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Recessed lighting layout

I'm getting ready to install recessed lighting in our living room, which is 13'9" x 14'4" with an 8' foot ceiling. The room has no ceiling or wall lighting fixtures currently (only a set of table lamps, which really don't do the job now that the dark days of winter are here). I'm hoping to accomplish some general downlighting that will make the room, well, livable.

I've been trying to do some research on what and how much lighting I need. My current plan (which is subject to change if I hear some good ideas) is to use a set of 6" airtight IC-rated cans. Judging from what I've read ******, I should space the lights about 30 inches away from the walls, and roughly five feet apart from each other to achieve even lighting of the room. My calculations are coming up with nine cans needed. Is that just right, or is it overkill?

Another consideration is that my wife has asked me to set the lights up on a dimmer (which I was planning to do anyway), but she wants the lights on one side of the room to dim independently of the rest of the lights, which probably makes more this complicated.

I understand that if I gang dimmer switches together, I have to de-rate them. I'm figuring that nine 75-watt bulbs are going a dimmer rated for at least 875 watts (675 watts with a 20% over-rating).

I guess this comes down to two questions.... are my requirements (nine cans running 75 watt bulbs) realistic to provide good living room lighting, and does trying to separate the lighting into separate dimming circuits make this too complicated?

Re: Recessed lighting layout

I think 8 lights would do it, 4- 30" from each wall in each corner next two 4' from the wall, so you would have a sqaure of 4 in the middle,that would give you some over lap. Two seperate dimmer switchs, one for each four can. Hope that helps you out.

Re: Recessed lighting layout

Tomn10 has a good plan. Other considerations are: staggering the placement of the four center lights to reduce the "hot spot" effect and add in "visual accent". The reduction of load by splitting to two dimmers and dropping one lamp can be beneficial.

Re: Recessed lighting layout
VintageLights.com wrote:

Hi Cameron,
You did not mention the year / style of your house and since you mentioned you were open to ideas, have you considered using antique or vintage lighting instead of cans? With a little looking you can find them in matching sets and in flush mount. They probably will be more money but they will add charm no can light can.

The house is a fairly vanilla early 70's ranch. The exterior screams 1970s, so I'm hoping to offset that with modern interior fixtures. The interior of the living room is drywall and carpet, so it's a pretty standard box. I replaced the chandelier in the adjoining dining room with brushed nickel halogen chandelier fixture (http://www.lowes.com/pd_8008-82850-34390_4294857056+4294965676_35_?productId=3073383&Ns=p_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_product_quantity_sold|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Contemporary_4294857056%2B4294965676_35_%3FNs%3Dp_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr%7C0%7C%7Cp_product_quantity_sold%7C1&facetInfo=Contemporary) and I'm pretty pleased with it, so I'm hoping something complementary for the living area.

Based on the previous suggestion, I've drawn up a map of the room. Maybe that will help foster some ideas.

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