Please provide thoughts on my light layout

twix6May 21, 2012

I have been working with the electrician and a person at the supply store to come up with a light layout. Would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions you might have.

The layout is divided in several parts. All cans in the kitchen would be 5 inch ones. Living room, 6 inch.

In the kitchen, the walkway lights 1-5 would be all on one switch (3-way, one switch at the side entrance and one in the bottom left corner, which is a main entry to the kitchen from inside of the house)

The lighting around the island would be together as one unit. A pendant lighting (need to pick the style) would be above the sitting area, and either one can above the sink (No9) or two on each side of the sink. I am thinking two, but wife wants one above the sink where she will be spending a good bit of time. The switch for these would be by the slider and by the entry to the dining room.

This way from any entry point in the room there will be a way to turn some lights, either the perimeter or the island lights. The bad part is the fact that there will not be a single place where all lights would turn off. Should I do the island lights as a 4-way and have another switch by the side entry, that way I can turn everything off as I leave the house?

There will also be some working station cans, the two on each side of the stove would be switched jointly, probably from a switch by the entry to the dining room. Do you think these cans are necessary since there will be under cabinet lights and the main prep area will be around the sink. There will be good bit of lighting under the hood. If I eliminate these working lights (7&8), should then move can No.5 2 feet to the left and put a new can 2 feet to the right from where can 5 is located?

Do you think there is a need for can No6 if there will be cabinet lighting there and having can no1 in proximity since this will not be a main working area? If installed, it would have its own switch. There will be an individual can by the beverage center as well.

Any thoughts on the 5 can layout for the living room area?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


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Hmmmm. This is a great start! Here are my thoughts:

I've done my own lighting before, including more complex layouts like this, and lived in numerous rentals with dead spots, too much lighting in one spot, and I'm always thinking (sometimes it's a curse) . . . so here's what I think. lol

1) I would definitely put two cans over the sink, one on each side. I've never liked the "single light over the sink" as it tends to glare on the sink, and it's just not pleasant to work under a single light coming right from above. There are funny shadows from my arms & hands, whatever I happen to be washing shades the sink, and it's just kind of annoying. I much prefer the indirect light from two directions. It's softer, gentler, and yet the combined wattage will give enough overall light to know you've really got things clean. ;o) So, two cans, please!

2) As for light control, what I've done in the past that I've liked is to have a "command central" spot where I can control most everything ambient; switches for task lighting right where the tasks will happen; and then 3- or 4-way switches for traffic pattern lights. (Which, really, is what you've done. Bravo, great minds, and all that. ;o) I like the idea of putting the island/traffic pattern lights on a 4-way switch, so no matter where you come in, or where you leave, you can control the ambient lighting. The rest are really task lights, and can be switched "on site", if you will.

3) I like the cans flanking the stove--I would leave them. (But I'm not all that familiar with undercab lighting, as I've never succeeded in living in a house yet that has it--our next build will, though, mark my words.) Maybe someone with more experience with undercab lighting will chime in. Fwiw, a friend's kitchen has the undercab lights, but while they're great for keeping shadows out of the back of the counter, she could really use additional light at the front. Thoughts?

4) I'm not sure what you mean about moving can #5 . . . the light over the table gives plenty of light there, and moving #5 towards the table would just mean whoever sits in those two seats would have horror-movie shadows under their eyes, nose & chin. ;o)

5) I don't think can #6 is really necessary. Eliminating light really goes against the grain of my moral fiber, but there you have it.

6) I like the can layout for the family room . . . but will you have a central fixture? Or sconce uplighting on the wall? Straight downlight is okay in a kitchen, but I really like uplighting on the walls for a gentler overal ambient light. The cans over the couch are great for reading, etc., but if you're going to light the room with cans (especially one that big), IMHO you shouldn't leave a dead spot in the middle. It's harder to play twister, ya know? Wait . . . bad example. Twister is better in the dark . . . I meant, um, Monopoly. Yeah. Gotta have good light to read all of those chance cards . . . ;o)

Hope this...

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 10:26PM
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Thank you for your thoughts and input. re your commment on no4) I made a mistake. I was debating whether can 3 should be split into two cans, if cans 7 and 8 are removed from the plan.

Reading on the forum is seems that folks like the EcoSmart LED lights, which only come in a size of 6 inches. So perhaps I should make all the kitchen cans 6 inches?

Thank you on your point for cans over the sink and will split that can into two on each side.

Should I perhaps include those two cans as part of the perimeter lights so that once there is light in the kitchen, all 7 cans will illuminate?

I like you, also want bright, bright lights, especially since there is no external windows in the kitchen for natural light.

On the family room point. Should I beef up the lights into perhaps 8 instead of 6?


    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 11:23PM
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Ahhhh . . . got it on #3. I don't think you'd need to add any more light on that side, as stove work is usually well-lit by a decent hood; and if your under cab lighting is good enough for the counters, the three cans will more than take care of the circulation space.

I, personally, would size the cans for whatever kinds of LED's work best. I'm behind the curve with led technology, so the last I heard was that they don't dim well . . . is that still true? If so, I would opt to not add the sink cans to the perimeter lights' switch. I wouldn't do that anyway, as sometimes it's nice to just have the one area I'm working in illuminated, instead of everywhere. (Mostly later at night, though, as I like light levels to drop slowly as the evening wears on.)

I would add more cans in the living room, especially if you're thinking of going with LED's. It seems like they illuminate a smaller area, or the light diffuses less than with an incandescent bulb. (Again, if I'm behind the curve here, please someone let me know!)

Anytime. :o) Now, will someone else please chime in? I don't want to be the only person weighing in on this one . . . lol

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 1:33AM
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There is the eco4-575 or cr4 @ Hd. The spread of light from the cr6 is really good - much better than the traditional bulb in a can.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 11:52PM
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Any last thoughts on the plan before the drilling starts on Monday?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 10:46PM
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