How far from wall to put recessed lighting?

eks6426February 24, 2009

I'm going to add some recessed lighting in my kitchen remodel. How far from the wall should I put the recessed lights assuming I have 12" deep cabinetry/shelving and 25" countertops?

How far apart should they be spaced to light the space evenly?


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I just went through it...18" from the wall...approx 3 feet apart. 18" off the back wall will wash the front of your cabinets with light as well as provide light to work with. The light will hit the counter rather than the top of your head. Good luck with your remodel.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 8:01PM
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Great question, I was searching all week for that answer.
Hubby has a passion for recessed lighting, we are remodeling. We decided to pull them out away from the cabinets since side to side they were not symetrical if centered above cabinets. Today we have six circles drawn that are 38 1/2 to the center, from the wall ,spaced aprx 38" lengthwise and the 48" crosswise. All 6 are symetrical. I'm considering moving them to 30" center, but he wants the room lit up and not the cabinets, will see what happens in a couple hours. I think lining up with counter edge is another option.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 8:53AM
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Actually just installed 5 cans in the kitchen yesterday. On the ~13 ft section of cabinets against the wall, 3 cans about 4 ft apart and 29 inches (to center of fixture) from the back wall (26 inch counters). We've under cabinet fluorescent lighting so plenty of task area light. Two other cans pretty much centered over a sink/ snack island backing to great room. All this replaced a huge fluorescent construct in the center of the kitchen. If I were to tweak anything, I might install the cans a few inches further from the wall to improve the amount of light going into the below counter cabinets when opened. Plenty pleased with the install as is, a major change in atmosphere of the kitchen without the darn piece of furniture previously attached to the ceiling.

I think a key issue for placement depends on if you have under cab lighting. If you don't, I would not install closer than the counter edge. If you do have under cab lights, further out or closer in, a matter of whether you are looking for general light or highlighting your cab faces.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 2:31PM
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They are installed in my galley kitchen, couple of them still need finishing touches after we spray texture on the wall. The frig is so far out because we are drywalling a recessed area for the frig. Here's the pic, they are 31 1/2 to the center. We also replaced a huge fluoresent bubble light which was in the center of this kitchen when we bought it.
Will be adding granite counter tops, new sink, faucet, handles, and cherry flooring, plan to reface cabinets in the future.
29 to center as joehouston installed would also be a good


    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 9:26PM
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I hope you can learn from my mistake. I put some recessed lights too close to my upper cabinets, and I got sharp ugly shadows on my cabinets. The upper cabinets had a crown molding like the ones in the photo above, and there was a distracting shadow line across the front of the upper cabinets. I had to tear them out and fix the sheetrock, expensive and frutrating.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 7:54PM
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freedee, How far out from your cabinet fronts or wall were your can lights installed that did not work for you?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 6:33PM
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Freedee, I would like to know as well. How far out from your cabinet fronts or wall were your can lights installed that did not work for you? Thanks

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 10:02PM
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