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Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 20
Wiring a new house with a Great Room, 18 ft ceiling with wood, owner doesn't want any lights in ceiling. Room approx 20 ft wide, with fireplace. To accent light the fireplace, would it be best to try and use MR-16 lights or something similar on the side walls of the room. Or use some kind of up lighting on the mantel? (fireplace goes from floor to ceiling with stone)
Off the subject, but has anyone ever installed a door jam switch or reed switch for turning on a light when door is opened? If so, do you recall who the manufacture was or where to get this type of switch?
Appreciate any info or insight.
Thanks Again Gentlemen

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 681
The door jam switches are a standard item at supply houses. Remember they come is two configurations - lights on when the door is opened, lights on when the door is closed.
I usually give the switch box to the carpenter and let him cut it into the framing. Also remember to backfeed the switch.
Think about the control of lights in the greatroom - does the customer understand if they close the doors that the lights will turn off? let the know before all the wiring is complete, it will save you a big headache later.


Pierre Belarge
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 20
Hi Pierre
Sorry about the confusion, the door switch was for a small pantry and not the great room. Will check with my supply house tomorrow. Thank You Sir

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 03-28-2004).]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
I'm surprised that you aren't wiring for at least one chandelier - most "great rooms" I've seen have them. You might suggest to the HO about mounting a (fan/heavy fixture)box and raceway with a camouflaged box cover to the center of the ceiling now, rather than as a remodel later.

As far as the door jamb switches - we used to use these all the time for closets and pantries. We would pre-wire AC whips and drop them down into the space behind the door's hinge side during the rough-in, then the trim (finish) carpenter would cut the hole for a switch after installing the door frame - at trim out, we'd just reach in, pull out the Greenfield, trim to length, attach wires to switch, and mount. Presto!

Of course, this trick only works well if the homeowner's wife doesn't change her mind about which way the doors will open, and have them installed last minute opposite of way shown on plans... [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by DougW (edited 03-28-2004).]

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 615
I am assuming that this 18ft high ceiling is flat, in which case lighting from the walls (I'm imaginig tracks run on the walls vertically to cover the whole height evenly) would create a dramatic effect. probably light it better than from the ceiling. My concerns would be getting the proper beam spread. Probably narrow spot because of how far away the head will be. I like the MR-16 light quality.

Another concern I'd have is trying to conceal the light source. It would look better if the heads where hidden behind a beam or something. Just having them running on the wall might distract the view.

The mantel idea would give it an enirely different look. You would have shaddows because of how close the light would be. Some might like the effect, others may not.

Once, when I was asked to light the facade of a building, my supplier got me in contact with a rep. from the manufacturer. They entered all the distances into a computer program and it spit out which fixture with the proper wattage and did a point to point diagram showing light levels over every squre foot or so. Knowing how to interpret those numbers gave a good indication of what it would look like showing hot spots and such. The reason I mention this: maybe get in touch with a lighting manufaturer (Juno or the like) and see what they say. I was pleasantly suprized at the level of service (and it was all free). My experience was with Lithonia (obviously a different application.)

Manufacturer for jam switch: I've used Edwards

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 524
...Same here,'s Edwards...Stanley may have one as well,...I'd definitely try what Doug W, said and ask the HO if you can install a fan box for future use...If its a sloped ceiling,Juno offers 2 different High-Hats,a normal,and a severe slope housing...

[This message has been edited by Attic Rat (edited 03-28-2004).]

.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"

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