Deciding between 4"/5"/6" recessed LED

brightmJuly 18, 2014

I've read THE Kitchen recessed lighting thread in its entirety a few times. I appreciate all the info that's there. However, it's difficult because there's so much old info and talk of updated bulbs. It's really difficult to parse and get what's applicable to me. Now. I'm in California.

This is not the final floorplan, but it's what I could find on my computer at this late hour. I don't think any of the changes would affect lighting. The two I spot offhand is that the island will be longer and thinner by a bit and the range changed from 36" to 30". Each square =4".

The ceiling is 8ft. The room is about 13' x 17' and the island is 30" x about 76-79". There will be three pendants over the island. I think they'll get some type of incandescent bulb. That's something I haven't figured out either. There will be some kind of UCL. Yet more questions.

But in this thread, I'll ask about the recessed lights. I need to get stuff at HD for GC to install it, but I have time to order other 'kits' if necessary. I'm assuming if I am the one to plug it into the little hole, it should be okay. GC suggested 6" because he says I'd need less of them than I'd need of 4". He gave me some calculation using the w per sq ft, but when I try to work it out, I'd need more than the 6 cans he said I should get. I see that 4" are more expensive AND I know there'd be more labor in installing more cans, but this is our forever house, so it's a nominal cost.

When I use the calculation on THE thread here, my 220 sq ft I get 6850 lumens. I think I subtract out the island. If I subtract out 2050, which seems as good a random guess as any for the island, that give me 4800. Which would be 7 @ 685 lumens, 8 @ 600 lumens or 9 @ 533 lumens.

Alternatively, if I look at an odd number to have a balanced number down both sides of the island and one over the sink:
4"CE 3000k, 561l *9=5049l
5"CE 3000k, 623l*7=4361
6"CE 3000k, 695l*7=4865

I think I'd want a small one over the sink regardless.

I am way overthinking this, I know. But I also know I'm at the beat-down-by-the-reno stage and I don't want to blindly accept what the GC says because most people want the cheapest way and he wants the easiest way. Help!?!

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Have you thought about installing under-cabinet lighting over your common work areas to give you the light right where you need it rather than spreading it all around?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 1:48AM
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Yes, I mentioned UCL. I can add those questions here too, if you want them. ;)

GC mentioned tape. Another contractor I've had doing some other stuff mentioned pucks. I've become enamored with the Environmental Lights ultra thin system. I have emailed them questions. It's been a couple days, I'll probably call them today.

Today, the electrician is prepping for outlets for the UCL in three spots where these wall cabinets will be:
--next to fridge
--each of the cabinets flanking the range

I haven't zero'd in on a system yet, but that seems okay. I am unsure if I'll want lights over the washer and dryer. In the past, that's been a clutter catching area. Of course I'm hoping that it won't be now with better storage, but...we'll see.

I think, at least with the EL system I think I understand pretty well. I can run all the lighting on that wall with one power supply and have the wire connectors connecting the different strips, and I don't really need the second outlet on that wall. But if I go with something different, I might need it just for that second wall cabinet by the range OR I might need it for the W/D area. (The wall behind the W/D is masonry, no way I'm having an outlet added there.)

A question I've got re: the EL system is if I can have those three outlets on one switch, and have two or three power supplies plugged into them as needed. I think that is fine.

The bigger question that I don't think I like the answer to is about dimming. And I think my mindset at this point is to not worry about dimming for the UCL. They make this stuff to be UCL, I'm going to assume it's a good brightness for it's intended purpose. I've never had UCL, so I have no frame of reference.

Once I figured out the pieces that I think I need from EL, the price was a bit more than I was thinking of. However, there's the benefit that I understand it. :) I think. I'm open to other, less expensive, good systems. But I need to understand them.

As always, thoughts/suggestions welcomed.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:29AM
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Back to the recessed lighting. I read DavidTay's comment:
'4" recessed lighting is considered more elegant than 6" cans.'
on the thread linked below. I agree.

I do think that's the way to go. Unless someone convinces me otherwise, I'm going to continue on that path.

GC originally told me to get H750RICAT from HD, so I'm assuming I now get H995RICAT. He'll be here today and I'll confirm. But it's the stuff that comes AFTER that where I'm still at a bit of a loss. I know:

--80 or better CRI
--The higher the k, the whiter the light

He said to get the kind with the orange connectors. Is that GU24?

If so, I think I found what I need, but online only, so would like to get it ordered.


But I'm unsure, since it doesn't show 'the orange plug'. Am I right that GU24=the orange plug?

It's odd these don't show up when you choose recessed lighting on HD. Am I wrong that I just need to get the H995RICAT and the ECO4-575L-GU24 for each?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:51AM
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Gu24 is not used in tha Halo 4" cans since they have their own led lights

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:28PM
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The information in the led recessed lighting thread is still relevant since the most important bits do not involve lamps.

Calculating the lighting requirements using lumens is more sensible than using watts per sq ft since LED efficiency will continue to improve.

For 8' ceilings, the output from 4" and 6" Cree lamps are roughly equivalent. One thing you could try is to put your hand inside a 4" can to see how comfortable you'd be putting in the lights.

As for UCL, ultra slim lights are low voltage. Plan on having the lights hardwired for a polished look instead of plug in sockets.

The UCL DIY link continuation is linked off the LED recessed light link.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:53AM
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You should get a GU24 housing for the ECO4-575L-GU24 lights.

One of the confusing things is that while Cree makes a compatible 6" housing for their 6" lamps, they don't make one for the 4" lamps. I don't think HD sells a GU24 4" housing for these 4" lamps.

It was a year ago, but the one I found that fits is:


I bought it online -- if you search you can find a place that sells it. There are others that will work too, but it's always good if possible to buy one first to make sure it fits. The Halo housing uses a different fitting so it would be a lot more work to use that product.

Also, make sure that your GC wants a remodel housing. The other alternative is a new construction housing. Liton sells both configurations. Finally, since your GC recommended an ICAT (insulation contact air-tight) housing, make sure the one you get that fits is also ICAT (as the Liton is).

This post was edited by calumin on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 22:32

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:29PM
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