Question: I want to install a number of low-voltage recessed lights in my living and family rooms, eliminating all floor and table lamps. I want the lights on three or four separately controlled, dimmable circuits in each room, operated with a battery-powered remote control unit. Is there anything on the market that will fit my needs? If not, do you have any alternative suggestions?
Answer: Low-voltage lights enjoyed a brief spurt of popularity a few years ago, but have flickered out. Ted Knowles, a Burbank electrical contractor, told me that whatever energy savings you obtain from low-voltage lights would be more than offset by the cost of the system you describe, which requires expensive control boxes and plenty of rewiring.
A more economical solution might be to use 110-volt recessed lights (Halo H7T or Maco's equivalent or any other brand that is UL approved), controlled with a dimmer/on-off switch. The cost would be less than $100 per fixture, he estimated.
If you want a second opinion on low-voltage lighting, you might stop in at Ken & Bill's Electrical Supply, 2316 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank. Ken Hairell and his brother Bill are also electrical contractors. On my last visit to the store, I saw several low-voltage lighting gadgets that might simplify your task. If it's electrical, Ken & Bill's has it in stock or can get it.