from the bulbs leaking past the can could deteriorate the tubing.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
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    The reason for asking was that there are claims that UV from the bulbs leaking past the can could deteriorate the tubing.
    Ah you mean pex etc.

    No pex anywhere near that no.

    But I've wondered how much uv decent LEDs actually produce.

    Uponor claims you can't put pex near LEDs but I took that as more of a cover their a..... Rather than reality 
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,404
    edited January 2023
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    ChrisJ said:
    I avoid can lights where there is insulation above it. Like others have said, in that case you are punching a hole thru the thermal envelope of the building. That said I have made extensive use of 6" new work can lights in my basement, and the small 2"(I think) old work led can lights in my kitchen. The reason I used them is functionality. With a 7ft ceilings in the basement I just don't have much head room, and with the kitchen I have ones that can be directed, which are all pointed to the counters to provide task lighting. 

    Personally I've found I like the smaller lights over the big ones but that's just a difference in style and taste.
    Is this guy serious right now? I can't tell if he's bragging, joking, or serious. I'm 5'6 and my head rubs on the joists above me in the basement............... @JakeCK The only part of me that's partially confused is you calling them can lights. The one's I'm considering, well, primarily considering look like pancakes that snap into the sheetrock, so there's no "can". Just the LED, lens and junction box. But, you are right, it would be making a hole in the ceiling, but as @Bob Harper said that hole should be fairly sealed.
    I was being serious. For a basement with habitable space the minimum is 7ft and pipes, beams, and other obstructions must have a minimum of 6'4" under them. Which rules out a lot of light fixtures and most definitely ceiling fans(although that would be funny to watch.) RECESSED lights, sorry I've just always called those types of lights can lights, are perfect for maintaining the most clearance...
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
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    ChrisJ said:



    The reason for asking was that there are claims that UV from the bulbs leaking past the can could deteriorate the tubing.

    Ah you mean pex etc.

    No pex anywhere near that no.

    But I've wondered how much uv decent LEDs actually produce.

    Uponor claims you can't put pex near LEDs but I took that as more of a cover their a..... Rather than reality 

    I've seen a lot of commercial stuff deteriorated from the uv from fluorescents that are on all the time both below and above the ceiling.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
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    mattmia2 said:
    The reason for asking was that there are claims that UV from the bulbs leaking past the can could deteriorate the tubing.
    Ah you mean pex etc.

    No pex anywhere near that no.

    But I've wondered how much uv decent LEDs actually produce.

    Uponor claims you can't put pex near LEDs but I took that as more of a cover their a..... Rather than reality 
    I've seen a lot of commercial stuff deteriorated from the uv from fluorescents that are on all the time both below and above the ceiling.
    Yeah but that's fluorescents.
    Do normal interior led lights produce a lot of UV?

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,404
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    ChrisJ said:
    mattmia2 said:
    The reason for asking was that there are claims that UV from the bulbs leaking past the can could deteriorate the tubing.
    Ah you mean pex etc.

    No pex anywhere near that no.

    But I've wondered how much uv decent LEDs actually produce.

    Uponor claims you can't put pex near LEDs but I took that as more of a cover their a..... Rather than reality 
    I've seen a lot of commercial stuff deteriorated from the uv from fluorescents that are on all the time both below and above the ceiling.
    Yeah but that's fluorescents.
    Do normal interior led lights produce a lot of UV?

    I can't imagine an LED producing much UV... Their specificality of which colors they produce is part of the reason they make horrible grow lights. 
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
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    I don't specifically know about the electronics, what the distance of the transition is or how they control that, but i have had a few LED lamps where the phosphor came off of one of the dies and that led was purple and not as bright, so i suspect at least some LEDs are making uv and converting it to visible light with a phospher.
  • heathead
    heathead Member Posts: 234
    edited January 2023
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    OK if price is no object. I would do a halo 4 in LED with 3000k bright light. The fixture is a ML4 led 3000k that fits in the 4 inch can. The light is expensive and so is the trim but the light output is unmatched in feel. The other options in the line are 5 and 6 inch. The 5 and 6 inch don't have the same light feeling so don't was the money on them I tried. The HALO ML4 is what the 12 volt MR16 bulbs used to be but much brighter but great light to the eyes. I first started using them in kitchen and was hooked. Now they are in the kids bedrooms. They do dim and don't flicker. Good Luck
    PC7060
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    Ive put in 100s or the thin type LED lights. Halo, NDR, Topaz, are all brands I've used. They all are pretty similar with color selection switches (tunable color temp) and are very easy to install. 

    For what they are, they are very close to air tight, and I know you Chris... use painters caulking around them they will be air tight. 

    One word of caution, cut off the low voltage connectors and run low voltage wire and remote mount all the drivers. It is the driver which fails (and gets warm). So if you have them mounted in an accessible location with your Romex going to them they will be easy to change in the future. 

    If you don't like them in 20 years, just remove and patch the sheetrock....no lathe and plaster patching!!!
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    PC7060
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
    edited January 2023
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    Nothing can beat the flexibility of track lighting, with fixtures using conventional medium base LED bulbs.
    Want your light in a different area-just move it on the track!—NBC
    reggi
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
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    Ive put in 100s or the thin type LED lights. Halo, NDR, Topaz, are all brands I've used. They all are pretty similar with color selection switches (tunable color temp) and are very easy to install. 

    For what they are, they are very close to air tight, and I know you Chris... use painters caulking around them they will be air tight. 

    One word of caution, cut off the low voltage connectors and run low voltage wire and remote mount all the drivers. It is the driver which fails (and gets warm). So if you have them mounted in an accessible location with your Romex going to them they will be easy to change in the future. 

    If you don't like them in 20 years, just remove and patch the sheetrock....no lathe and plaster patching!!!
    The ones with the junction box on a small wire I assume the driver is in the junction box?

    How far would you think it can be moved?  I'm guessing it depends on the size wire I splice in?

    If I could mount them all by my attic stairs by the door that area stays pretty reasonable especially compared to the attic.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,211
    edited January 2023
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    @ChrisJ - the two conductor feed wire from the driver is pretty small but only runs about 12”.  I’d say 18ga low voltage wire (or tstat wire) would work well up to 30’.  You can buy the halo type at Lowes or Homers. Pick up one and give it a shot and be sure to let us know what you find!  :D

    Good idea @Solid_Fuel_Man!
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
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    The size will depend on how much current the fixture draws and the distance. Since it is low voltage the voltage drop can become significant depending on the current and the distance. If you put more than one fixture on a cable then there will be more current and more voltage drop. Dropping 1v because of the resistance of the wire and the current draw is much more important at 12v than 120v.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
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    mattmia2 said:

    The size will depend on how much current the fixture draws and the distance. Since it is low voltage the voltage drop can become significant depending on the current and the distance. If you put more than one fixture on a cable then there will be more current and more voltage drop. Dropping 1v because of the resistance of the wire and the current draw is much more important at 12v than 120v.


    They're typically 9 to 12 watt lights.
    I'm thinking the current probably isn't very high but I have no idea what voltage they run the LED's at.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 532
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    Matt_67 said:

    My only comment is whatever you decide on, try to find something that will still be available if one dies in a couple years. I put some in my kitchen during a remodel in 2019, one died and I couldn’t get an exact replacement so now I have one oddball that looks a touch different, is a slightly different color and is a tad brighter.

    At the rate which this technology changes, there's no way to ensure something will still be available in a couple of years. The best approach is to lay in a few spares when doing the job and keep them stored should failures occur.

    My only comment is that one ought pay attention to more than just color temperature when selecting the product. Color Rendering Index (CRI) is also very important. I rejected anything less than 90.
    mattmia2
  • CLamb
    CLamb Member Posts: 292
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    If you're interested in LED strip lighting you could get a lot of good information from the "LEDs ARE AWESOME" group on Facebook.
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,211
    edited January 2023
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    My only comment is whatever you decide on, try to find something that will still be available if one dies in a couple years. I put some in my kitchen during a remodel in 2019, one died and I couldn’t get an exact replacement so now I have one oddball that looks a touch different, is a slightly different color and is a tad brighter.
    Good point on the sparing, I’ve got something like 16 of the 4” halo type (CRI 90) so I think I’ll grab a couple for spares. 

    Eventually a replacement will be required so it’s important to include a service loop to allow for replacement of tbe control module as well as the head assembly. I don’t think the form factor is going away. 
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,850
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    ChrisJ said:

    mattmia2 said:

    The size will depend on how much current the fixture draws and the distance. Since it is low voltage the voltage drop can become significant depending on the current and the distance. If you put more than one fixture on a cable then there will be more current and more voltage drop. Dropping 1v because of the resistance of the wire and the current draw is much more important at 12v than 120v.


    They're typically 9 to 12 watt lights.
    I'm thinking the current probably isn't very high but I have no idea what voltage they run the LED's at.

    12v 12w is 1a. is is half an amp at 24v.

    a 50 ft piece of #16 cable is .4 ohms. if you have 5 fixtures on it at 5a v=ir, v=5*.4 v=2v so if your supply is 12v, it will be 10v at the fixture.