Where do I put the can lighting in my kitchen?

bsspewerJuly 1, 2011

I just redid my kitchen. Complete DIY job; cabinets, countertops, flooring, electrical, window, etc.

Now I'm nearing the end, but I have no idea where to put what kind of lighting. I want to do can lighting, but I don't know anything about them, nor how they should be spaced/placed.

So I'm looking for any advice anyone can give me or websites I can visit. Just from reading this forum, it sounds like I would need 7-8 CR6 lights..

(I apologize, I'm new and don't know how to get these photos to show. I'll keep working to try and figure them out)

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David

The feasibility of can lighting depends on several factors
1. Available space in the space above - height.
2. Whether the space is already filled with insulation.
3. Wiring.
4. Location of the rafters/ beams.

It looks like you will not be tearing down the ceiling and will be using retrofit cans.

I did my kitchen assuming 35 lumens per sq ft and got a rough count of the number of cans.

You'll want one over the sink.

The location of the beams may prevent you from placing the cans at an ideal location (eg - 24" from the wall). The good thing about the CR6 is the light spread is better than the traditional recessed can light. In my opinion, the LR6 has a better light spread than the CR6.

If you are subject to energy efficiency laws (eg - title 24), the cans have to come with the GU24 base not the E26 edison base.

BTW, polar-ray.com is having a 4th of July sale...

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 1:57PM
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bsspewer

Thanks David. I will have to abide by Title 24 (I live in CA), but I haven't looked it up yet and read through it.

The only concern with the space above will be to buy enclosures rated for contact with insulation. There's nothing above the kitchen but an attic.

I was thinking of the following:
- One on each side of the stove, at about 22" from the wall to the center of the light (to not be working in your own shadow)
- One over the dishwasher area, same distance as above
- One over the sink
- One in front of the fridge
- Then the rest will be evenly spaced throughout the room for even lighting

I don't know what you mean by "retrofit cans". Since I have easy access in/out of the attic above, I don't have any problems cutting a hole and fitting any light.

I'll check out polar-ray, thanks for that little bit :)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 3:06PM
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David

A retrofit can is a housing meant to be put in position via the hole cut in the ceiling from below. It is held in position by clips/ fasteners to the ceiling board.

If you have full access, you can use the new construction cans.

Your space could do with 8 - 9 cans (assuming all lighting from the cans). If you retain the lamp, you can cut down the number.

I would try to space the can ~ 10" - 1 ft from the edge of the cabinets. (The beams/ joists in the ceiling would impact the final placement)

Title 24 compliant can characteristics
a. Air tight construction.
b. GU24 base or a CFL can with integrated ballast.
c. Rated for direct insulation contact.

You can buy the Halo can (for Halo LED) and adapt the Cree CR6/ LR6 (GU24 base) since the Cree lamps come with the necessary pigtail connectors. Or you could just buy everything labelled by Cree.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 4:26PM
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bsspewer

Well, after some frustration with worrying myself about where to put the lights and hoping I won't cut more holes than I need, I finished the job.

My advice for the next guy:
- Function trumps design.
- Place one directly over the sink.
- Place one on each side of the oven/range (don't place one directly above the oven, as it will cast a shadow on the oven from the hood/microwave).
- Identify important areas where you will be working, and place one there (no closer than 2.5 ft from each other). (for instance: dishwasher, fridge, islands)
- Lastly, place the ones for the general area where you will be walking. Use the positions of the ones listed above to symmetrically place these open area ones. Square them off so to say.

Here's what I ended up with:


I simply started with placing lights where I needed them, once those were in place, I looked at the open area and placed another so it was symmetrical to the ones already in position. Turned out perfect when working with that logic.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 11:43AM
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colorfast

Thanks for the photo. We are trying to wire for this now and install the rest later and I have been reading a lot of posts on this board.

Couple of questions:
So you ended up using 6 total for the space, correct?

I have been told by a friend with recessed can lighting that there will be shadows (I suspect hers are too far apart). Do you have shadows anywhere that would cause you to have added more if you could do it over again?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 12:23PM
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bsspewer

Yes, I only used 6 total. I could have used 7 or even 8, but those extra lights would have only been to illuminate the general area.

What you don't see in the photo, is off to the right is a wall. The lights are about 4 ft from the wall, which causes that wall to be a little dark. That's ok for me, because I didn't want to illuminate that wall, I wanted to illumate the kitchen counters, bringing the focus to them.

I think the shadows you're talking about are from the lighting being cast downward in a cone shape. With an 8' ceiling, placing the lights no more than 4' apart will give good lighting and you won't get shadows.

The shadows I do get, are from the lights hitting the cupboards and leaving a shadow on the counter. This can be overcome with undercabinet lighting. I could have also placed the lights further away from the cupboards, but then the light would be behind you. This would cause you to work in your own shadow if you're standing at the counter. (The center of the lights is in line w/ the edge of the counter).

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 2:48PM
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bsspewer

Also, if you're looking to install them yourself, I suggest getting an oscillanting tool to cut the drywall. I used one and it made it simple and easy. Cutting out nice circles without the edges looking like crap.

Here's a photo of what my kitchen looked like when I bought the house, before I began to work on it:

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 3:00PM
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David

Nicely done.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 1:43AM
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gmnolen

Beautiful transformation!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 10:04PM
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