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LED Lights in Overhead Soffit to Reflect Off the Ceiling
I generally sit in that recliner at the far end to read. Want to put sufficient light in the overhead soffit to reflect off the ceiling and illuminate the read. The table lamp shown is decorative the task light, barely visible by the chair, is what I use now. Has an LED bulb in it. Glares for the wife seated on the couch. It works well if I bring it down close to the read (magazine or newspaper) bulb is white.
It sounds like we have a few lighting fixtures in your space. To start, are you able to confirm what type of lamps or bulbs your fixtures can accommodate?
For example, the soffit looks like it may accommodate fluorescent fixtures, but it's a bit difficult to tell from the photo.
Similarly, are the table lamp and task light standard fixtures that use medium-screw Edison bases (E26)? (E26 is the most commonly seen, traditional screw-in lamp type with a base that is approximately 1 inch in diameter).
Once you can let us know what types of lamps may be compatible with your existing fixtures, we'll have a better idea of what options we have available for you.
Additionally, can you let us know what challenges you're facing with your existing lighting - is it the color, clarity, brightness, or a combination of these factors?
The soffit has a string of incandescent mini lights, circa 1992. We do not use the table lamp but it and the task light use standard e26 screw-in bulbs, the problem is insufficient illumination. The task light if I bring it close to the reading material will work but is ungainly and if it is set higher is not quite enough light but glares at anyone sitting on the couch. I had thought that linear LEDs in both soffits above the chair reflecting off the ceiling might work but leave that to your expertise. Using dimmers they could also provide illumination for the room. The soffit runs on three sides of the room.
We are in full agreement that improving the brightness from your soffit lighting fixture would be the best approach here to simultaneously increase brightness without causing additional glare issues.
Unfortunately, despite their ubiquity, standard light bulbs induce significant amounts of glare due to their high brightness levels from a relatively small size.
Our first thought here would be to recommend our CENTRIC HOME LED strip lights in 3000K. These LED strip lights emit approximately 450 lumens per foot, which is approximately equal in brightness to a 40-watt incandescent bulb.
It's a bit difficult to determine from your photo, but my best guess would be that your soffit is approximately 10 feet long. If you were to install the LED strip lights across the entire soffit, this would provide you with approximately 4500 lumens, or 400 watts worth of incandescent bulb brightness.
The LED strip lights could of course extend and span multiple soffits across the three sides of the room as you suggest.
The LED strip lights do require some in-wall wiring and assembly work, but I do believe that this would be an excellent option for you. Below is an example wiring diagram that shows how the LED strips can be wired to a wall dimmer:
Sometimes sitting on the end of the couch to utilize the halogen Torch which almost does the job but could be better. The new light needs to be dimmable, and maybe the color change?
Each one of the curtains is approx 6 ft across giving us approx 12 ft of the strip light. Approx 5500 lumens per your calculations. You mentioned 3000 Kelvin. Is that overly yellow for reading? Are your strip lights disabled and what dimmer do you suggest for the best performance?
Is there an approved dimmer for 3-circuit control? I note that LeGrand makes a couple although I am partial to Lutron.
I personally do not believe that 3000K is "too yellow" although that would certainly be within the realm of personal preference. Do you know what the color temperature of the lamps in your current space is, and what your thoughts on those might be? (Incandescent bulbs are typically 2700K and lower).
To cover the distances you quoted, you will likely need three sets of 16.4 ft LED strip reels, each with its own dimmable power supply. The cost estimate is as follows:
CENTRIC HOME™ LED Strip Lights for Home & Residential: $99 ea
TRIAC Dimmable Power Supply for LED Strip: $139 ea
We do not have any three-circuit control suggestions, but we do have a list of tested dimmers which are available here:
The reading lamp has a 790-lumen GE REVEAL built therein. It is I think overly bright white. If I bring it clues to the reading material it works but is glary with poor contrast and if further away not bright enough but not heavy. The soffit has a string of very old very small incandescent. I think we might try one set in the two soffits over the Chair to see how this indirect lighting works.
We believe the GE Reveal lamps use a modified 3000K spectrum. If you find the incandescent lights in the soffit to be acceptable from a color perspective (i.e. not too yellow), then 2700K could also be a good option for you.
Below is an article that might help choose between the two options:
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LED power suppliesLED bulbs (General)LED strip lightsCeiling FixturesFluorescent replacementsLED dimmersLED Drivers