Help me to understand lighting options for kitchen please

raee_gwMarch 8, 2013

I am browsing around the forum and see some excellent tips (like lumens per sq.ft, CRI, lumens per watt, recommends for Cree units), but I still feel confused about basics -- partly because I have gotten conflicting recommendations from lighting stores, and have had no contact as yet with the electrician (only with my contractor, who I suspect would just instruct him to stick 5 whatever cans in the ceiling).

My kitchen is about 156 square feet, with the upper cabinets deducted about 129. I'll add the floor plan below. I plan to have UCL too.The ceiling is 94" and will not be torn out.

First of all, I am assuming that can lights are kind of the standard, and I am sold on LED; but the first lighting store recommended that I just use semi-flush fixtures for my space instead of cans. I currently have 2 smaller circular flourescents and they are quite inadequate. I don't see how 2 semi-flush would make much improvement even with the addition of UCL. I assume that they would use CFLs.

I don't quite know what I would best have in a can-- when I went to Home Depot, I couldn't find anyone to explain to me re baffle, reflector, open -- which one is right for my space? Which gives gentle, broad lighting? was guessing that 5" would be about right?

And then the other lighting store was pointing me toward the adjustable track lights. I agree they would look cool, and that is what I saw in the Ikea display kitchens, but would they really give me the best lighting for this space?

Lastly,like everyone, I am on a tight budget, and want to find the best pricing. Do I need to shop Home Depot, Lowes, online etc or would the electrician be able to get the best pricing from a supply house?

Sorry for all the questions, which may have been covered in other posts -- I hope an expert or two will be willing to get me thinking clearly. I will appreciate any advice!

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    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:17PM
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I did read the led guide thread but halfway through I was overloaded! Plus didn't understand many of the terms being tossed around, sorry.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 1:49PM
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If you use something like the CR6, Sylvania RT6 or even the CR4, all you need to purchase is the lamp and the housing.

The lights mentioned above all provide a diffuse and wide light spread.

Track lighting can be directional depending on the lamps used for example MR16.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 7:32PM
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Hi Raee,
"I couldn't find anyone to explain to me re baffle, reflector, open -- which one is right for my space?"

Baffle -- the inside part of a can. Usually white and either flat or banded for appearance. The baffle is the part that turns the inside of a can from looking like the inside of a can, into having a nice white interior. Baffles are cheap, they're like $8. If you use a baffle, you would then use a regular flood bulb.

Retrofit -- In lieu of using a baffle and bulb, you can buy an all-in-one kit these days. They come w the LED light and the trim in one piece. You don't need the baffle separate from the bulb with LED, cuz theoretically, the lights will not burn out in your lifetime.

Look for Retrofit kits. They have them at HD, Menards, Lowes.

Reflector -- some bulbs (PAR style) light up a filament or diode, then reflect the light downwards in a particular pattern. They can have a narrow (aka flashlight) or wide (aka flood light) reflection pattern. All bulbs with a reflector and PAR style will have a more focused light than a light which has a diffuser insead, which is a BR style. For general lighting, I much prefer BR.

"Which gives gentle, broad lighting?"

Look for BR style kits. Avoid PAR if you want gentle, broad.

"Was guessing that 5-in would be about right?"

Sure. This is all personal preference. Personally, I went with 5" in my remodel. But I was working with a little lower than normal ceilings, so I didn't want really big (6") cans. 5" or 6" would be fine. Smaller would look a little more modern, larger a little more traditional.

"Best price"

I don't think you can go wrong here. Your electrician will probly get an ok price, tho you can probly beat it a bit if you want to put the leg work into it and find a sale. I usually have my electrician and plumber friends quote me "wholesale" prices when I need a fixture and they call their supplier, and oddly Menards or Home Depot usually beats them. I know right now the Menards 5" retrofit kit is on sale for $10 off. I'm about to take my receipts in to get $10 back on each one I've bought. Major score!

I bought and analyzed the various kits available at stores by me, see the thread below...

Hope that helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: My analysis of LED retrofit kits

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 2:40PM
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Davidtay, and Mike, thanks for the clarification, that really did help a lot!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 10:29PM
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Indeed - it helped me as well!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:46AM
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