Lighting Plan for Small Kitchen Needed by FRIDAY!

cploverMay 12, 2011

Hi! I am new to this forum--since I have been spending most of my time at the kitchens/small home forum. My kitchen remodel just started Tuesday and out of all the decisions we have or need to make for some reason I am finding lighting is one that I feel the most clueless about. And now the electrician needs a lighting plan by Friday morning!!

Here are some notes about our layout. There is going to be 15.25"x15.50" prep sink in the corner cabinet. The peninsula is approx 56.5" long and is going to have a small overhang of 10" (I know 12-15 is better but I do not have the room). The wall without a sink has 78" of shallow 12" deep floor to ceiling pantry cabinets. The dining area is still being decided but our plan is to put bench/banquette seating along the wall without the window and a either a round or rectangular extended leaf table. The wall with windows faces east. We are having white cabinets, natural oak wood floors, ss appliances and soapstone counters (if that helps with figuring how much light we already have).

1) We would like some recessed can lights--but not sure how many or where to put them.

2) We are not sure if pendants would be a good idea along the peninsula, if so how many-- 2?

3) Should we try to incorporate any electrical outlets on the pantry wall?

4) Under cabinet lights--yes or no?

5) What kind of lighting is best above the sink?

6) Am I missing something?!?

I would appreciate any advice!! TIA for your help! :)

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I would avoid recessed cans altogether. They are the worst possible choice for general and task lighting. You need a lot of them, which increases the cost, and it's difficult to prevent strong shadows even so.

Pendants with translucent shades are much better, but still fit with current ideas of style. Surface mount globes are fine.

IMO, surface mount linear fluorescent fixtures are by far the best for kitchen task lighting serviceability and cost, but unfortunately they are out of fashion.

Yes, I would fit undercabinet lights - T4 or T5 fluorescent, or LED.

The electrical code mandates maximum spacing for counter receptacles and wall space receptacles.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 12:41AM
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I agree about the under-cabinet lights. They are highly recommended by lighting professionals for task lighting. Task lights should be between your head and work surface to prevent shadows from your head.

I would still consider recessed adjustable cans. What you would want to avoid are straight downlights for general fill or ambient lighting. It is better to cross-light (direct the beam at an angle)and have lights bouncing off the ceiling and walls, so you avoid the blinding and eye fatigue that can occur when looking at a mirrored/ reflected surface. I would also avoid putting can lights behind your head where your head would cast shadows on your work surface.

I would put pendants above the peninsula for ambient light. Either opaque or translucent. There are even nice fluorescent pendants now that both energy efficient and give a beautiful light. Fluorescents have come a long way. You can now get them in a variety of different types and color temperatures. Peach and pink undertones are the most flattering for people's skins.

Above the sink, I would do two recessed lights on either side that cross light the sink area. One single light would create the problems mentioned before.

With the soapstone counters (non-reflective) you have less to worry about since you won't get the mirrored effect you get with polished surfaces. Your white cabinets will also reduce your lighting needs a lot - an all-white kitchen needs something like 40-60% less light than a dark-colored kitchen.

Would you want the option of plugging anything in along the pantry wall? If so, yes, I would put outlets there. I put outlets in my walk-in pantry so I could have the option of plugging in small appliances/ charging phones.

All the best. I think you'll have a beautiful kitchen! I love your white, soapstone, wood floor combo.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 6:46PM
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April-Lorraine: Thank you for the advice and your reasoning. What you wrote makes a lot of sense. I am not sure what I would plug into the pantry since it will be only 12" deep but I guess it would not hurt to have an outlet somewhere back there just in case.

Thanks again so much!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 7:32PM
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David&Lorriane- I will have to do some research on under cabinet lights-- thanks!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 10:25AM
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