Track Lights in Kitchen

bmcfeetFebruary 12, 2011

We are remodeling with an emphasis on improved lighting. The ceiling is 12 feet high we want to use track lights for some general lighting and ease of installation. We are putting 3 pendants over a bar and under cabinet We also want to use cfl's or other green lighting if possible. Any suggestions on good lights for the general lighting? We are open. Thanks

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Right now, the most economical and efficient (greenest) general lighting for a kitchen is T8 linear fluorescent fixture(s) with electronic ballast(s). They're the absolute champs of efficacy, with lumens per watt in the 100 to 110 range! Neither compact fluorescents nor LEDs can match them.

They also give nice, even, shadow-free lighting, which makes tasks easier. It's a HUGE improvement over the stark, shadowy lighting from recessed cans.

It's a darn shame that fluorescents have such a bad reputation. They don't deserve it. Today's fluorescent lamps and fixtures are vastly improved over the ghastly cool white kitchen monsters that we used to see in the 1970s and 1980s, even into the '90s.

I think the lousy light quality of the old fluorescents (still used in many offices and stores) is the main reason that fluorescents are out of fashion.

Now that linear fluorescents are much improved, I wouldn't be too surprised if they come back into fashion as electricity rates continue to rise. LEDs may match them in efficacy eventually (and they have other advantages), but I don't see that happening for several years yet - and it will be still more years before LEDs can match linear fluorescents' initial price and operation cost.

BTW, if you want even more economical lighting, tell your supplier to use electronic programmed start ballasts. These do have a significantly higher initial cost, but you get it back and then some, because they give much longer lamp life (~15,000 starts vs ~50,000 starts). The energy use and startup appearance are very similar to that of electronic instant start ballasts.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 4:26PM
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