Cree recessed lights mixed with other lighting

ranger481vsFebruary 12, 2012

We are in the process of choosing new lighting for our kitchen remodel. I'm leaning toward using Cree LED can lights, which leads me to a few questions:

1. Concerning color temperature, if I choose Cree LED recessed lights, how does that affect the recommendations for choosing bulb types on my island pendants, undercab lights, and the chandelier in the eat-in dining area?

2. I have 8ft ceilings, and someone recommended I use 5" cans, but did not go into detail about why. In my layout below, I was planning it based on 6" cans, partly for cost and thinking that the 6" cans will spread more general light. Any thoughts on this based on my layout below would be appreciated.



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See the linked thread for more info. The Cree recessed lamps do not fit in 5" cans.

If you use warm light color which is ~ 2700k, most of the Cree down lights fit the bill.

You might want to consider using the cr4 and 4" cans if 6" seems too big for your taste.

Here is a link that might be useful: Led recessed lighting for kitchens

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 10:52AM
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I also have short ceilings (93"), a small kitchen (14 x 13) and plan to do 6" cans, a couple of pendents over a peninsula, undercounter cabs lights (only have this on one side). And, then, on an adjacent wall, there is basically just a window and a large, decorative hood. Question: Would I used a different type of light to highlight the hood? And, should the pendants be LED or doesn't it matter? Will it look funny to mix/match in this room? By the way, if it matters, the room is small and mostly open to a living room. The adjacent living room has lots of natural light due to large windows facing a lake (but facing east). The kitchn only has a small west facing window and a south facing skylight. We live in WI. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 2:04PM
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There are different schools of thought - some lighting to be higher temperature color vs all lights of the same temperature (i.e. - either 2700k or 3500k).

I lean towards having some lighting can be of a different temperature color, since some hoods will want some PAR20 halogens or similar bulbs which means a higher temperature color.

If you use LED recessed lamps such as the CR6 or CR4, the aperture size doesn't matter all that much.

It really doesn't matter whether the pendants should be LED or not. I would go with LED only if the bulbs have an efficiency > 55 lumens per watt and produce enough light.

In the end, it's your home and your style/ preferences should matter most.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 3:34PM
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Ranger and David
Interesting thought on the 5 inch vs 6 inch cans with the 8 foot ceiling.
I thought about the 5 inch cans with the new screw in GE bulbs but tested one and the lumens were a bit wimpy, so decided to go with 6 inch.
I am leaning towards
-2700 cans
-3000 UC LED light bars
-Hubbardton Forge (Halogen or incandescent) decorative flush/semi-flush in the middle of the kitchen area.

The "sun room" will have a HF chandelier (but smaller than the first one that I picked (thanks David), LED tape lighting above the cabinets and on a shelf. This room is open to the kitchen but has a 12 foot cathedral ceiling.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 10:37PM
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Davidtay - Any thoughts on the 5 inch vs 6 inch cans for the kitchen with 8 foot ceilings?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 6:54AM
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Ranger - what about moving number 4 slightly to the left? Your cooktop most likely has good lighting from the hood.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 8:03AM
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If you're using a bulb, a 5" can has a smaller aperture which means that less light escapes (from the can) and the cone of light could be more pronounced.

6" cans are more readily available and are easier to service. This is important for recessed CFL housing with an integrated ballast. Although the integrated ballast could have a longer lifespan than the electronic ballasts on screw on CFL bulbs, they do fail. Replacing the ballast would require access to the top side of the can to reach the compartment. If the housing needs to be dismantled from below, a larger opening would be appreciated.

Generally, the smaller the aperture, the higher the cost of the housing and trim.

The Cree CR6 lamps will not fit inside a 5" can.

However, some designers prefer having smaller openings.

If cost is not an issue, why not use a CR4 type lamp in a 4" housing?

When looking at recessed lighting, it is easy to fixate on the cost of a particular part/ item and loose sight of the total cost (upfront, operating, maintenance costs).

The typical setup should be broken down into
1. The recessed housing.
2. Trim piece.
3. Bulb, discrete ballast (for some CFLs).

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 10:59AM
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For aesthetics, I think I would prefer using the 4" crees. David, would there be a significant difference in the amount of light between 6" and 4" cree?

A2gemini, did you mean move 4 to the right? Someone mentioned to me that it's a good idea to have the lights spaced evenly on either side of the stove and also the sink. I'm assuming this helps to balance the lighting better when working in those particular spaces.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 10:41PM
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Both the CR4 and CR6 have the same output.

The even spacing helps the appearance of symmetry in the placement of lights instead of a random pattern which could evoke images of stellar constellations.

In reality, achieving even spacing throughout might be difficult due to the physical obstructions.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 12:11AM
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Got it. So, really it just comes down a matter of choice for aesthetics and the 4" being a little more costly.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 12:21PM
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For the large part yes if you use lamps built similarly to the Cree CR 4/6 or LR 6 series.

If conventionally shaped bulbs in recessed cans are used, the physical locations of individual cans matters more especially when the cans have smaller apertures.

As for cost, expect a ~$15 to $20 differential for the entire package for the CR4 + can vs CR6 + can.
The Cree LR4 is not price competitive (~$160 for the lamp, trim & can).

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 2:36PM
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Great, thanks so much David.

I've read a lot of threads on here, and have found all of your answers very informative and helpful. The time you take to respond to so many questions, no matter how repetitive, is truly appreciated!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 7:11PM
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You're welcomed. It's been my pleasure.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 12:30AM
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Ranger - Guess I was tired when I posted - it has been a very tough couple of weeks! (DM medical problems, packing kitchen for remodel, vacation and a new job) - How do you pack for all of these at the same time and finalize the kitchen plans!!! Ouch!!!
Yes, moving the can to the right not the left! Sorry!!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 7:42PM
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