Originally Posted by ch1sox
I'm looking for some advice for some basement theater/media room lighting. I'll be using 3" or 4" recessed lights with 2 scones and they will all be dimmable. Are there any guidelines for the lighting placement I should follow? Should I be able to figure this out or would it be easier taking it into a lighting store???
Is this a projector and screen, I'm assuming? If so, you'll want to parse out your blocks of lights so anything remotely near the screen can be turned off completely while you're watching a movie as it will ruin your picture. Also, where are you planning to put the sconces?
My general rule, especially for a basement, is to have plenty of light. I placed 4" LED cans on about a 4' grid, then added rope light under the dropped crown molding for a subtle ceiling wash, and then 2" LED puck lights under the perimeter soffits about every 30".
You have a fairly large area that's mostly open, so my advice would be to have 1 circuit for the main cans throughout the room, then another circuit for the sconces, then another for the stairwell. Because the small area leading to the bathroom is somewhat set apart, you might want to have a single can in there on its own circuit so people can find their way to the bathroom easily when the rest of the room is darkened. If you have a way for some sort of ceiling wash or other dimmable indirect source of light (IE: light that can't directly reach the screen from the light source), this is a great way to bump up the ambient light just enough for people to move around while the rest of the room is dark. Again, just make sure no source of light that will be on during a movie can directly "see" the screen or it will make a significant impact on the picture.
Also, general note about LEDs... for some reason purchasing actual LED can fixtures is quite expensive (almost everything I found would net in the $200-300 per can). I ended up buying Halo 4" PAR-20 cans from Lowes (with IC rating) for around $25 ea. The trims added another $20 or so. Then I just purchased dimmable PAR-20 spotlight LED bulbs for around $14/ea. So my net cost per can was around $60; MUCH cheaper than going straight for LED cans.
You can see some photos of my lighting I just uploaded to my build thread.