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Old 01-17-2010, 08:40 PM
jmercer jmercer is offline
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uplighting question

I am having a porch built and need some electrical advice. THe build out has open rafter / vaulted "ceilings" and I want to install some uplights.

I want something that's low profile and "hide-able" however most of what I've seen are landscaping lights. Those would work great, but from what I understand b/c they're low voltage I would need to install a transformer (which seems to be a couple hundred bucks).

And advice on a light that can connected to good ole 110 without needing anyting special?
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:45 PM
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what kind of lights are you installing? are they 120v, 24v, 12v? how much power will your lights need to operate off of the respective voltage? give me some info. on what you got and i will try to assist.
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:26 AM
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I would pick the lights you want then put dimmers on them.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:13 AM
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most of the uplighting i have seen is cove lighting. depending on where you are hiding them will dictate what kind of lights you can use. the cove lighting i have seen mostly utilizes fluorescent lighting because more often than not, they are trying to light up a linear area. fluorescents come in all sized to the nearest 1/2 foot. typical fluorescents won't accept a dimmer. i think dimmable lamps are availabe but very expensive.
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:38 PM
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I'm not really sure the landscape lights would be UL listed for indoor installation.... Something to look at anyway...Transformers, etc. get hot, will need replaced, etc.: you'd do better just finding the real deal.. Most uplights actually are just pretty plain fluorescent strips hidden from view behind woodwork: they even make them specifically for the purpose..
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:03 AM
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The "best" lighting will be dimmable fluorescent strip lighitng. Expect to pay $20 per foot from a commercial wholesaler (Summers, Graybar, Wholesale Electric, etc.). You also have to buy a fluorescent dimmer (about $100). One step down would be incandescent. More work, but install junction boxes with socket holders in your cove. The closer you put these together, the more even the effect. A standard incandescent dimmer will control these. The easiest solution is to put white christmas tree lights in the cove. You need a receptacle to plut them into. I believe a standard incandescent dimmer will work with them, but I have never tried it. We have done this with over the cabinet lights in a kitchen and they have performed well for years.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:40 PM
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Some good quality LED lights with a dimmer would be the way to go.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:36 AM
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For the do it yourself person, use rope light, its so easy a cave man can do it and its cheap. I usually install these in residential homes because most people want to install and leave alone. I do have this in my home now for 10 years with no issues and they are on a dimmer.

Pros- very little heat, any color you want, cheap, and most can be dimmable.
Cons- you can have a 1' section go bad, lets say in the middle, then you either have to splice it or replace it.

The ones in the pics I try to sell to my commercial customers and any customer that money isn't an issue. These are xenon light rope. They are a low voltage system with individual lamps are installed about every 6".

Pro- a perfect cove lighting system, lamps easily replaced
Cons- very expensive up front, you shouldn't touch lamp with fingers at any time, dust will settle on lamps and possible smolder, if too close to a painted wall it will discolor paint

****As with any electrical project, I always recommend hiring a Electrical Contractor, even just for advice, that way they can put their eyes on the project. Most Electrical Contractors are up on the Electrical Code and they are Licensed and Insured.
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