Kitchen-diner lighting tips /advice

We're having an extension built which will create a largish kitchen diner (42 sq m!). I'm interested in experiences with various lighting options. Specifically:
- I like the light which halogen spots throw out (more 'theatrical') but due to the ceiling arrangement cannot have a transformer. You can get 240v halogens these days - but are they OK / safe for use in ceilings? Halogens get quite hot! - If I understand correctly, it will soon be impossible to buy anything else but low-energy bulbs. Does this have any implications for choosing the lighting options? - Any experiences with low energy halogen spot replacements? I've seen you can even get dimmable ones these days, which would be ideal - so that we can vary the brightness between the kitchen part and the diner part etc.. - I have a few low-energy lights of various sorts in the existing house. Some seem to go bright pretty quickly, whereas others (spots) start as bright as a candle and meander their way through to acceptable brightness in up to 10 minutes! I could not cope with the latter in a kitchen!
Experiences, advice and suggestions most welcome! Thanks.
Pete
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On Thu, 13 Mar 2008 12:23:25 +0000, Peter Boulton wrote:

I would say that if you have room for 240v halogens then you should have room for 24v halogens with transformers. The transformers can be remarkably small now - and you don't need to have them directly next to the lights anyway. The life of 24v halogens with a soft-start transformer is *way* longer than 240v types. Depending on the transformer they can be dimmable with a standard dimmer too.
My son has a couple of GU10 based high efficiency spot replacements. They seem to reach full brightness in about 2-3mins. As you say though, the light isn't as "theatrical"! They are also rather bulky and not particularly nice-looking.
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Mick (Working in a M$-free zone!)
Web: http://www.nascom.info http://mixpix.batcave.net
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Thanks Mick. The problem with the transformers is where to put them to get access in case they fail. My builder is trying to steer me clear of them! The info on lo-energy spots is v helpful - the `theatrical` light thing is quite important.
So do we all need to stockpile non-lo-energy bulbs? The lo-energy ones still don`t seem to deliver on all fronts.
Pete
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I've just had some halogen spots put in by a spark when my loft was getting a refit. I didn't realise they were 12V with a transformer until I went to remove the unit in order to paint around it.
I couldn't believe the size of the transformer, it is tiny and you need one with each light plus it is silent. http://tinyurl.com/2px8nt The last time I put 12V halogens in a ceiling for my parents, the transformer was the size and weight of a brick and buzzed like hell and I was struggling for a suitable place to locate it.
Steven.
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On Mar 13, 4:51 pm, "Peter Boulton" <peter@data*no- spam*perceptions.co.uk> wrote:

Your builder is giving you bad advice. Stick to the 12V lights - the transformers are tiny and fit in the hole behind the lamp. If ever you need to replace a transformer, just pull on the cable and it will come back out of the hole.
Steve
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As far as I know the only bulbs being "phased out" are the normal "GLS" 40-60-100W bulbs. I don't think there is any suggestion that halogen spots etc are going to disappear.
Tim Mitchell
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stevelup wrote:

Builders are rarely lighting experts. A few of these articles will answer your Qs and more: http://www.wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=Category:Lighting
NT
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On Mar 13, 12:23 pm, "Peter Boulton"

LV halogen as suggested, its 12V rather than 24V though.
Possibly consider light pipes http://www.tubzzz.com first one google came up with.
Adam
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On Thu, 13 Mar 2008 22:38:52 -0700, Adam Aglionby wrote:
<snip>

Good point! Mine are, indeed, 12v. I have a couple of odd 24v 50W units too though that take the "capsule" bulbs. They came with a *huge* 400VA (IIRC) torroid in a case, with terminals & fuses to feed a load of such bulbs. Well, they were being thrown out... :-)
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