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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning on putting recessed lighting in my entire house guys. I'm not doing any of the electrical, just doing the grunt work for my friend who's licensed. I'm just gonna cut holes and run the wire for him, so all he does is comes in and wires everything together.
Question is, I have 6 rooms. I DO NOT, repeat, I DO NOT want to sit here and figure all the numbers and sheit just to figure out where the best placement for these lights is gonna be. Is there a website that offers or something you know of that i can just put necessary info and it will drum up a layout for me? (if they had a lazy emoticon, I'd be using it!!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, if anyone does have a suggestion, I'll take it, but I pretty much think the Ol pencil n paper got er done!!
 

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Plans

I never make specific plans. Just General. Figure out where your beams are first then hope to hell theres no plumbing or whatever in the last place of the last light. That really sucks! ONce you make a layout I just use a coathanger and bend to diameter and height of can and fish around to make sure the coast is clear.

Good luck

Make a decreasing spiral
 

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Example: small square shape bed. 2 1/2' off each wall, 4 can lights.
Large room may go 6 cans 3-3 1/2' off each wall, center the middle 2, 2 1/2 off wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I never make specific plans. Just General. Figure out where your beams are first then hope to hell theres no plumbing or whatever in the last place of the last light. That really sucks! ONce you make a layout I just use a coathanger and bend to diameter and height of can and fish around to make sure the coast is clear.

Good luck

Make a decreasing spiral
Yeah, I've used the coat hanger before. It's the downstairs where I have the most issues with placement. Cause, I can't see ****. But in the basement, I know where everything is placed cause of the utility room and the upstairs cause of the attic.

Example: small square shape bed. 2 1/2' off each wall, 4 can lights.
Large room may go 6 cans 3-3 1/2' off each wall, center the middle 2, 2 1/2 off wall.
This right around what I did in the living room... Kitchen was easy too..
 

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If you are like most of us, you will find the perfect symmetrical pattern, then do the coathanger test, and on the very last area you test, there will be a 3" soilpipe which means you get to start over. If this happens, just know that it seems to always work that way.
Also, be very cautious about "drilling blind". Since the cans are usually about 4' apart, that means on 16" centers you will have one blind hole to drill. (The joist in the center) Carefully inspect rooms directly over this area so you have an idea what to expect. Worst case, and safer is to just remove a small piece of drywall in that center bay.
 

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PS, I assume you are using remodel cans, and they will give you a template to pencil the circle to cut. If you use Halo products, sometimes their template will give you a little larger hole than you need, then when the lights are mounted to the drywall, you will have unneccesary space which your trim ring should cover, but compare the actual housing to the template before you cut the hole. The Juno R-22 templates are way bigger than they need to be, but the can always covers the entire hole and that gives you a little adjusting room.
Also, when placing the cans, use a string line and never rely on measurements from sidewalls. I have never ever seen a square room yet. Just the slightest variance from a straight line will drive you nuts.
Sorry for the dissertation, but I have installed about 10,000 can lights and have learned some of these things the hard way.
 

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if you have a 10' wall, and want two lights in that area, place the center of the first light at 30" off the wall and 30" off the other wall. This will give you evenly distributed lighting for that 10' area. Do the same thing for 4 lights in the same area. Of course this looks good on paper but ultimately the ceiling joists will determine placement.


good luck
 

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Great tool for cutting holes for light cans is the Hole Pro X-230 that adjusts from 1-7/8 up to 9" so it works for every light can made from the small PAR cans up to large 8" CFL fixtures. I like that I can adjust it to cut 3/4" depth and no more so less worries about clipping a wire or pipe.

With area lights it helps to think in terms of area lighting as distinct from task lighting (think kitchen center versus under cabinets for the counters, or a sewing room or workshop where you need more light in one area than another. This is the perfect opportunity to have 2 circuits with one for ambient light and one for task lighting.

I like to use recessed for the task lighting and standard light fixtures for the ambient room light so I get more light from the latter with a lot less watts in total. More watts equals more load for the air conditioner and not necessarily better light. Be aware that today's residential CFL lamps tend to burn out fairly quickly in non-vented cans as they cook their internal components which are in the base and they are not really designed for upside down operation.

Even if you go to all recessed light cans having two legs enables a set of lights in the center of the room and a separate set around the perimeter or over the "task" areas where you want more light some of the time. In kitchens I will use 3 circuits with one for the kitchen, one for the island or bar counter and a third for the under the cabinet lighting.

Recommend the Lutron dimmers as they have a better electronic and mechanical design and less headaches. They work well for both incandescent lamps and lights on transformers.
 

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if you have a 10' wall, and want two lights in that area, place the center of the first light at 30" off the wall and 30" off the other wall. This will give you evenly distributed lighting for that 10' area. Do the same thing for 4 lights in the same area. Of course this looks good on paper but ultimately the ceiling joists will determine placement.


good luck
Even more Even is to divide the total length by one more than the number of light fixtures you are installing. Example- 10 foot ceiling with two recess lights- 120" divided by three. Place the first light 40" from the wall, the second 40" from the first, and you will have 40" to the far wall left over. All lights placed to center. Joists and plumbing will mess this up also.
 

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potlight.ca/shapes/

I believe that is only for small aperture 3-4" cans. I love it and pass it on to all my customers when they are trying to decide how many cans they want to buy from me!

twicebright.com Shallow recessed lighting 2 1/2" - 4 1/2" in height. Only small aperture (3-4") IC remodel fixtures.

NOTE: it's not hyperlinked because I haven't made 15 posts yet.
 
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