What type recessed lighting to get?

Hello All, Thanks in advance for any advice.
Here's my situation;
I want to put in recessed lighting in my living room. My friend the electrician said he would help and I should go to Home depot and buy the lights I like.
Problem; I am a girl with NO recessed lighting experience. Went to home depot, to discover there are different kinds of recessed lighting... who would have thunk it.
More info; there is an attic space above the living room with easy access. Insulation up there. The pink panther kind.
What type should I get if I want to save on electric bill? And if those are too expensive, the affordable kind? Would like to stay under $300 for everything.
Do they need to be on a dimmer switch? And what else do I have to buy to just go home and install these. Thanks, Annette
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On Jun 26, 2:29 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Did you want to get just a single recess light? Or did you want a system of multiple recess lights (like four smaller lights; one for each corner of the room)?
I don't have any recess lights. But if I were to put in a system, I'd consider the following:
1. Type of light bulb. Did you want to use regular incandicent, fluorescent, halogen, etc.? This decision kind of depends on how bright you want your living room to be, color, electricity, etc.
2. Does it use a regular light bulb socket? With a regular light bulb socket, you can pick from various different light bulbs based on color and electricity saving. And easier to find bulbs.
Anyway, if you provide a more detail description of what you want, we can provide more input.
Chieh -- http://www.SkilledChefs.com /
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Maybe you should go to a house that has recessed lighting, and if you like it, ask them about it and take notes.
Personally, I find recessed lighting too focused and not ambient enough. It makes a room feel cave-like. But that's just me.
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Annette --
There are different models for (a) new construction and (b) existing construction, and different models depending upon whether (a) the ceiling has insulation or (b) doesn't have insulation. They also come in several diameters, which can use different sizes of light bulbs.
The recessed lights come in two parts, the housing and the trim, for each of the conditions above. The housing is the basic unit that gets wired into your house. The trim is the part that conceals the installation and makes the light attractive and/or functional. One housing can accept many differernt styles of trim, depending upon your requirements.
Your decisions will be based on the physical factors of your house (ie, existing construction, either insulated or not) and the effect you are trying to achieve. You may want a simple downlight -- essentially a bulb in a can in the ceiling -- or you may be trying to highlight one wall (special trim, or perhaps an eyeball style). Your bulb choices include conventional, halogen, compact flourescent, etc.,. and in most cases you will probably want them to be dimmable, since they frequently will not be your main source of light (e.g., in living rooms or bedrooms, where you're likely to have reading lights, TV, etc.) In our case, we have CFL bulbs in 3 3/4" fixtures over the kitchen work area, not dimmable. In the Master Bedroom we have two eyeball trim units which light up the wall around the fireplace , and two other downlights that are available as reading lights over the bed. These are all dimmable.
Be careful with your planning for the light locations. Don't put a recessed light in an area where a ceiling fan blade might interfere with the light -- the "strobe" effect will mean you never can have them both on at the same time. Similarly, be careful around furniture -- you don't want your room to feel like you're sitting under a spotlight getting the 3rd degree, and you don't want a light forward of your favorite chair so that it distracts you or shines in your eyes. Using Google, I found more information at http://www.elights.com/downlights.html . There were lots of hits, and this was just the first one I looked at.
Not to slight Home Depot or Lowes, but consider going to a local lighting shop where you're much more likely to find someone very knowledgeable about all of your options. They may or may not be more expensive than the big box stores, but making the right choices will be worth it. -- Regards --
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I prefer the Halo brand as it has been around since I was a helper working for my dad. They have quite a selection of trims to choose from and Home Depot does sell some models. The two most common are the H7 and the H99. I am not a big fan of low voltage though I admit that they have a nice look.
The H7RT is a six inch diameter can approximately 7.5 inches tall and is used for remodeling when a ceiling is already in place.. With an R40 bulb you will get a nice spread of light.
The H99RT is a 4" diameter light approximately 5.5 inches high. With a 50 watt PAR20 bulb you will get sufficient light, but the beam spread will not be as wide as the H7. It will tend to have a more dramatic look. The H99 with a trim and halogen bulb will cost about twice as much as the H7.
You should make a drawing of your anticipated layout and consider what you want the lighting for. Reading, homework, entertaining, watching TV, etc. Then decide what to get.
You will get better advice at a lighting showroom then you will get at a home center. Shop around for the best price. Lighting showrooms and electrical supply companies are able to make deals and will do so if you buy small quantities. Just be careful of off brands. I have seen some electrical contractors install cheap trims and find out two years later that they turn yellow.
In addition to the lights you will need wire (Usually 14/2 Romex), connectors (Romex connectors), wirenuts, switch box, switch or dimmer, and tools to perform the installation. Some Halo models come with built-in cable clamps and wire connectors.
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