Look good if recessed lights are not symmetrically distributed?

janesylviaFebruary 25, 2013

I have a living room of size 16'x13'. Family room is of similar size. Right now, there are no lights there. The ceiling is only 8' high. I'd like to have Cree recessed LED lights installed. I would either buy 6" 600 lumen ones from local Home Depot or the Cree CR6-800L 800 lumen ones from online.

Would it be fine that wall (where piano and sofa are) to light: 3.5', inter-lights distance: 5', light to another wall: 4.5' (there is a register at 1' from the wall. So another sofa would be put 1' from the wall)?

The contractor said he would rather install the recessed lights in symmetrical way. 3.5', 6', 3.5'. He said it would look nice and would be liked by buyers if I want to sell the house in the future (It's in a very good school district so has much higher price, and many people sell the house after kids go to college). But practically, I like the 3.5', 5', 4.5' layout better. First, it would make better use of lights since I would not put anything between the sofa and the window due to the register (1' away from the wall with windows) on the floor. Second, 5' inter-lights distance might result in better light at center than 6' inter-lights distance.

So should I listen to the contractor and have the symmetrical distribution (3.5', 6', 3.5') or have the more practical way (3.5', 5', 4.5')? He said asymmetric layout would not look good and would affect future resale of the house. Is the contractor right? Which way should I choose?

Any input or sharing of experience is greatly appreciated.

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The logical approach would be to use the symmetric layout (not taking into consideration the ceiling joists and other obstructions above the ceiling).

The lighting requirements for non kitchen areas are lower.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 10:13AM
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The lights in my kitchen are not symmetrical. I hate them. I would follow the advice of your contractor and go 3.5', 6', 3.5'. Put them in two rows of 3 like you originally said, equally spaced. For addiitonal lighting for a piano or reading on the couch you could put in a floor lamp. That's furniture so I wouldn't plan your permanent lighting around them. You might move it around 100 times in your life. To me, the can lighting is to generally light the room, not be on separate dimmers, task based, or anything like that so I'd keep it simple and to that purpose.

It's all personal preference tho, so whatever you like is what matters. You can't really go wrong if you're the one living there.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 10:23AM
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In a new house I did, the framing made it very difficult to get a symmetrical layout and also place the 12 lights about where the owners preferred. But the end result was quite good, but not easy to achieve.
Now imagine trying to do it where you cannot see the framing because of the finished ceiling. Surprise, surprise!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 2:47PM
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