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Number of downlighters ?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by smallangryboy, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. smallangryboy

    smallangryboy
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    I'm starting renovations on our new home with an eye to including a HC in the lounge, unfortunately that part is a low priority, but I'm hoping to fit a nice lighting system in there anyway.

    It's a period property, so has slightly higher ceilings in the lounge and dining room. This aside I'm first going to fit halogen downlighters in the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen but I've no idea how many I need.

    Is there a rule of thumb about the number of downlighters you need taking into account the space between each and power, or is it just a guestimate based on room size ?
     
  2. Zog

    Zog
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    Theres an unhealthy obsession on here with downlighters.

    Its not big and its not clever.

    Consider this...... Just how much time do you spend looking at the floor ?

    You judge a space by the illumination levels on the verticals. Be they the walls or people's faces. You even tilt a magazine/paper up to read. Possibly the only time you need to blast light down, is when you are eating or vaccing the carpet.

    My advice is to concentrate on the walls and other vertical surfaces, with a combination of wall-lights, ceiling recessed wall-washers, wall mounted uplighters, table mounted reading lamps, floor mounted standard lamps or floor recessed uplighters. Ideally combining 3 of these elements. The best mix would depend upon whether the room will have other uses.

    Then add minimal recessed downlights for cleaning or when you need to work on your gear etc.
     
  3. compolitus

    compolitus
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    Hi There

    I agree with zog but some downlighters, especially 12v units, give a nice crisp white light which looks good if the lamps are placed reasonably close together along the edge of the room. This makes a good arc wallwash effect and, on light painted walls, provides good non-glare background lighting. If you use them though adhere to the LV lamp/transformer safety instructions.
    I can asure you by experience too many ceiling downlighters look terrible. Some lighting manufactures have web sites where you can calculate the light distribution.
     
  4. Zog

    Zog
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    Yeh..... and the reason that technique looks cool is because it is doing exactly what I suggest. i.e. lighting the walls.

    It can be improved further by making the light source itself invisible. i.e. using a wall-wash fitting rather than a downlighter.

    Just a quick note re. the "crisp white light". Halogen light sources are actually quite warm in appearance, roughly 2700K. Dichroic lamps are slightly cooler (~3000K) as the dichroic coating allows the heat, in the form of the red light within its spectrum to pass through the back of the lamp.

    However there are now dichroic lamps with a truly cool and crisp appearance available. They have a colour temperature of 4000/4500K dependant upon the manufacturer.
     

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