led lights for galley kitchen

ginny20June 6, 2011

I'm doing a full remodel of my 8' x 15" galley kitchen. My GC suggests CFL recessed lights, but after reading a bunch of threads on here, I'm going for Cree CR6. Do I understand this correctly, do I also need GU24 cans? Any kind in particular? Then, it seems that I don't need that round trim piece with the CR6. Is that right? And it looks like the Lutron LN-DVELV-303P is a good dimmer for this. Yes? I want to be able to tell my contractor exactly what I want.

Also, my husband is against getting the LED because he says the technology is too new, it will change, and then we'll have obsolete cans. How likely is that?


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I went through the same decision making process, initially looking at CFL cans to replace a recessed fluorescent fixture as I had the ceiling raised by ~ 0.5'.

Downsides to the CFL cans
1. Glare.
2. Light output angle was rather limited.
3. Difficulty replacing the ballast integrated into the can later. You need access to the upper side of the can which may be difficult - access to a hot attic, lying in insulation, ...
4. The total cost was not better than LED (~ 3 years ago)- CFL lamps were ~ $11, Can ~$80 - $140 (dimmable) and the trim (~$10 - $20).

I looked at the LR6 and could not stop looking at it.

I ended up purchasing all my LR6 lamps from Polar-Ray and have no regrets.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 3:52PM
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Thanks, polar sean. I'm in New York, so I can do anything I want with my lights. I hate CFL lights and halogen is too hot, so I really want LED. Dimmable, cool, energy efficient light that turns on immediately and is not a bad color, what more could I ask for indeed? (OK, maybe world peace.)
Thanks for the answer for my husband, too.

I take it, then, that the Edison housings refer to the regular housings that IC lights use, and you just modify them slightly, and I assume the GU24 are more expensive or less desireable for some other reason. Also, I assume that since the kitchen wiring and lights will all be new, this counts as "new build," not "retrofit" even though the house is from 1941. Is that right?

Do the Cree Edison cans also require the modification shown on the compatibility sheet?

Also, if I get an IC pendant because I can't find an LED pendant I like (I haven't actually looked yet), will I eventually be able to use an LED bulb in it? Is the goal to make LED bulbs to go in IC fixtures, such as, for instance, my antique table lamps?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 3:58PM
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The Cree Edison housings are air tight, IC rated cans and would not need to be modified in any way. The housings on the compatibility list usually require a simple modification which is to remove a retainer clip or plate at the back end of the housing which holds the Edison socket in the back of the can. This allows the socket to be dropped down and screwed onto the CR6.

The GU24 is only different in the way the light connects (the socket) and is only needed in CA so I wouldn't worry about it.

Whether you need a new construction or retrofit can is dependent on whether you can nail the can into the joists in the ceiling or not. This would require the ceiling to be taken down or access from a space above the room. If there is no access, then the hole is cut from the room side and the can installed through the cut hole, which requires a retrofit can. The retrofit can uses clips which are pushed out from the inside of the can, after it's installed, to anchor against the top of the ceiling and hold it steady.

There are several types of LED bulbs that can be used in pendants. At home I use an R30 led bulb in my larger pendant over a glass four person breakfast table and a Toshiba LED MR16 in the smaller pendant hanging over my kitchen sink. They both work great and use less than 10 watts each.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 4:36PM
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Thanks davidtay, that info will help convince my contractor that I'm right. There is no access to the back of the can. It'll be in a plaster ceiling under my daughter's room.

Thanks for the further info, polar sean. I understand now. The LED bulbs come in many of the same sizes/formats/structures/whatever you actually call them as IC bulbs, and can be used in an IC socket for that type of bulb. That's great news for my antique lamps. I'll tell my contractor we'll be getting retrofit Edison cans and Cree CR6 bulbs.

Now I just have to figure out how many, and where.

Thanks to both of you for this help!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 6:13PM
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Assuming 35 lumens per sq ft,

Output of 600 lumens per lamp and no other light sources,
(35 x 8 x 15) / 600
You will need 7.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 7:19PM
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An alternative to CREE LED lights is the Sylvania RT6 which is available from Lowes for about the same price as the CR6 from HomeDepot (~49.98).

It may be a little easier to install since it uses torsion springs instead of 3 friction fit prongs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sylvania RT6 spec sheet

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 7:38PM
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Thanks, davidtay, that's what I was thinking, too. If I have 2 pendants (in front of two windows), 5 or 6 cans, and UCL under two cabinet areas, that should be plenty. Oh-and lights in the hood, too.I'm middle aged (if you live to be 108) so I need lots of light.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 9:04PM
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The Cree cr6 is vastly better than the sylvania rt6. The Cree is super easy to install in the can. Ginny, you did some awesome homework, you should be commended on that. Polor sean is really good at this, listen to him. Very good.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 10:40PM
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Thanks for the support, triphase. Now when my husband says "are you on gardenweb AGAIN? You're obsessed!" I can say, "No, I'm doing important, awesome homework!"

Actually, this site is wonderful to help avoid the kinds of mistakes I've made in past remodels. I feel so much more confident using fact-based reasoning and other people's experience in making these decisions. If you had to pay to be a member on here, it would be worth it. I didn't know any of this stuff, and when my GC said LED was way too expensive and CFL's were just fine now, I would have believed him. And I then would have cursed him when I had to try to change a ballast in a few years. You all saved me, and I'm truly grateful.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 3:48PM
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You're welcome on my end Ginny. Glad to help. If you have any more questions, fell free to ask. If you don't like the Lutron LN-DVELV-303P dimmer, I can have you look at others that will also do the trick for you. LED electronics are very tricky sometimes, and you have to match the right dimming chips with the dimmers.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:45PM
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