Need Kitchen Lighting Help

willtvMarch 12, 2010

OK. So, here's an overhead of my soon to be installed kitchen.

It's a small space. The kitchen itself is 8' X 12'. The pantry area, which is off to the right, is 10' X 4' although, due to entry door configuation, the cabinets can only be mounted in an area that is 5' X 4'. The ceiling in both areas is 7'6".

I've already picked out the cabinets (White Shaker panel), the countertops (Black Galaxy), the bachsplash (White 3X6 subway tile) and the floor (Black or dark grey slate.)

There will be under cabinet lighting although I don't know what type I'm looking at Xenon and Linear. If anyone has any experience with either I would appreciate your views.

Primarily I need help with the placement of the overhead recessed lights. I think that since the ceiling is so low that 3" would be best but if 4" would work better I might be inclined to go that way.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Alan

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

I used under cabinet LEDs from environmentallights.com and am quite pleased with the results.

As for overhead recessed lights I would suggest using the 4". Alternatively, could you raise the ceiling and use 6" cans?

Are you intending to have title 24 compliant lighting?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 12:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
willtv

I'm looking at the LED under cabinet units and also the xenon strips. The ceiling can't be raised as there is a bedroom above. I think that the ceiling is sufficiently low that I'll have to go with the 3". I'm trying to decide between the PAR20, MR16 or GU10. I'm not sure that LEDs will provide enought light and they're rather pricey. I know that over that course of time they'll certainly pay for themselves but, for now they're not in the budget.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 5:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

You just might be pleasantly surprised by the LED light output. I was.

I was initially unimpressed by the LED under cabinet solutions carried by Ikea, Lowes, Home Depot and Lamps Plus. Fortunately, there are far more choices online.

I'm now able to use my kitchen in the early morning & at night with only LED under cabinet lighting.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 12:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
normclc

I would always use the MR16
Both the Par20 and GU10 are inferior lamps when you measure light putput, colour rendition, and length of life.
They only win out when you factor in cost, but even then they lose out if you add in the vastly shorter life and more expensive cost per lamp.
With your 7'6" ceiling height, you should use wide flood lamp to compensate for the lower ceiling.
Also please consider using a good trim, which should be clear alzak or black, never white

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 11:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
elemental_led_staff

I agree about the under cabinet LED lights. LED light bars come in a range of brightnesses and waterproof versions, plus they use less that 3 Watts of electricity.

LED MR-16s are available for around $35 each, which you could make back in electricity savings in the first year, assuming you use the kitchen lights as much as I do!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 5:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
willtv

I was going to use white trim for the recessed ceiling instruments. Why is that not a good idea? Also, do the LED MR16s put out as much light as a Halogen MR16? If they do and they cost only $35, I would definetly go with the LEDs.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

There are LED lighting solutions that outperform halogen MR16s in terms of brightness and power consumption.

I expect the cost of LED lighting to experience significant downward pricing pressure this year given the proliferation of LED suppliers and lighting solutions.

Given the current green trends, I would consider options other than halogen, xenon and other low efficiency lights (

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 11:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

You might find the following site useful
http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/store/index.cgi?action=DispPage&Page2Disp=%2FcompMR16.htm

Here is a link that might be useful: superbrightleds

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 12:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
willtv

Thanks for the link. Will these LED MR16 lamps snap into a regular MR16 fixture and will I need a transformer specifically designed for LEDs?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 12:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
willtv

One more thing, are LEDs dimmable?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

Some are dimmable. Check out the superbrightleds website for more details.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 12:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
willtv

Will do.

Thanks

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 8:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
footwedge

David, I'm also looking at the LED strips but not sure as to the length in relation to the cabinet width. Will you elaborate and give specific details on your installation?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 10:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

I measured the underside of my cabinets, calculated how to best fit led strips that were of different lengths.

ie -
1st cabinet run of 6' 3" - 2 x 3' led strips end to end.
2nd cabinet run L shaped, 4' + 2' - 1 x 3' + 1 x 2' led strip.

There are a number of options from various LED manufacturers you can consider.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 1:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
footwedge

Thanks, that's what I was thinking but wasn't sure. I tend to over analyze at times.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 11:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
footwedge

1. Are your cabinet runs on opposing walls?

2. If so, were you able to use a single transformer and where did you place it?

3. Did you add a dimmer?

4.If it's not to much trouble and you are happy with the setup, will you list the part numbers?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 11:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

Yes to both 1, 2 & 3.

The transformer ended up under the kitchen sink.

I was able to use just 1 transformer as the total power consumption was well within the boundary.
Following are the main components from environmentallights.
100 Watt 24 Volt DC Dimming Power Supply
LED Dimmable Under Cabinet Light 24 inch Neutral White
24 VDC Right Angle Power Supply Cord (6 feet long)
LED Dimmable Under Cabinet Light 36 inch Neutral White

Here is a link that might be useful: environmentallights

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 4:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
footwedge

Thanks, why the 24v over the 12v? what dimmer model did u use? Why did u need the power supply cord? I thought u could hard wire, Does this cord plug into a wall socket? I'm not electrically inclined.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 1:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

24V since that was what the strips required.
The main dimmer component is the transformer. The switch was a Leviton Monet (Magnetic)
The system is hardwired. The transformer goes to the mains and the output goes to the led strips via power supply cords.
The environmentallights staff can walk you through the entire process.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 1:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
footwedge

Thanks again. On your cabinet run of 6'-3" is one end terminate say to an adjacent room? If it's open, does the light shine off the counter onto the flooring of the adjacent room since there is only 1.5" of space between the strip end and the cabinet? I ask this because I will have 1 cabinet run of 38" that will terminate to the open dinette area; and, I was thinking a 24" or 30" strip might keep the light spread atop the counter. I plan to call enviro to discuss with them but I just want hear from someone that actually has this system in use.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 10:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

Yes, there is a open end.

No problems with any lighting effects.

A 36" light bar would work.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 11:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

Why do you worry about the light shining off the counter onto the floor?

The counter will reflect light upwards.

Whatever light from the under cabinet lighting that strikes the floor will have bounced off the backsplash/ wall/ counter top etc first unless they are placed in direct line of sight of the floor. Even so, it is unlikely that the light source would be too over powering.

The reasons why I went with environmentallights was that
1. their LED lighting provided more lumens / $ / watt
2. they had all the parts necessary
3. they walked through the sales process with me.

The reason why I would consider them again is
1. their support was good.

Having said all that, the competitive landscape might have changed, so you may find other cost effective solutions.

First, figure out the wiring circuits - will there be low voltage? If so, which will be low voltage, where the transformer will go.How you would control the power to the transformer.
If not, how many other line voltage lines do you need, how you would like to control the line voltage feed(s).

It is far easier to wire up things when the drywall & backsplash are not installed.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 2:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

A sample night pic

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 8:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
footwedge

If the light strip is the same length or close to it as the cabinet run then the end of the strip will be directly above the end of the counter top; and, not knowing the light beam degree, I thought their might be enough light shining into the adjacent room that might affect the lighting mood. Just an engineer's thought process.

Anyway, your lighting looks nice and thanks for all the information.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 10:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

Dimmers are useful in controlling the amount of light. If you're willing to experiment, there are color changing leds that you might want to consider.

I hope you manage to find the lights that really suit your needs.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 11:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
willtv

Bumping Up

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 8:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

willtv,
For placement, 1 over the sink and some near the edge of the counter tops.

The exact placement would depend on the location of the ceiling joists.

If you're taking down significant portions of the ceiling and reframing, you could raise the entire ceiling and use 5 or 6" cans.

The number of lights would depend on the desired brightness in the kitchen. I used 35 lumen/sq ft as a rough guide to determine the number of cans (without other lighting sources).

8*12*35/600 (assume ~ 600 lumen per light) = 5.6 and rounding up gives 6 cans.

I would suggest looking at the Cree LR4 4" recessed solutions assuming that the ceiling would not be raised.

If it is to be raised, CR6 or LR6.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 10:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
willtv

Davidtay,

Thanks for the feedback. I'll try to find a Cree dealer nearby so I can look at the 4" fixtures up close.

My initial plan was to use 3" MR16s because the ceiling is so low. I've done the beam spread calculation and it looks like I'll need 15 or 16 fixtures. I know that sounds insane but the distance from the ceiling to the countertop will be 4.5 feet and from the ceiling to the floor 7.5 feet. This makes the beam spread, using a 40 degree lamp, appoximately 3 feet and 5 feet respectively.

My plan is to place a fixture over the sink, one each over the countertop to the right and left of the sink, and one each over the countertops on either side of the range. Additionally there will be a fixture at the pass through between the pantry and the kitchen as well as 3 or 4 fixtures down the center of the room. In the pantry there will be a fixture over the countertop corner as well as one over each straight run of countertop. Additionally, there will be a fixture centerd in the standing area between the cabinets and the garage wall and one last fixture centerd between the back door and the garage door.

I know this sounds crazy for such a small space but, everytime I do the beam spread calculation it comes up the same.

Am I missing something?

Thanks again for your input.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 8:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

That's a lot of holes. How are you wiring all the lights? - Tearing up the ceiling first?

If you're intent on using MR16 bulbs, can I assume that you'd be using low voltage lighting?

If so, the MR16-xW4 LED bulb at superbrightleds may be of interest.

Here is a link that might be useful: MR16 LED bulbs

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 9:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

Taking the max area possible -
(8 X 12) + (10 X 4) - 20 = 116 sq ft.

Assuming 35 lumens / sq ft
116 *35 = 4060.

Assumed light output per MR16 @ 150 lumens.

Not considering the beam spread at all

Total = 25.

You might find the following link interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: MR16 comparison LED vs Halogen (Nov'08)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
willtv

The kitchen renovation will be a total makeover.
My joke is to tell people that I'm rolling a hand grenade into the kitchen and starting over. So, yes, the ceiling will be removed.

The MR-16s will be low voltage with magnetic transformers. It's not that I'm stuck on the MR-16s, it's more that I haven't seen the LED cans in real life applications. I still have a few weeks before I have to make the final decision so I will make a concerted effort to find the LED cans properly displayed.

It's also good to know that if I go with the MR-16s that I'm not crazy to go with 16 fixtures.

This isn't the kind of decision one would wamt to get wrong and have to live with for too many years, kicking themselves in the butt all the while.

I will check out the links you provided and get back to you.

Thanks again for your all your help.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 10:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

FYI - with LR6.

I previously had a 7' ceiling with recessed T8 fluorescent tubes which felt quite claustrophobic.

Hth

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 12:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
willtv

Your kitchen looks great.

The links were very informative.

At this point I think I'm going to go with the 3" MR-16s and after they're installed pick up a few replacement LED lamps from Superbrightleds and see how they look.

They start swinging the hammers on July 19th.

I'll post the results upon completion and, certainly, I'll be lurking until then for any more info.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 10:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David

Here's another link for your consideration.
Claimed 300 lumens...

Here is a link that might be useful: even brighter MR16 led

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 12:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
willtv

When the time comes. I'll give one of those a try too.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 12:30PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Bulkhead pots in teeny bathroom
I'm so not a lighting expert! What's the forum members'...
Studio Design
Outdoor pendant lights for tree
I'm looking to recreate something like this installation...
jamescmeehan
MBR ceiling light or fan
Hi all, We have a farmhouse/colonial that was built...
Anthony
If we need to do smaller 3 inch recessed lights in a shower ....
Hi everyone, We are trying to work out if we can put...
ontariomom
Do LED lights put out enough light
I am looking at Moooi Raimond chandeliers. According...
mrsargent
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™