help with kitchen lighting

luvpatch2May 27, 2011

Hi! I am remodeling my kitchen and need to replace the huge outdated flourecent light that is currently there. I don't particularly like recessed lighting or can lighting. I also have an outdated smaller light about my sink. I don't have an island in my kitchen so I guess pendant lights wouldn't work. Any suggestions for updating the lighting with something flush mount? Pictures of ideas would be great! I have installed stainless appliances and I have bronze knobs on my cabinets. Would a light fixture with bronze go with the stainless? Also need to replace the ceiling fan over the kitchen table. Suggestions for a updated fan? I currently have an old white fan. Thanks so much for any suggestions!

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If you don't like recessed lighting then you must like to see the lamp whether it is in a surround or bare. There are thousands of such surface fixtures available so just go to a lighting store and find one you like.

The downside of the unfocused light from surface fixtures is that in order to get the task lighting needed for the work counters and sink you will have to light the kitchen to an uncomfortable level or lower the wattage and have trouble working.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 8:59AM
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Recessed lights are a poor choice for any kitchen lighting. You need too many of them to minimize shadows. Even then shadowing is a problem because they have zero indirect component.

If you want extra light on the counters, the better way to go is undercabinet lights.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 2:17AM
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I hate to say it but davidr is 100 percent wrong about recessed lights being bad in the kitchen. Sorry I don't mean to be rude or anything so sorry if I come across as such. Recessed are the best thing to put in the kitchen if done correctly. And correctly is not to hard if you follow a few basic rules. Color in the kitchen is almost as important as placement. If the kitchen is too dark, you need to add an extra light, but do it in a way that won't look like you are just tossing in lights just because. I never place recessed lights in the middle of a kitchen for one basic reason. Placement. It�s good to place recessed lights in kitchens anywhere between 10 to 16 inches off of the crown molding. Also picking warm lights between 2700k and 3000k is nice for kitchens. LED �s are great if you pick the right ones. Also beam spread is very important. I typically use lights that are no worse than 60 degrees of spread. The cree cr-6 and lr-6 are nice because they spread from 90 degrees for the cr-6 to a 120-150 degrees for the lr-6. Anyways placement is very key in the kitchen if you want to have the best lighting you can get. If you have a layout, and photos let me know, I can design a great layout for you free of charge if you need help.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 1:06AM
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"I hate to say it but davidr is 100 percent wrong about recessed lights being bad in the kitchen."

Indeed. If one wants to go back to the good old 1950's dimly lit kitchen then a flush mount light or two will work just fine. Most of us want the work and eating area to be well lit and that means more light, some of which has to be directed downward.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 10:46AM
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Of course you need fixtures with sufficient luminous flux output. Sure, my parents did fine with a single 75w surface mount kitchen fixture - but in my middle age I need more light too.

For task and general lighting, fixtures with an indirect component will always be superior to the 100% direct light from cans. This means good quality surface mounts, chandelier type, or pendants with translucent shades.

Cans are inefficient, crude lighting devices. They do have their place, however - highlighting room features.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 9:57PM
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Actually can lighting has a place in effectively lighting the things that we use in our houses. Surely the millions of people who continue to buy and install spots in cans are satisfied with the end result. There seems to be a vocal minority here.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 9:39AM
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I think the minority may be about 2 or 3 of us. :)

As I've said, cans are great for highlighting room features. Sure, they can be used for general illumination. You just need lots of them, closely spaced. Installation costs (material and labor) are thus significantly higher. The ceiling perforation also increases heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.

Lighting your kitchen or living room with cans is like lighting your tent with a bunch of flashlights. It works, but it's a waste of resources and it's awkward. If you camp, you know that a Coleman lantern (or its electric equivalent) is a lot more convenient, efficient, and economical.

IMO, it's only fashion, and the glossy home center decorating magazines, that make cans as popular as they are.

Eventually the magazines and fads will move on to some other fashionable lighting device. A decade or two after that, cans will be as "out" as big rectangular fluorescent kitchen fixtures are today.

Those folks who cared about lighting fashion, and remodeled their homes on the trailing edge of the fashion for cans, will be looking at re-remodeling at that point. Meanwhile, those who correctly predicted the next fad will still be in fashion.

Those who ignore fashion and buy on light quality, efficiency, and cost will still be ignoring both of these other groups. :)

I don't have a good lighting fashion prediction, but a wild guess would be that the next wave will take full advantage of the extremely small size of LEDs. It will be interesting to see what the next decade gives us.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 10:20PM
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davidr. I can light up your 15x20 room with 8 LED can lights, just using a home depot Cree Cr6 using a 120 degree beam spread and light up that room very efficiently for a little over 80 watts, and flood the middle of the same room. Not only that, you can dim it down for any effect you want in the room. You don't need lots of them, and you can space these out over 6 feet apart in the same line if you like while doing a fantastic job of lighting your room, with no florescent effect or use of pungent lighting to toss light about. I don't know why you dislike can lights, but you seem to be the only one I have seen on here that doesn't like them. "The ceiling perforation also increases heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer". Yes if you have a bad electrician who doesn't use air tight cans and over cuts holes. So what is this about can lights being a fad? You do understand Cree and other companies are spending 10's of millions of dollars to not only create 4 and 6 inch cans, but this "fad" is only getting bigger, not smaller. I don't know where you received your education on lighting, but it was not well spend.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 1:05AM
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On another note, I hate when you see this disinformation about lighting from people who don't know or care to educate themselves and spread their opinions to everyone about something they don't know about. To say that recessed lighting nowadays is not a good choice, or not efficient, or using flashlights and Coleman lanterns to light up your kitchen is just the same as recessed lights is just stupid. When this kind of information or disinformation is spread it does an injustice to the truth about lighting and should not be taken seriously. I have been doing lighting design for 20 years, won awards and been in home improvement magazines, so I know lighting design, and I know that the advice given about recessed lighting being a poor choice and a fad is 100 percent incorrect.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 1:19AM
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I am in the processes of replacing my flourescent light fixture and would like to use recess lights as my general light source. I am leaning towards the cree 6 but haven't ruled out the lower wattage halogen (decorators seem to prefer). Do you know if there is a can you can use for both so I have an option? Additionally, you mention doing a layout in a previous post. I would so appreciate that as I have no idea where or how many and it has my update at a complete hault since I need the lighting done to select the colors.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 9:45AM
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