Kitchen lighting

a2geminiFebruary 4, 2012

I am t-3 weeks to demolition, so need to finalize lighting plans.

Background: The kitchen and sun room are one long room but the kitchen part has an 8 foot ceiling and the sun room has a cathedral ceiling - close to 12 feet at the peak.

The main kitchen has a garden window over the sink which faces south.

The sun room has 2 large windows - one on the east wall and one on the south wall.

Here is a picture of the plans

This is the east wall of the sun room with our his and her "caves" - a place to store all of our cycling equipment etc.

The benches have drawers that pull out. We will be putting a royal mission lift top table in the room - the table is 48x30 and the hubbarton forge ribbon oval chandelier is 38.5x 24.5 with 6 arms- type A bulbs(max 100w each). I think with the cathedral ceiling that we need "uplighting". Is this too large for the room?

We will also put LED rope lighting above the his and her caves(we can't go above the bench as the window follows the cathedral ceiling lines. We will also put rope lighting on a shelf dividing the sun room and the main kitchen.

Now onward to the main kitchen

We plan to put GMLightbar LARC3 series (3000) under cabinet and hopefully they can be dimmed.

We will also put the outlets under the cabinet - I found a nifty one on line but can't find the literature right now.

Plan on recessed cans with LED trim sets (LR7 I think)

Should the cans be over the counter or at the edge of the counter? I think we need one can on either side of the cooktop - thoughts?

We have 4 halogen lights on the Broan hood.

Birds eye view of the kitchen and sunroom - shows the placement of the cooktop.

Should we put recessed lighting over the sink (remember, we have a garden window but will be getting rid of our soffitt - so have about 15 inches of clearance if a pendant or 2 would be better.

South elevation

Also, how many cans should we put on the run from the sink to the dining room entry - 2 or 3

West Elevation

In addition to the cans, we will have hockey puck Xenon(I think) in the glass show cabinet.

On the north wall of the main kitchen - the counter run is 45 inches - one or two cans? The fridge is on one end and the oven on the other.

Just a couple more questions - I promise!

Should we put more cans in the center or use a semi-flush decorative mount?

The NW corner is the entry to the dining room and the pantry - should we put a can or 2 here?

Whew? Hope I didn't over extend my questions!


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The way I would do it is to divide up the area into 2 - the kitchen proper and the sun room. As far as possible, I would try to maintain a regular pattern, unless the plan is to mimic a star pattern.

The threads linked below should be helpful
LED recessed can guide

LED UCL continuation

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 5:57PM
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davidtay - thanks
Yes the sun room lights are separate from the kitchen. I will check the links - I think I read that CR7 work better than the LR7 LEDs but will check the links again.
I will see if we can make the lights in a more regular pattern - the problem is the different sides of the kitchen aren't totally regular.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 6:05PM
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I wouldn't worry about having the lights exactly over the counter top or being just outside the edge. The light spread from the Cree lights (especially the LR6) is really good, quite different from the standard recessed can.

Your UCL will take care of the task lighting requirement.

Since the Cree lights have quite a bit of light spillage, it might not be necessary to put cans or a surface mount in the center of the room. However, if you intend to have a chandelier/ something on a separate circuit, that might be an interesting combination.

There are only LR6 and CR6 type lights (6" Cree). The CR6 is better in terms of dimmability. If you want a higher color temp (3500k), LR6 would be the best choice.

If you're thinking about pendants, the rough estimate for a 40W pendant is ~ 400 - 500 lumens.

Tape lighting may work better than rope lighting. For inspiration on indirect lighting, look at the examples on

For UCL direct wire.
Do also check on the Philips ColorKinetics site. Imo, Philips LED bars are better than GE.

Do also check with your cabinet maker that the bottoms are flat without any intervening styles.

Also find out the depth of the recess/ molding on the bottom as that would influence the decision on where to locate the electrical connection box - inside the cabinet or on the underside. This is for direct wire LED bars which will not have a body to house the connectors and wiring ends.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 6:30PM
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Davidtay - thanks for your suggestions - I actually think it is tape lighting - but just called it rope - guess, I am not an electrical person despite my dad's influence.
What do you think on the GMlightbars vs the Philips? I will check out Phillips.
Good suggestions - it is really helpful to know what questions to ask!
I am printing your responses to take the lighting person and also when I next meet with the electrician.
Have you used the APS angle plug strips? They have 2 models - one is just plugs and the other also can do switching.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 2:51PM
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The GM LARC3 light bars are 12V low voltage unlike the Philips profile bars which are (120V AC) direct wire. Both are dimmable.

There are higher output low voltage light bars available.

I would recommend
1. Pricing out the entire setup for the UCL (for both direct wire and low voltage options. For low voltage, that includes the power supply.
2. Making sure that the undersides of the cabinets are either deeply recessed/ have sufficiently deep molding to hide the strips from direct view.
3. The cabinet underside should be flat throughout for a continuous run.

No, I've not used the APS angle plug strips.

I had a discussion with my cabinet maker on the practicality of outlets mounted on the underside of cabinets some time ago and decided against them.
1. Inserting the plug into an outlet on the underside of the cabinet is not as easy as a wall socket and requires more effort.
2. There will be cords dangling from the underside.
3. The cords would obstruct UCL.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 12:49AM
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Thanks David for your suggestions. It is great to have experts on the forum as I am far from being an expert!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 7:56PM
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You're welcomed. Expertise is gained by doing things and/ or learning from others and remembering the lessons.

The final nail in the coffin for under- mounted outlets was the realization that the number of appliances on the counter top would not be more than 2 -4 as most are fairly bulky and quite impractical to leave plugged in (just in case they will be used).

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:18PM
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