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Old 09-19-2010, 07:21 PM   #1
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Replacing Ceiling Florescent Lights w/Recessed Halogen?

I really HATE the overhead florescent lighting in my Ellipse and would love to replace them with the recessed halogen (or led) lighting on dimmers. I think my A/C ducting will serve as a good place to route the wires but will still have to:

1) cut holes in the ceiling to house the recessed lights.
2) fish wire through the ceiling from where the existing fixtures
are to the recessed lights.
3) find a way to cover the ceiling area where the florescent fixtures currently are.

So, has anyone done this or heard of it being done? Any tips on how to fish wires through the styrofoam ceiling insulation?

Thanks in advance...

Rick
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:24 AM   #2
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Hi Rick
have not done it - but very much dislike the lighting; way too harsh!

my question is;
can the "bulbs" (tubes) be replaced with something else?
I know for the office setting there are different "bulbs" (tubes) available that provide softer lighting.

regards, peter
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:38 AM   #3
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I could not agree more - I also hate the florescent light fittings in our coach. I would have changed them a long time ago if I could find a nice way to hide the old "foot print" in the ceiling.

I have seen that some folks have had wooden "base plates" made and have inserted halogen lights into these. If I had ready access to some nice wood and a good quality router it wouldn't all that difficult to produce the needed baseplate.

Maybe they can be found ready made somewhere?
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Can the "bulbs" (tubes) be replaced with something else
The fluorescent tube can be replaced with any other that will fit. They don't come in 12v or 120v ...it is the ballast in the fixture that determines the voltage. And if you cannot find a color of fluorescent that suits you, there are now some good LED lights that go in just like the fluorescent tubes do, available in white or warm white and 12" or 18". I just saw some neat ones at a rally from Kinzer Enterprises. They had all kinds of LEDs, and we finally found some good emough to replace our incandescent reading bulbs that we are constantly replacing.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:46 AM   #5
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Man, I am with you 1000% on this one buddy. I've tried a couple different colors of bulbs and they still annoy the #$%^ out of me. Haven't tried the LED lights though. I'll be anxious to see if someone comes up with a clever solution.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:55 AM   #6
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I'll take any fluorescent lights you guys don't want. Please. I'll pay for shipping.
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:29 AM   #7
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Here is my solution. It's a real project but the lighting is much better. I ran the wires through the A/C duct and installed a set of three switches in the ceiling just forward of the ceiling panels. I bought the diffuser material from McMaster Carr.
McMaster-Carr

Link to more pictures. http://cid-ae67fff392766057.photos.l...ling%20Project

Dick
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:46 AM   #8
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Thanks all and great job Dick! That looks great. Did you build the ceiling panel yourself?

Rick
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:32 AM   #9
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Clearance to slide

Looks good to me. Just watch how far your slide/slides come when you lay it out.


Dick, how is it attached to the ceiling? Screws, glue ?
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WOODYDEL View Post
Looks good to me. Just watch how far your slide/slides come when you lay it out.


Dick, how is it attached to the ceiling? Screws, glue ?
Excellent point! I'm thinking in terms of having five smaller ones probably with recessed/hidden rope lighting in each... in addition to the 12 or 14 recessed lights I want to run off of the four circuits that feed the florescents now. I've got some homework to do regarding power consumption though.

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Old 09-20-2010, 03:39 PM   #11
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:21 PM   #12
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Yes I made the ceiling myself. The molding id made of two pieces of Walnut glued together. By using 3/4" insulating panels from Home Depot I was able to keep the weight down to a total of 32 lbs for both pieces. 32 screws hold it to the ceiling. There under the buttons around the edges. I did a pull test in my shop using similar 3/16" material like the ceiling is made of and found they pulled out at 7 lbs min. That's a little over six g's of force to reach the limit. If I hit a bump that hard it could all come down, but hopefully that kind of bump isn't in my future. Back in the 80's and 90's when I was working 6 g's was the requirement for Aircraft Seating, should be enough. So far it's been in a year and no problems.

The field material is auto headliner, The frames around the lights and the vents is painted Poplar glued with the headliner spray glue. The fixtures are the originals and you can't believe how much better the lighting is with the new diffuser. I can slide the vent and the light diffusers into the ceiling to access the bulbs and filter.
My slide doesn't come in very far because it's shallow, I think because the kitchen is in the slide, so the ceiling is about 6 inches away when in. The thing I had to watch was the Antenna crank, it just clears the molding.

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Old 09-21-2010, 01:25 AM   #13
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It's funny how people have different wants/ needs. Personally, from a boondocking POV the Halogens completely kill the idea of conserving energy. Either way, the only time the overheads are on is to vacuum . Other than the kitchen counter florescent, we have 2ea. standard small table lamps with the AC plug clipped and replaced with std. 12V gig. plug and 12V 2700 degree CFL's that look exactly like incandescent @ 1/4 the current.

There are several folks making LED replacements for the fixtures but it will probably end up harsher than the florescent by itself.
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFChap View Post
....there are now some good LED lights that go in just like the fluorescent tubes do....
Hi Paul:
just ensuring i got you right....
These LEDs can replace the current ones WITHOUT any other alteration?

and, again, trying to get this right...
So it would be like me replacing an old blub in a table lamp to an LED?

Thanks!
peter
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