Need advice on Can Lighting Placement

brownliJanuary 21, 2007

Please offer advice as to the placement of can lighting.

Reading the forums we consistently read that cans should be placed over the outer edge of the countertops. This makes sense to us. Our electrician right off said in the middle of the isle. So we turned to a 'supposed' lighting specialist who has suggested a layout that we question. I don't have a sample pic of that layout but do have the following 2 pics of our kitchen design.

The suggestion is to start with centering a can at the coffee bar (far left corner) and kitchen door, and then from there spacing them 4' apart in all directions. This would place the cans centered to the peninsula width, but not the length. As the suggested run continues along the range wall it places the cans on either side of the range hood and in front of the range hood at approx. 30in from the wall. The countertops at this wall are 25 1/2in in depth. This places the cans neither at the counter edge nor centered to the isle.

It also places the cans on either long side of the island in the middle of the isle as well. We do plan on having a pendent/chandelier type lighting for the island, so the 4' rule was interrupted for this but the cans would be again 4' from either side of the pendant.

Our ceiling is 10' and we have approx 4' isle between the island and range wall, and 4 1/2' isle on both the long sides of the island. The island countertop is 54in wide X 96" long. There is almost 6' between the peninsula and coffee bar. The peninsula is almost 10' long. Not seen in these pictures on the coffe bar wall - just to the left of the coffee bar is a 48in french door followed by another 48in span of wall which butts up to a patio window wall. An imaginary line drawn from this patio window wall back to the edge of the refrigerator wall would capture the full area requiring lighting. We intend to have a small nook/table in the corner of the patio window wall and the wall that houses the french doors/coffee bar.

I've attached 2 pics to help with any discussion or suggestions. Any advice will be appreciated.

Kitchen with Coffee bar - left corner

Kitchen with Refrigerator wall to the right back:

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not a professional lighting designer either, though one has told me that I'm good at this stuff. I imagine it's tough knowing whose judgement to trust.

Any chance you could post a plan view of the space (from above, without all the 3-D rendering)? That would be easier to work with. What are the overall dimensions of the room? Do the cabs go all the way to the ceiling?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 12:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks jon1270 - here is a top view - I drew in the remaining lower left corner and french door wall portion to show the nook area - if when all is done, we hope that we'll be able to place a small table with bench seating, at least enough for 3 - point is we may want a pendant in this corner as opposed to a can/recessed light.

Kitchen Topview

Current lighting - hey it works for now

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 3:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jon - the wall to wall msrr is 18' x 15' (that is fridge to coffee = 18 and range to end of island = 15). And yes all cabinets are at ceiling height. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 4:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Okay, here's what I came up with.

I decided not to mess with that lower-right corner since you're not sure what you'll be doing there.

The cans along the fridge/pantry cabinet wall could be gimballs or eyeballs so you could angle them to bounce the light off the cabinets rather than pointing them at the floor.

The coffee bar area is challenging; it doesn't really lend itself to recessed lights very well. A can over the aisle there will toss some light in that direction, but I think some undercabinet lighting will be fairly important there. Undercabs would be a good idea along the range wall as well.

I generally think it's a bad idea to put downlights directly over the range. The range hood should have lights in it, I would think, and putting to much light on the protruding range hood can make the cooking surface seem dark.

I'd be careful choosing a pendant for the island -- it would take an awfully big one to light an island that size. You might want to 'assist' that pendant with some cans, too.

I think I'd want some lighting inside those glass uppers and in that niche over the range -- could be very pretty.

Anyhow, it's a start.

BTW, I'm basing this on 75W PAR30 floods.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 5:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jon1270 - This is awesome! Thank you so much. This is closer to what we had expected. First, the position of the cans at the counter edge, then the placement at the peninsula. I felt the cans should surround the sink, your suggestion does just that.

We already have undercounter lighting at the places you recommend, in addition to the upper displays - the one forgotten one was the light in the niche over the range. We had an electrical run for it, but forgot to order a light for it so will do that as well.

And yes, we were very uncertain about placing a can above the range. We have quite the powerful lighting in our range hood already plus an ambient light bar there as well. It seemed to be overkill, plus the range hood sticks out as far as the range.

We're considering a hanging light over the island that is about 28x28 - do you think this is too large/small and regardless still in need of cans flanking either side of the light?

Also, do you think having no cans between the island and the peninsula will leave 'dark holes'? It is about 8ft from the center measure of the island to the center of the peninsula.

I think the lighting specialist we visited with (who actually visited us) was trying to keep the lights symmetrically in line. And while we are symmetrical with lots of what we do, the suggestions just didn't feel right for us. Yours do. Thank you again.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm glad you liked that.

Honestly, my experience with pendants isn't broad enough for me to say whether the one you're considering for the island is sufficient. I've got a good feel for recessed lighting, but I'm a little lower on the learning curve for other stuff. That said, I'm doubtful that any one pendant is going to light an island that size very evenly, and I'm thinking you want the light there to be very good because that will end up being the primary prep space.

Unless you were to use some really tightly controlled lights such as low-voltage spots, I don't think you'll have anything like "holes" in the lighting. Obviously the brightest light, with the plan as I drew it, would end up on the counters and the floor would get the spillover. I don't think it would be a problem, but it's worth bouncing that question off someone other than me.

"I think the lighting specialist we visited with (who actually visited us) was trying to keep the lights symmetrically in line."

That's not a lighting designer; that's a ceiling designer. :)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 6:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Brownli, once you do get your lights installed I'd really appreciate some feedback about how you like it.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 6:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great Layout!

We just went through this in our kitchen area with recessed lights! One word of caution, you may not be able to put the cans in the exact spaces you would like due to either a truss member or joist being in the way, or a galvinized duct for an floor register on the 2nd floor, or possibly plumbing drains.

We ended up moveing several lights, so we installed an stagered pattern, and all work out well!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 8:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

higgins - thanks for that info - I've been wondering what will happen once we start working our way through the attic and what others do when their neatly planned lighting can't go in where desired.

And jon1270 - I'll be sure to post some feedback when it's all said and done - we're hoping within a few weeks.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 11:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


OK, purchase one of those cheep lassers and you can use that to show the center of each recessed can location! Then mark that location for each can. Then use a scribe ( i.e. ice pick) and poke a hole thru the DW ceiling. Then take a clothes hanger and unwind it so you can poke it thru the hole you just made in the ceiling. This way when you get into the attic, you will see all these wires sticking up above the insulation! White coat hangers work best!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 10:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Okay, Brownli. I saw your post on the kitchen forum, saying that you'd had your lights installed. How about some detailed feedback? How about a picture or two?

I can hardly wait...

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 2:40PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need help identifying chandelier
Hello, I recently saw a chandelier that I really liked,...
Entry light for awkward design
What should we do for a light at the front door? It...
What light would look nice over the sink?
Hi, I'm stumped trying to find a pendant light to go...
is there any solution for this problem?
Have a new ceiling fan in the kitchen which I bought...
Let's brainstorm all about lighting and scene controls
Hi everyone, Let's face it, understanding lighting...
Sponsored Products
Strada Bronze Six Light Pendant with Bronze Shade
$548.00 | Bellacor
Floor Lamp: Distratto 64 in. Polished Chrome Floor Lamp TF4825
Home Depot
Colonial Tan Bold Stripe Ovo Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
6' Cascading Christmas Garland
Grandin Road
Safavieh Indoor/ Outdoor Amherst Light Grey/ Beige Rug (9' x 12')
3 Lights Drum-Shape Chandelier with Crystal Pendants
Regina-Andrew White Glass Star Table Lamp
Euro Style Lighting
Trans Globe 3654 BN Bath Bar - Brushed Nickel - 30W in. - 3654 BN
$188.10 | Hayneedle
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™