Downlights Project

G

griffbabe

Hi All,

Hope to make plenty of use of this forum over the next few weeks, I'm working on a recording studio project.

One part of the project involves building a box for downlighting that I'll fix to the ceiling.

My queries are simple but if you can answer them it'll help me out.

I'm replacing 3 tube strip lights running off one light switch, space was formerly a portacabin.
In their place will be two downlight enclosures each with 6 downlight units.

I want to be able to dim them

So...

1) do I have to use a transformer if I want to use dimmer?
I found some ready made units that could dim but I didnt see any transformers.

2) The original wall switch served 3 units, would the dimmer dim all units that were hanging off this switch or are there other considerations?

Anything obvious I should know? Otherwise seems a pretty simple task.

Many thanks
Jon
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
28 Jul 2006
Messages
21,143
Reaction score
2,262
Location
Oxfordshire
Country
United Kingdom
Oh dear,

I fear you are in line for some trouble from certain elements here.
So, I'll start off.

These downlights that you have seen.

You say a total of 12 downlights.
Lets say they are 50watts each

so. Thats 600watts of energy used to replace the existing lighting of three fluourescent tubes using a total of about 150watts.

So, 4 times more energy used. (There goes some more icebergs and polar bears)
And the light will be much worse. Lets hope you don't want to see too much.

Now we need to look at the supply. Do you have a spare 2.5 amps of currect available on your lighting circuit?

Then there's the dimmer (I'm wondering why you need to have all those lights and them make them dim?)
You'll need to find a 1000watt dimmer for that lot.

Positive footnote: with all those lights, at least you won't need to turn the heating on!
 
Joined
27 Jan 2008
Messages
19,953
Reaction score
1,953
Location
Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
Country
United Kingdom
1) You should not dim quartz halogen lamps as the whole idea is to keep the envelope super hot so the tungsten will not migrate to the envelope. You can dim them but the life will be short if you do.
2) In the main transformers for extra low voltage lights have been replaced with inverter units which are designed to maintain the voltage so extend the life of a quartz halogen lamp. Although by using a matching unit leading or lagging as case may be you can dim them it would again be rather pointless better using a low voltage (230v) lamp instead.
3) Most lamps change colour when dimmed so often instead multi-switching is used adding more or less lamps as required. Also this means LED and Discharge lighting (fluorescent or compact fluorescent) can be used.

There are of course special lamps for studio lighting but for photography flash is the main method as it give loads of light without the heat the lamps come as combined units giving enough light to set up but which loads extra for the photo.

For some subjects there is a problem for example motor drive where the flash just can't keep up with the camera but these are specials.
 
Sponsored Links
G

griffbabe

Yes, recording studio, not photographic.
I thought I'd wade in heavy on the lamp count to see what bearing this would have probably I'll run one unit with 4 lamps possibly a secondary unit with 2 for the main room and maybe a third running 4 lamps in the second office if I can be bothered to make them!

I would like to run them all off the one switch as originally configured.

Thats ideally what I'd like to do but I'd also like to avoid creating too much of a headache over it, was hoping to do it with some off the shelf products and useing present configuration as much as possible.

What could I comfortably achieve here where there were 3 strip lights?
What if I left the dimming aspect for now?
 
G

griffbabe

Anyone able to help?

- replacing strip lights with 6 downlights.
Original config was 3 striplights with 58 watt tubes fitted running off single light switch.
Are there any obvious problems here?

Second Q: can I then replace switch with dimmer?

Thanks, hopefully I've made the question abit clearer.

G
 
S

SaladFingers

Anyone able to help?

- replacing strip lights with 6 downlights.
Original config was 3 striplights with 58 watt tubes fitted running off single light switch.
Are there any obvious problems here?

Second Q: can I then replace switch with dimmer?

Thanks, hopefully I've made the question abit clearer.

G

Most switches can handle 6A.

With many downlights, it may be worth considering having two or three seperate banks which are individually switched.

Dimmers, check with the specifications, some handle 200watts, some 400watts, some don't like inductive loads, if for some reason you want 12v ones, for what ever reason it is that people do.
 
Joined
21 Sep 2009
Messages
4,496
Reaction score
339
Location
West Midlands
Country
United Kingdom
Be careful with dimmers in a recording studio - they can cause a buzz that can be picked up by sensitive recording equipment.
 
S

SaladFingers

Be careful with dimmers in a recording studio - they can cause a buzz that can be picked up by sensitive recording equipment.

Very true!

If going for dimmers, install them outside of the 'studio' away from microphones, guitar pickups etc.
 
G

griffbabe

Dimming would be for the control room, useful for helping to create a relaxed, focused mix session.

It does sound like I might regret trying to do this, I've next to no experience with electrics.

Ok so plan a: proceed with downlight design 4 downlights , no dimmer - do I need a transformer for that?

Should that be ok?

Or should I just go plan b: buy off the shelf lights and replace 1 for 1?
 
Joined
27 Aug 2003
Messages
69,782
Reaction score
2,884
Location
London
Country
United Kingdom
I struggle to see how small halogen spotlights and a relaxed ambience are not highly mutually exclusive....
 

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

 
Sponsored Links
Top