I'm redoing my downstairs dining and living rooms and a contractor friend says he will install pot lights for me. I know nothing about these but want to do it right, not cheap. I've been hitting the stores but can't really find anyone knowledgeable. I did see one very expensive 3.5'" LED 10 watt light in a aluminum reflector, wide flood 3000k, but don't know if this is overkill or even suitable. Looks nice though compared to many other I've seen.
There are 3 types, trim and housing, new construction that's a bit more and insulated ceiling.
Why is new construction more expensive? Wouldn't it be easier to install?
I don't mind cutting into the drywall to get these installed as the ceiling popcorn has just been removed...
So perhaps a quick crash course to help me and others?
I believe there are issues with heat and pot lights, which I will leave to others.
LED 3000K sounds a nice warm light. 10W is pretty bright - LED's usually measured in lumens.
If going LED, need to match with compatible dimmer - LEDs are fussy.
Heat was an issue with incandescent lamps, especially in insulated ceilings. That's why there are special fixtures for insulated ceilings. If the ceiling is not insulated heat is not as big an issue, especially with LED lamps but lamp size and CEC regulations must be followed. (Never put a larger than rated lamp in a ceiling fixture.)
A 10w LED lamp is roughly equivalent to a 60w incandescent lamp so it's suitable for flood lighting. (A 10w LED spot would probably be too bright.) I would stay away from new housing fixtures. They contain extra braces to hold the fixture in place before drywall is installed. Since this is a retrofit, make sure the fixture can be installed in existing drywall. It will have the correct hardware to hold the fixture in place. If the ceiling contains insulation, make sure the fixture is rated for insulated ceilings.
Pot lights tend to provide localized illumination so placement is very important. It's generally best to use them for lighting fixed areas such as built in counter tops or shelves. Illuminating an entire room with pots lights will require significantly more fixtures than general lighting such as wall fixtures, surface mount ceiling fixtures or dropped ceiling fixtures.
I did see one very expensive...
Welcome to the world of light fixtures. LED models and nice finishes always seem to be indecently overpriced. Note that LED fixtures can have non-replaceable lamps. That's alright as long as the LEDs last the rated 50,000 hours. A compromise would be to find a conventional pot light fixture and install an LED flood or spot lamp.