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Spot lights / downlighters in living room???? peoples experience of them

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by sentinal, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. sentinal

    sentinal Member

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    Hi,

    I'm currently like everyone else, re-doing my living room with an AV setup. Am chasing out the walls for cables etc etc

    Anyway, I had an electrician round to give me a quote for fitting of downlighters and power sockets where the TV is hung and AV equipment is being stored

    He mentioned that downlighters give out localised lighting and not diffused lighting. everyone i've spoken to since arent too keen on them either

    I was wondering what everyones experience of them are? how far apart do you/ should you install them

    If you end up having lots in a room, wont the room be too bright?

    thanks
  2. albriscoe

    albriscoe New Member

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    I wouldn`t have anything else tbh, I`ve just completed a new build with over 300 here and there, you can create different light scenes by splitting them into different circuits and they are dimmable which makes for perfect ambient lighting. Also you are able to buy different angle lamps as well for even greater flexibility. I think single drop lamps are a thing of the past imho as well as being boring.

    Budget obviously plays a part as well but go for it as I`m sure you won`t regret it

    cheers Allan :smashin:
  3. sentinal

    sentinal Member

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    How many should a room have? whats distance apart should they be?

    The room in question is approx 3m x 3.3m,
  4. Dr Force

    Dr Force Active Member

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    Well what would look good on your ceiling??

    I would say 4 x50w lamps in that room would be adequate, 6 @ 35w max.

    The sparks is right about localised lighting but put them on a dimmer and you can create a nice mood.

    I am having 6 in my HC room and that is 2.5x4.6m, sometimes total darkness can tire the eyes on a bright screen, so its good sometimes to be able to dim them down so as not to affect the contrast, but still create enough light to see what you are doing.

    Doc
  5. elootos

    elootos Member

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    I'd also recommend to get the fittings that tilt as well so then you'll have a bit more control over where they point.
  6. albriscoe

    albriscoe New Member

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    thats all down to personal taste, I have 57 at 500mm centres in my basement games and cinema room, 25 in the kitchen not inc plinth and under unit lights and 37 in our bedroom.

    with careful placement ie. a bit of planning you can create lighting scenes to die for as in the magazines and what have you. Some might think its overkill but until you see what lighting can do you shouldn`t really knock it I say so go on have a bit of imagination and go for it afterall whats worse than a fantastic living room with some fabulous av kit in there and crap lighting

    Allan :thumbsup:
  7. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon Member

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    To get a nice scheme designers recommend you have light from 3 different directions. i.e. down lighters in the ceiling, wall lights and table lamps. It does make a big difference.

    Have a look at the John Cullen lighting website as it shows some nice rooms and and tells you exactly what light fittings have been used. It will give you some ideas and pointers on what you can achieve.

    Allan has it spot on, with some careful planning you can achieve great results with out spending a fortune.
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  8. PA28

    PA28 Member

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    I've just replaced two pendant fittings in my lounge with 6x 50w downlighters arranged in two rows of three. Each row has the lights at 1 metre intervals and there's about 2m between the rows. The main reason was to clear the ceiling for the throw of a ceiling mounted projector. The effect is quite astonishing - the lights are remote controlled and provide pools of light on the floor. Tablelamps are used to balance the effect as, of course, downlighters don't reflect any light off the ceiling. One row washes down the front of a ceiling mounted 100" screen, and the effect of slowly dimming the lights down before showing a film is - wow! Incidentally, they need not cost a fortune; I bought a box of 6 gold tilting downlighters from Lidls at a grand cost of £5.99 - I also bought a second box of 6 silver lamps in case I changed my mind; in any event the cost of £1 per bulb is money well invested in spares!!
  9. MarkP80

    MarkP80 Member

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    If you're going for a simple 3 x 2 or 2 x 2 layout, might I suggest using Golden Section for the spacings - it gives pleasing results to the eye (Google it to see why ;-) )

    For this -

    [-----o----------o-----]

    [--AB--x----BC---x--CD-]

    Distance AB = CD
    BC = 1.618AB
    AB = Total width / 3.618

    Try it, it works!

    MarkP
  10. HandsomeBWonderful

    HandsomeBWonderful Member

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    I don't wish to hi-jack this thread but I'm going to be installing 20 low voltage tiltable downlights next week and like the OP I really need some advice on positioning/layout/wattage. I've done up a plan but am still not sure if the positioning of the lights is suitable and am now considering using 35W bulbs instead of 50W. The lights will be remotely controlled using Varilight touch dimmers - any tips on keeping buzzing to a minimum would be much appreciated. I really need to get this right as, apart from the expense and the 20 large holes drilled in the ceiling, it's a surprise for the wife and if she doesn't like them I'll be in the dog-house for the foreseeable future. :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
  11. chrish16

    chrish16 Member

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    Hi
    If you use 6 x 50w doesn't this use loads of electricity as opposed to 1 x 100w bulb?
    Has anyone used the new energy saving downlighters? I've seen some in B&Q, but not sure if they will give that cold white light as opposed to the warm halogen light?
  12. HandsomeBWonderful

    HandsomeBWonderful Member

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    I had a look at those energy saving bulbs and yes I'm afraid the light is a sickly blue. I love my planet but I don't want to feel like I'm living in a mental hospital so it's halogens for me. :D
  13. chrish16

    chrish16 Member

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    But using 6 x 50w halogens isn't that like 300w? thats a lot of electricity as opposed to a standard 100w lightbulb isn't it?
  14. HandsomeBWonderful

    HandsomeBWonderful Member

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    You should have a word with Al Briscoe :D
  15. chrish16

    chrish16 Member

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    LOL

    37 in one room? :D
  16. robh2002

    robh2002 Member

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    I've spent a lot of time looking at various lighting schemes for my house. Personally I cannot stand halogens myself because of their high energy usage and their 'light spot' nature. However, clearly lots of people do like them, but you might want to consider LED lights. NOT the crap B&Q sell, but LUXEONS (check out ebay). They are not cheap, but they will re-pay their costs many times over during their life times. They are also not easily dimmable (but it is possible).

    I have about 10 around the house and mix them with other light types, including 'a' halogen (wife over ruled me!) and compact energy savers.

    They are not as bright as the manufacturers state and I would say a 3W (yes three!) is as bright as a 12W halogen at most. So you'll need lots for general lighting purposes (but why not mix and match?). They cost about £10 each, but remember they will repay that again and again - they WAY longer then any other light.

    Just so you know I feel I have more than enough light around the house and if it is all going at the same time, it's just 250W. Not bad!
  17. PA28

    PA28 Member

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    Yes. Except that 1x100w lightbulb wouldn't light my lounge anyway! The 6 downlighters replaced 2 x 3 arm pendant fittings - each of which has 60w bulbs installed. 3x60=180 180x2=360w. So you can see, I'm actually more environmentally friendly!:thumbsup:
  18. rssteve

    rssteve Member

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    im an electrician and have installed many DL. low volts are brighter and clearly than mains voltage, but if a room needs more than one 100w lamp, i can garantee 6 50w halogens will be no where near as bright, id guess you would need 10, even then there will be no light on the ceiling.
  19. albriscoe

    albriscoe New Member

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    it doesn`t mean to say I have them on all at once, in fact I`d have a permanent tan if I had :D

    they are in different circuits and all controlled by the i-light dimming racks, all are dimmable from off to 90% so never on max. They are on 5 different scenes which you can create to give unbelievable levels of lighting to suite every mood.

    Bloody hell I sound like the sales director here :rolleyes:

    Going back to my initial comment, with a bit of imagination you are able to make a boring room into something to be envious of just with the flick of a switch/ remote

    Al :smashin:
  20. Suggers

    Suggers Member

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    Al - I couldn't agree more.
    Chuck all you can afford into the initial installation, then you have the luxury to choose what you use.
    Just about to start re-building a collapsed 7x5m agricultural barn - primarily as a small recording room - it's struck me after reading tons of these HC installs, I'd be mad not to make it AV as well. We have cut the sound here for Resident Evil II & Being Julia. All the gear you need fits in an old Vovo estate.
    What's the best way to start showing off what I'm doing?
    Start a thread?
    Done a self build here - took me 18mths to get planning (green belt) Bucks 1990 - I WILL NEVER DO IT AGAIN.
    very happy - no kids but been with the lovely Helen for 35 years.....
    Your brilliant story has sort of kicked me up the proverbial.
    Allthe best,
    Mark. :smashin:
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  21. albriscoe

    albriscoe New Member

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    Hi Mark :hiya:

    don`t wanna take over this thread but definatley start a thread on here and load "loads" of pics onto photobucket first then put them on your thread.

    we quite enjoyed doing the self build but must admit every day wasn`t "a joy to experience" if you know what I mean but would do it again

    looking forward to seeing it all develop and send me a pm so I don`t miss it

    cheers Allan :smashin:
  22. Suggers

    Suggers Member

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    Apologies to Sentinal for a slight sidetrack - in a couple of rooms I wasn't sure about, I lashed up a wander lead, gaffered to ceiling, to give me a rough idea of what to expect. HBW's drawing looks pretty good to me.

    Cheers Al - will do....

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