My kitchen remodeling saga continues. I was planning on using the
Halo 4" 110v cans (the H99 family) for all ceiling lights with
halogens or xenons for undercab lighting. My personal preference is
to NOT put in large 6" cans, but use something smaller with line
voltage. But the PAR20 bulbs are recessed quite a ways into the H99
My concern now is that with a recessed bulb, the light cone will
result in more of a spot than flood. And another website describes
the H99 as good for "accent and task lighting". Halo makes bulb
extenders but I've never used them before. Maybe I'm better off with
6" cans where the bulb face is flush with the trim resulting in a true
downwash general lighting effect.
Has anyone had experience using the H99s for general lighting? Other
small 110v alternatives?
You didn't ask but have you considered the halo 5" cans? If you browse
the halo site (look at the trim data sheets), you will find the area
that can be light by various bulb types at different hieghts (such as
8' for floors, 5.5' for work surfaces). What I didn't like about the
4" hats was the limited wattage and bulbs that you could use. The 5"
can have alot more options. The 6" allowed even higher wattage and
bigger bulbs but are big. I found the 5" size to be a nice compermise.
What I suggest is that you get a couple of cheap extension cords. Cut
the ends off and attach a lamp socket. Using hooks hang the sockets
where you plan on placing the cans and try different bulbs. I found
the r20 bulbs to be poor for general lighting unless you use a lot of
them. From the charts at the halo site, the PAR20 give off greater
light but in a smaller area. They are more like spots as you figured
out. If you go that route you will need alot of them
I think you will find that the 4 inch cans are very inadequate for a
kitchen. Consider the 6 inch cans with the chrome relectors. I have
some 4 inchers and they really only produce accent lighting no matter
what bulb shapes/wattages I use.
I have installed the H99's in several customers kitchens to their liking. I
usually install them as well as the H7's using the counter edge as my
guideline for the fixture center. By doing that you will have great
lighting for the work areas and it also spills into the wall cabinets and
the drawers below. If you want to light the entire kitchen start at the
countertop and create rows from there. If you only have the lights in the
center of the kitchen away from the countertops you will be disappointed in
the results whether you use H99 or H7 cans. In that instance you will
definitely need undercabinet lights. BTW the H7 cans have adjustable
sockets so you can recess the bulb or have it protrude past the ceiling a
bit. I usually set them so the bulb is recessed about an inch. The most
common trim that is requested is the 410 white coilex. I think it is a 993
for the H99.
As an example a few weeks ago I did a job installing undercabinet lights for
a couple that hired a big box store to remodel their kitchen. The
electrician that was sent installed four H99's in the middle of the kitchen.
The floor was very well lit, but there were shadows when you stood in front
of the counter because your head and body blocked the light coming from
behind. They desperately needed the undercabinet lights to have sufficient
lighting on the countertop.
Have you used halogen bulbs before? Some of my customers have said that
they don't like them and prefer the standard incandescent R40 bulb.
Unfortunately a halogen bulb is the only way to get decent output for a
kitchen with an H99.
Personally I suggest the H7 can. You have a greater range of bulbs and
trims that you can use whereas with the H99 you are limited.
Thanks for all of the input. I think the 4" with the recessed bulbs
will result in too many narrow cones of light, dark areas, and
shadows. I've got 5" and 6" cans elsewhere in adjacent rooms so I'll
probably go with 5" cans (H5s). Responders are right that there are
many more options from Halo (and others) for bulb size and depth into
And yes John, the plan calls for a row over the edge of both counters
and a few more in the center to light the center of the room. But
I've read that 6" out from the counter edge will avoid shadows from
open cab doors and reflections into your eyes from high gloss
countertops. Keeping them close will avoid the body shadows that you
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