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Author Topic: Recessed lighting for low clearance applications?  (Read 5374 times)
ilyafish
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« on: November 23, 2008, 03:55:48 PM »

I was thinking of installing recessed lighting in my coach, but raising the roof isnt something i am looking to do. I was going to have cabinets on both sides of the coach, so i was just going to square off the middle section of the roof, giving me a few inches of clearance.

I was at home depot and the smallest recessed lighting housing was about 6 inches tall or so.  Is there any kind of specialty recessed lighting for low clearance?
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Tom Y
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 04:14:23 PM »

I looked at a bus last week that had recessed lights. They just had a metal tray to hold 1 thin light mounted in the ceiling with a plastic lens and trim over it. Maybe 1.5 inches deep and  a 10 inch fluorescent.  Tom y
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 04:18:31 PM »

Iminaccess,
What voltage are you going with? I have some (12 to be exact) 12V 18" Flourescents that are recessed and withdrawn they are only 2" thick (deep?) 6"X20"  Not sure exactly what you've got in mind, but these are available through most RV outlets for around $30. each. Wood trim that screws to the ceiling and plexi lenses finish off the visible part. I think they're pretty standard units, Will
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ilyafish
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2008, 04:43:54 PM »

im looking for 120v
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Blacksheep
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2008, 05:03:11 PM »

I have a local source for 3 inch round puck lights that are 12v in chrome, gold, nickel
Pretty flat when installed. I have 9 of them in my ceiling and 3 on my steps coming in the bus.
15.00 each the last time I got them!
Ace
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2008, 05:31:09 PM »

check out--> http://www.itc-rv.com/ovrhdctsy1008.html
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2008, 05:56:10 PM »

Try thin lite  http://www.thinlite.com/ I have 4 of them in the kitchen area of my coach with a custom made frame and defuser on them. It protrudes from the center of the ceiling 2" and 1 1/2" on the outside edge. The fixture with 8 florescent tubes/ 4 thin light fixtures mounted inside is 28" X 48". Lots of light but a single fixture could be used along the center of the coach. A single fixture is 6 1/2" X 20 1/2" and has 1" sticking out from the roof. I just checked their web site and they are all 12 volt.
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JimC
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2008, 06:13:37 PM »

iminaccess,
I did basically what you are talking about doing, I dropped the center down 3/12 inches, I probably could have gotten by with less than 3 inches but I wanted to set the LED lights along the side for indirect lighting. You will see in the pics that I used fluorescent fixtures from home depot, if I remember correctly they are only about 1 3/4 inches high without the ugly plastic cover on them. I mounted them directly to the ceiling and then I used white grid light covers under them to hide them. You don't really see them unless you stand under and look directly up, and with them working they are too bright to look at. I have no problem running them off of the modified sine wave inverter, there are actually two bulbs for each fixture and they are plenty bright.
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« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 06:16:14 PM by JimC » Logged

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cody
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2008, 07:41:23 PM »

I have 12 volt and 120 lights recessed into not only my ceilings but hidden under overhangs and under my dinette seats, the pic isn't very good but looking toward the back of the bus you can see the ceiling light, that one is 120 and is flush to the ceiling, you can also see the accent lighting shining under the dinette seats.


http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=4621.0
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ilyafish
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2008, 08:11:19 PM »

looks good to me guys...my only thing, and i have a feeling its going to come down to a beggers cant be choosers situation is i do prefer halogen lights or something that would work with a dimmer....i know with fluorescent lights that is not the case unless your looking for a strobe light show haha
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Blacksheep
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2008, 08:31:45 PM »

The puck lights I mentioned are halogen and I'm sure you could put a dimmer in line somehow.

Ace
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ilyafish
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2008, 09:25:34 PM »

blacksheep,

do you have a picture of those lights?

sounds pretty much what i am looking for
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2008, 11:16:36 PM »

I have 5 surfact mounted halogen puck lights that have 10 watt Zenon lights in them.  Have 4 more over the side of the sofa and Dinette.  Very pleased with them-will use LED when they get bright enough.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2008, 02:37:54 PM »

Have you considered indirect lighting?  You can also put track lighting in places that you don't need the headroom.
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Blacksheep
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2008, 07:12:50 PM »

Sorry for the delay in answering your post as I have been pretty busy but I found this pic that might give you an idea as to what I used! The 3 lights in the back divider are regular halogen puck TYPE lights from HD. The other 6 that you can see in the ceiling are the ones I am talking about! There is actually 9 of them, with 3 in each row. I just realized ONE of the 9 was out during this picture but they all are working now! HMM!

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« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 07:14:36 PM by Blacksheep » Logged
WEC4104
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2008, 07:52:16 PM »

The attached photo shows a close up view of the puck lights that are available at Home Depot, Lowes, and other home supply stores.  I have seen them with white housings, bright gold housings, and antique brass. I have a few mounted to the underside of my kitchen cabinets, and find they really do a nice job of lighting up the counter surface.

They do heat up, so you need to be careful about adjacent materials.  The lights themselves run off of 12V, but the package that comes from the store includes a 120 -> 12 transformer.  The set that I have installed has the transformer buried in a hidden area of the cabinet.

I have another area near my dinette that I have future plans to install more of these lights.  Since my bus does not have an inverter, I am thinking about getting a bit creative with the wiring.  Using a three position switch, I'll set it up as follows:  In the center position, the lights are off.  Throw the switch one direction and the lights will connect directly to my house battery 12V source.  In the other position, the lights will draw power from the 120VAC shore power/generator after passing through the 120->12 transformer.

Also, there are several different bults that fit the puck lights.  Mine came with 20 watt halogen bulbs. You can also buy 10 watt halogens that fit the fixture.  There are also Xenon bulbs that fit, and these are supposed to run cooler.  I put a Xenon bulb in one of mine to try it.  I could not see a noticeable difference in the amount of light or heat however.
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ilyafish
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2008, 09:05:20 PM »

Blacksheep....that is a fantastic looking coach that you have!

Wec.....i was actually looking at those today at lowes.  I believe that is what i am going to go with.  How hot exactly do they get? I was considering cutting out circular holes in a piece of plywood for the lights, and then upholstering it so that they would look flush with the ceiling.  Do they get hot enough to where that would not be a good idea? 

Chances are i will replace them with 10 watt bulbs since i will be running all my house power from a 4.5 kilowatt inverter as that is all i have right now and if i can utilize it that would be ideal, and since i will be installing these throughout my coach, the 10 watts saved with each bulb will add up quickly.
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« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2008, 04:26:20 AM »

I don't have a temperature figure to quote you, but if I recall correctly, the packaging did include some warnings about placing flammable items too close.  Mounting them up against plywood should be okay, but I don't know what upolstery material you will be using or how close that will be. That might be worth checking out before you get to far into things.  For the cost of a set of lights, you might just try buying a set and wiring them up on a workbench to get a feel for the heat.

Switching to the 10 watt bulbs is not a bad idea, or you could also install a dimmer and run them at lower power when not connected to shore power. 
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