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I will be installing 4" or smaller adjustable recessed can lights in my HT ceiling. Originally, I thought my only choice was to use low voltage 12V if I wanted MR16 bulbs, but I am now seeing several companies offering 120V or line level MR/16 housings.


If I have a choice between 2 identical trims, is there any reason I wouldn't want to use 120V and eliminate the transformer, altogether? Then, I wouldn't have to worry about dimmable/not dimmable, or transformer hum at lower dimming levels, or excessive heat from the tranformer, etc, etc.


Any thoughts or advice?


Thanks,


Geordon
 

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The only two things I can think of would be 1) heat at the light and 2) building codes.


Unfortunately, I don't know enough about the effects on either to say which would be better. :( Sorry! I'm going to do a little research myself on these exact topics, since I was considering these lights myself.


I'll let you know what, if anything, I find.
 

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While I was drawn to the low voltage lighting options I followed a strict rule of 120v only lighting in my theater.


Dimmed low voltage bulbs lead to problems. Properly designed dimmers are needed and many of these "effects" dimmers are not properly designed for LV lamps.


And as an EE I don't believe there is a such thing as a proper phase delay type dimmer for a transformer load. When you look at either design type - leading or lagging trigger, they both don't peform well with a transformer load. Leading which start the sine wave normally and cut it off at some point is better but more expensive due to more complex electronics. Anytime you abrubtly induce or cut off current flow into a coil it will ring. Now "snubbers" can be used to reduce this but not totally eleminate this effect. The net result can be "singing" bulbs and RFI/EMI getting into your audio system. This can also be airborne RFI so all the AC power filters you can string together in front of your gear will do nothing.


If you want to do it right use Variac's. You can get these motorized for remote control - big bucks and big space but that's what most professional applications use because of the noise issue with electronic dimmers.


I do have an electronic dimmer, A PCS four channel unit, but I'm keeping with 120v only lamps. You can get just about any lamp type in Halogen but at a slightly higher cost. I didn't realize they now have MR16's in 120v?
 

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Any update on the 120v MR-16 bulbs? I need to order lights soon so I thought I'd try one more time to see if anyone has used these bulbs with good results.


Art
 

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I used 4" Halo cans, eyeball trims, and 120V PAR16 narrow beam halogen spot-lights (10 degrees?) over my seats.


The bulbs are the same diameter as MR16s, longer, have screw-in bases, can be bought at the local hardware store/super market, and Home Depot stocks fixtures/trim rings.


Maybe you want to use PAR16s instead of 120V MR16s?
 

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After a trip to Home Depot this weekend, I am leaning toward PAR16s. There was a much better selection. Very few MR16s. I suppose the availability online is better if you want to go that route.
 
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