kitchen light layout

williemonMarch 31, 2011

I posted a message in the kitchens area so I could include a pic.

What type and size of recessed can light would work for my 13x 15 kitchen with 9 ft ceiling?

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6" cans would work.

Or you could have a recessed enclosure built to house T8 fluorescent tubes.

In certain parts of the USA (eg - CA), energy efficiency laws require compliance with energy efficiency laws (eg - Title 24).

If that is the case, the 6" cans must either be for CFL (with built in ballast) or have a GU24 base so that you cannot fit a standard incandescent light bulb inside.

I went through the process ~ 2 years ago and ended up with CREE LR6 LED lamps.

Initially a surface mount T8 fixture was considered and quickly discarded.

Next came CF cans, then I saw a CREE LR6 @ a LampsPlus store and was really pleased with light output.

To determine the number of lights needed, I assumed a baseline output of 600 lumens (the LR6 is rated at 650) per can, a desired 35 lumens per sq ft. In your case, that works out to ~ 11 cans assuming general illumination will be provided by the cans alone.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 3:51PM
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I'm the resident skeptic here when it comes to recessed cans. My experience with them is that they are about the worst available way to light a room, because they provide essentially zero indirect light (reflected off walls and ceilings). That means you need a lot of them (as David points out above), and you still get hot spots and shadows.

While cans are fashionable and some like their appearance, surface mount and/or pendants with translucent shades are quite a bit more practical. They also don't require cutting lots of large holes in the ceiling, which saves on heat and conditioned air loss, and reduces installation costs.

I know they have negative associations for many people, but personally, I like linear fluorescents for kitchens. They provide even, bright, practical illumination, which is what my middle aged eyes really crave.

The difference is that working under cans is like working in bright sunlight; working under fluorescents is like working in bright shade.

Modern electronic ballast fluorescents are far better than they were 20 years ago - no more flicker and greatly improved light quality - and I think they deserve a second look.

Whatever you choose, best of luck in your remodeling.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 2:43PM
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I have read some of your responses and understand what you say. I have looked for some surface designs that i really like but so far I come up with nothing. If you look at the post in the kitchen gallery you will see the layout of the kitchen. This is a new construction house. To a degree I kind of like the look of the cans although I can see the drawback as well. perhaps someone can point me to a good source of surface or hanging lights that would work well in this kitchen. Im not opposed to going either direction, cans or all surface and pendant style. I will be using dimmable under and over cab lights. I really need to see some good examples of some surface and pendants that look better than the twin 40w fl tubes I currently use.

Ideas or web pages to see these?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 5:14PM
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FWIW, my kitchen is also better lit (LR6 cans) compared to another similar sized room with CFL cans (15 Watt per can). No shadow/ hot spots even though the lights are not run at max.

I'll convert the CFLs to CREE LEDs as they burn out. Still have enough for the next few years.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 8:15PM
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WM, I confess I have much more interest in utility (and my own vision) than in style, so I use and recommend fairly ordinary surface mount "cloud" fixtures. I haven't much looked into high-style fluorescent fixtures.

I know that some very sleek and attractive linear fluorescent fixtures exist, because I've seen them in high-end commercial buildings, particularly in Europe. If I were looking for such lights, I would probably start with the commercial suppliers.

I think the simpler answer for folks who are interested in style *and* good lighting is to go with surface mount or pendant fixtures with translucent shades. These provide at least some indirect lighting.

Many pendants and surface mounts are available with compact fluorescent lamps and, increasingly, with LED light sources. If efficiency matters to you (or your state!), be careful though. Many LEDs are not as efficient as their reputation would suggest. Some barely beat the best incandescents and most are still less efficient than compact fluorescent.

I found several suppliers offering LED pendants with a web search. But I have no experience with these; maybe Davidtay does.

Seagull lighting has some IMO very nice compact fluorescent pendants (see link below, but this is not an endorsement).

Here is a link that might be useful: Seagull CF pendants

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 3:55PM
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