Please critique lighting plan(s)...

lmfoodieJuly 18, 2009


We're renovating the back of our house and have some preliminary plans by our architect. I know next to nothing about lighting (but am trying to educate myself by reading your informative posts on this forum), and would really appreciate your feedback. Here are the plans:

"A1" stands for 4" recessed low-voltage downlight by Halo with white adjustable baffle. "B" stands for pendant fixtures. "E" stands for low-voltage linear under-cabinet lighting with remote magnetic transformer by Seagull.

The area opposite the stairs is kind of a pass-through bar area with counter between the kitchen and living room.

This next image is the part of the house directly north of the previous area:

The area at the lower right is an entryway from the outside. Next to it is a walk-in closet/powder room. The large room will contain one, possibly two, grand pianos, and will be used for practicing, reading, listening to music...

What do you think about the number, type and placement of fixtures? Would it not be wise to have two lights on either side of both the sink and stove? Should the music room have more lights?

Any advice gratefully appreciated!

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Hi, since you'll have the under cabinet lighting, I don't think you want additional lights on either side of the sink area. You don't want to feel like you're washing dishes in headlights!

As a musician, I appreciate the importance of good lighting. Will the placement of the lights work with where you end up putting the pianos?

Also, I notice that there isn't really any corner lighting. I like to see recessed cans that swivel close to the corners to offer some dramatic lighting there. Dark corners make the room feel smaller, I think. Although, depending on your ceiling height, you might be able to get away with only plug-in up-lighting.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 10:14PM
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I'm not a fan of 4" LV voltage for general lighting, but they are great for task lighting because the MR16 lamp that they use gives great control.
I would suggest that you consider 5" cans with 75par30 "soft Par" lamps for the general lighting.
I would also suggest that there is too many down cans in the dining room.
Instead , put 2 4" LV at each end of the table, on a separate switch, to highlight your place settings.Then put 3-4" LV cans 15" off the wall to highlight the fireplace
and art wall.This will provide pleasant indirect light into the room and bring your eyes to anything hanging on the wall
The trim you select is all important.
I would suggest a black baffle if price is a consideration, or clear alzak if good lighting is realy important.
Please do not use white bafflesas, while they blend in with the ceiling when the lights are off, they become "glare bombs" when the lights are being used.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 11:36AM
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Norm, did you mean that the 4" lights are two small for general lighting? I'm confused, there's no fireplace in any of the rooms--did you mean the inset windows at the bottom end of the dining room? How far apart should the 4" cans be in the dining room, i.e., what would be the final configuration in that room?

Nv, we're not sure exactly how the piano will face; that is a good point. Were you referring to corner lighting in all the rooms? In the kitchen, the cabinets will go up to the ceiling.

I should also mention that although we have a fair amount of window coverage, we have deep (12") window wells, so we don't get much direct sunlight.

Thanks, this is really helpful!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 11:13AM
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That's a lot of questions.
Perhaps, if you wish, you can contact me on my email and I'll give you my phone number and we can go through your list

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 1:39PM
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Norm, take this plan to the vendor that your architect or builder will use. That company should have a lighting designer on staff. He/she can really improve this plan. For instance, in the dining room, avoid the down lights and switch to wall washer, slot aperature and/or sconces. Place your down lights in your family room to avoid the direct down light on the seating area. Place the furniture in the plan and then place the lights. Check out GE and lightolier websites.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 3:03PM
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OK, will do. I've been making my way through the Lightolier tutorial!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 7:07PM
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