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DOWNLIGHTERS; What Type? Low or Mains? Magnetic or Electronic?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by Xstyle, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    This is my room:
    ___________________________
    I.................Garage.................I
    I...........................................I
    I..Internal Door...........................I
    _ _ _ _______________________I _ _ _
    I.................Plasma...................Stairs I
    I...................................................I
    I...................................................I__________
    I....................................................................I
    I..Corner Suite....................................Dining...........I
    I..Sofa Along Here................................Table...........I
    I___________________________________________I

    <<<---------- Width 262" or 667cm ----------->>>

    I have normal lights that are on a dimmer at the moment, seperated in 2 cicuits: 1 x Lounge, 1 x Dining Area.

    I want to replace these with downlighters.
    Maybe 9 lights in lounge area, and maybe 6 in the dining area (?)

    What downlighters are best?
    Low voltage (magnetic or electronic) or Mains voltage?


    I am also considering something like Lutron or Berker ... or indeed anything that will give me automated lighting via the dimmer on the wall, and via the Proton remote control (that also controls my AV gear).
    So needs to be compatible.

    :lease:
     
  2. Mango Bob

    Mango Bob
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    Considering the fun I've just had with low-voltage halogens in my bathroom - if you want them silent and dimmable, DON'T go for low-voltage!

    See here:
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189094

    If someone here knows how to make low-voltage halogens silent, please help!
     
  3. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    After reading that, I think Mains voltage would be best!
    Unless somebody begs to differ?

    They will be on dimmers...
     
  4. Johnny Thunder

    Johnny Thunder
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    Personally, if I was going to use dimmers, I would install mains voltage spots.
    Also bear in mind the effect that lights close to your display will have.
    You may want to put the spots nearest to the display, on a different switch/dimmer. That way, you can have room lighting on, but not over the plasma.
    Are you doing the lighting yourself X.

    Johnny.
     
  5. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    I'm no way doing it myself! hahaha

    I thought about a different circuit for the lights near the plasma, for that reason. Or I could just turn them off, and have them dimmed?
    Especially if the lights are on in the dining area ... it's not a big room and the light would shine across.... (?)

    I'd do it if it wasn't going to be more expensive...
     
  6. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    MAW said to me ages ago that the automated lighting options I should look at are:
    Can't remember the rest of my conversation :rolleyes:
    Would these still be ok on Mains & dimmer, and work well with a Proton remote?

    ...same for Lutron, and other makes...?
     
  7. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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  8. Gixer750

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    I would recommend the Futronix P400. I have just installed one of these using Mains voltage Downlighters (17 in total) running off 4 circuits.
    I think you have to be careful with the low voltage versions something about the dimming, (leading edge or something)...
    No Problems with these. Apart from the 150Meters of electrical cables in my ceiling :rolleyes:
     
  9. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    Thanks Gixer... I am leaning toward the P400 ...and its smaller than the Grafik Eye!

    Where did you get your mains voltage downlighters from? Price etc etc
    Cheers.
     
  10. Gixer750

    Gixer750
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    Got my downlighters from a small but excellent little electrical retailers about 10 mins walk from me. (AJ Electricals I think).

    Because I ordered so many, I got the lot for c. £2 each with 50watt bulbs c. £1.50 each.
    I will lookup the make and model of them when I get home tonight.
    I have 16 straight 70mm downlighters and 1 angled 80mm downlight towards an alcove. all are brushed chrome colour.

    The Futronix P400 I brought direct from them as they are based in Caterham, and I simply took a 15min drive. Hard to find them though. They have converted a small house, worth the trip though. The guy could demonstrate the various models and show me some of the wiring for it.

    Just remember that you NEED a Neutral at the switch.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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  12. Gixer750

    Gixer750
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    Look similar to item no 125789.

    On the ceiling they look fantastic.

    It's not difficult to wire them, but if your unsure GET AN ELECTRICIAN.
    Haven't the laws changed recently anyway meaning that any electrical work you have done needs to be certified.
    Not too sure about that, I got a friend of mine to help me, he is just passing he's final exam, and so did the work for me free of charge, just so long as I could get it inspected. All PASSED and he's now a fully qualified electricial. so :thumbsup: all round!!!!

    Good luck
     
  13. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    http://www.audiovisiononline.co.uk/....google.co.uk%2Fsearch?hl=en&q=futronix&meta=

    Audio Vision Online who sell all the brands, advised that Rako is the best liughting you can have, and its more or less wireless.

    Need to put an "in-line dimmer" to all the switches that you want controlled, then the main control panel talks to all of them (within 100 metres).

    :confused:

    I want something with a security feature that programs all the lights on and off when no one is in. With Rako, this has more possibilities than any other.
    http://www.digitalhomemag.com/revie...d=19282&subsectionid=1307&subsubsectionid=967

    Even more undecided now!
     
  14. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    Dismissed Rako now... on grounds its RF and IR is easier for lighting when programming into a universal remote (...thanks to MAW's advice on that).

    So Lutron or Futronix.

    I need to decide on which bulbs & fittings I require. No need for adjustables, so will get fixed... from the following?

    LOW VOLTAGE:

    (MR8) Overall 48mm, Cut-out 44mm, 35w max
    £6.50 white, Polished Chrome £8.17, Satin Nickel £9.17, Satin Silver £9.17

    (MR11) Overall 59mm, Cut-out 52mm, 35w max
    White £5.83, Polished Chrome £7.50, Satin Nickel £8.50, Satin Silver £8.50, Gun Metal £8.50

    (MR16) Overall 80mm, Cut-out 70mm, 50w max
    White £7.50, Polished Chrome £9.83, Satin Nickel £10.50

    MAINS VOLTAGE:

    (Gz/GU10) Overall 80mm, Cut-out 70mm, 50w max
    White £8.17, Polished Chrome £9.83, Satin Nickel £9.83, Satin Silver £10.83


    Adjustable lights in each of the above are more expensive... don't see why these would be needed if I don't want to highlight anything on a wall...?
     
  15. vex

    vex
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    Rako do do a IR to RF convertor for their system allong with curtain, blind or even screen triggers.

    Other options include a timer module and there is a internet web server coming soon as well.
     
  16. Gixer750

    Gixer750
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    I would definatly recomend getting mains voltage over low voltage.


    The Futronix has this programmable option also.
     
  17. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    Update:

    I got Electronic Low Voltage Dimmable Transformers, made by Aurora.... who are known for their quality; and are "induction load compatible".
    (I got them for an absolute bargain price, so couldn't refuse!)

    Rako is almost certainly easier and inexpensive to install compared with Lutron or Futronix, as no neutral is required at the main control panel.

    Can anybody advise where is the best/cheapest place to buy??
     
  18. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    How much would it roughly cost to convert 2 lights on seperate circuits, and install 13 downlighters on 3 circuits?

    (cables have to negotiate past joists in the ceiling etc)
     
  19. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    BULB's Projection Angle

    I have MR16 bulbs for my downlighters. I believe they are 38 degree angle, come close to that as standard??

    I need wider please... where can I get these from? and whats my options?

    :lease
     
  20. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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  21. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    I got the 50 degree bulbs from Euro Batteries... cheaper than most places I could find.

    10 bulbs delivered was £17.75
     
  22. Zog

    Zog
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    OK a quick post for free when I would normally charge my customers £35/hr.

    Low voltage over mains voltage EVERY time.

    Why?

    The option of 4 lamp wattges (outputs), 5 beam angles, 3 colours, 3 different lamp lifes (all of which are vastly superior to MV) and lower lamp prices.

    The key though boys and girls is a QUALITY ELECTRONIC TRANSFORMER. These will operate all lamp types and dim successfully and quietly off quality controls.

    Why the fek people think it appropriate to spend £400+ on a top of the range Lutron dimmer then put £10 luminaire/transformer/lamp packages on the end is a mystery. Would you lot buy a £700 Denon amp and ask it to run a £50 speaker package from Maplin ?

    A bit more advice for the masses......

    Light the walls well, but use wall-washers rather than eyeballs. Seperate circuits for the wall-washers from the central downlights, and make the former fairly wide beam (typically 60deg) and the latter a tad tighter (maybe 24deg.)

    As sombody else has pointed out, keep lights well away from the plasma, but do light (subtly) the wall on either side.

    Also make sure that any wall lights on the opposite wall to the screen can be dimmed/switched to reduce reflections.

    If you need any help sourcing stuff PM me......... its my job you know ttfn :hiya:
     
  23. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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  24. Zog

    Zog
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    For this read.......

    "I would definatly recomend getting my clothes from Ethel Austin"
     
  25. compolitus

    compolitus
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    Hi
    If you want to use good quality LV transformers use Mode ET55/105 or equivalent. They are a bit more expensive but pretty quiet. Be aware that ordinary mains lamps can also 'sing' when connected to dimmers.
     
  26. Zog

    Zog
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    Yep..... agree with Mode.

    Would also recommend IBL and the Osram Mouse. As with most things in life, you generally get what you pay for.
     
  27. pharding

    pharding
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    I have almost finished a flat re-development using rako system for every room and gu10 lamps / led, Thought you might be interested to hear my experiences with the rako and gu10's

    Rako was very easy to install, with totally slient dimmers and very linear when dimming. The control panels are very neat, i have used the pc programmer as its easier, probably worth the money on a largish house.

    In the lounge, 6 mains gu10 lamps, in illuma eye ball downlighters (in silver grey so the fittings do not yellow with heat, as white does), all with rako250c dimmers on each lamp. I Used gu10 lamps as easer to install as no transformer, however they are not very dimmable - around 100% to 50% on the rako is visible. They also throw a lot of heat out the front of the lamp (certainy more than low voltage), the light is also very orangy/yellowy as opposed to white halogen and only gets worse as it is dimmed. Not sure i would use gu10 again if money was no object, but works here.

    Also in lounge rako to dmx controller, controling tryka led link light module for backlighting glass brick wall. Works a treat, allthough you would have to dedicate 1 panel to led contol if you want to run a slow fade between colours on it (i just have static looks controlled by lounge panel)

    Also in lounge on a 5a outlet socket a Ikea work light for reading, hid the rako dimmer unit in ceiling.

    Control in each room is via local panel (rcp07) or ir to rako adapter - allows pronto or similar to control system.

    Kitchen, 4 downlighters, under cupboard lights and plinth lights all individually controlled.

    Bathroom, 4 ip65 downlighters, dimmed in 2 sets to allow mood in room, ie dim over bath bright rest of room

    Bedroom, 5 downlighters and bedside lights on individual channels.

    Hall, 3 downlighters and whole house panel - this allows wholehouse to jump to scene 1-4 on each rooms individual panel/channels when i walk in the door.

    HTH on making your decision. Basically a very good system and gives maximum control with easy fitting, ie no wiring at light switch and good for retro fits therefore.

    any questions please ask

    Pete.
    A reformed ex-sparky
     
  28. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    I've used low voltage, and it dims to almost 0% !!
    Perfect!!
    ...and when the lighting is on full, u may need to turn the central heating down!
     

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