Help with kitchen lighting

flashfryerApril 7, 2011

I am redoing my kitchen ceiling and so have the opportunity to put in any recessed lights I choose. My ceiling is 8' 4" high. Presently, I have six big R40 incandescent bulbs in recessed cans. Gives a nice, even light, but was thinking halogen would be a nicer alternative and more stylish, but don't want a spot effect. I want nice, even lighting.

There are so many different types of halogen bulbs from really tiny GU10 to big R40. I notice some halogen have dimpled lens and some are clear. I want a nice spread of light.

Any suggestions as to what I should get, or should I stick with the big old incandescent? Although these are going to be phased out, as I understand. I won't touch CFL. I hate them!

Any help would be appreciated.

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DavidR

I hate to sound like the old nag here, but what can I say? I am. :)

Cans are the worst possible choice for general illumination and task lighting. Surface mount fixtures and pendants with translucent shades give more even light with fewer fixtures.

Bummer that you hate CFs. Other than linear fluorescents, they're the most efficient lighting you can buy right now. You'll appreciate that in 5-10 years when energy costs have gone through the roof.

I would not put incandescents of any kind, including halogen, in any structure today. They are unrepentant energy hogs. Their future is dim, if you'll pardon the pun.

But if you're that dead set against CF, perhaps you should look into pendants with LEDs. There are many people who think that LEDs are lighting's future. The current ones are somewhat less efficient than CFs, however, and MUCH more expensive.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 7:37PM
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flashfryer

Yeah, the LED's are very expensive and from what I am told, not yet at their best in terms of the technology. CF's just give off such horrible light. I can't tell you how much I hate them. I would pay for incandescent or halogen no matter the energy cost, otherwise, what's the point of living? I will do other things to save energy.

Interesting idea to avoid cans all together, but they do look good.

So if I insist on cans and no CF's, what's best?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 12:23AM
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David

You could look at the CREE LR6 or CR6 lights.

The light from the LR6 is definitely better than a 15W CFL in a can - less glare, more light, more even lighting. Part of the reason is because the LEDs are ~ 1" from the surface.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 6:35PM
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DavidR

You must be one of a very small number of people with really acute vision - or something of the sort.

I've used CFs all over my house since the early 1990s (when they cost $20 each). When I still had some incandescents, now and then I would ask guests which lights they thought were CF and which were incandescent. (What can I say, I'm a hopeless geek. :) Unless they could actually see the bulbs, I never had one who could positively identify which was which.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 1:08AM
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flashfryer

Wow, you really can't tell the difference between those ghastly CFL bulbs and incandescent? I'm happy for you because then you have a solution, but for me, they are just horrible and really noticeable. I wouldn't say I'm part of a minority, at least in my circle. I haven't met anyone who says they can't tell the difference.

On the LED suggestion, I will check those out. I can see that they cost a ton at $80 each. Are these going to be as bright as the 60W incandescent I have now?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 3:06PM
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David

You should be able to get LR6 lamps for ~75 and CR6 for ~ 50.

The Cree lights do output more light than the 60W can lights as quite a bit of light gets trapped inside for the standard can light setup.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 12:20PM
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johnnyl53

Maybe recessed lights in general are not the best choice for general illumination but I was actually surprised in our kitchen just how evenly they light things up. The working area of our kitchen is 10'x 8.5'. We used 5 - 6" fixtures. Currently we have 60 watt ICL floods. Could be because they are a flood bulb but the light in the entire kitchen is even. When standing at the counter there are no shadows like we had before with just a single ceiling light. With the florescent T5 UCL's and the recessed lights turned on, the counters are nicely lit.
However, I am not happy with the heat I can feel from the recessed floods and will look at fluorescent alternatives. The quality of the UCL light is great and I am really impressed with the T5, 3000K output.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 4:45PM
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flashfryer

I have been playing around with different bulbs in the existing cans and have found that the best light in terms of coverage and colour temperature and general illumination, is the Incandescent flood lights. The R30's look pretty neat and do a great job. I like halogen, but the coverage is not nearly as good. So we are going to go for the flood in a reflector can to give a little bit of glitz. I'll post a picture in a few weeks when I have them up.

I will also consider LED to go in these cans when the price becomes a little more reasonable. They are also a little more glarey, from what I've seen.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 8:55PM
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flashfryer

I have been playing around with different bulbs in the existing cans and have found that the best light in terms of coverage and colour temperature and general illumination, is the Incandescent flood lights. The R30's look pretty neat and do a great job. I like halogen, but the coverage is not nearly as good. So we are going to go for the flood in a reflector can to give a little bit of glitz. I'll post a picture in a few weeks when I have them up.

I will also consider LED to go in these cans when the price becomes a little more reasonable. They are also a little more glarey, from what I've seen.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 7:27PM
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