recessed lighting help

kjmamaAugust 30, 2009

Hi - We are doing a small remodeling job and need some information. Our kitchen is VERY dark, north facing with one central fixture. I was planning to put in recessed lights over each work area. BUT now, as the contractor is coming this week - I realize can lights and not can lights... SO

What kind do people recommend? Are there better brands, or just types? Is it the fixture or the light bulb that matters? What do I need to ask for? THANKS

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Also - do I put one over the stove or to the side? How far to the side, if that is the way you do it?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 10:50PM
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One thing to think about is that recessed lighting is good for general room lighting, but in a kitchen you really need task lighting such as undercabinet lighting. Also, when you are working at the counter, your body will tend to create shadows on the work surface unless you place the fixture in front of where you are standing, but then they are right up against the cabinets. I have never seen recessed lighting used for a stove; most people have a range hood which has its own lighting.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 1:23PM
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I'm using recessed lights with halogen spots in my kitchen, the reflector being part of the bulb. Very happy with that, does not cause issues with shadows or whatever.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 4:06AM
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Hey Guido-

Do you have under cab lights as well?

BTW, are you from the Metter area?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 8:13AM
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Lightolier Lytecaster and LytePoints are a good compromise between cost and quality. Halo is a little cheaper but they don't offer as many design options. Lightolier makes a different brand called Evolution for the high end residential market. Halo (Cooper) makes a high end version called Iris.

I like the 3 3/4" line voltage coilex step-baffle downlights in white (#2005 WH, w/ 50w PAR20 lamp) at about $50 trade price. If you want a stronger light and to be able to adjust the angle of the light beam use the same model # but in low voltage and a 50w MR16 lamp at about $90 trade price. The low voltage lamps will last far longer than the PAR or R lamps and eventually pay for the additional fixture cost. I have seen low voltage MR16 lamps last over 10 years in a dining room where they are usually dimmed.

Put them over the work surfaces (two at the sink) rather than over the open floor areas. They can be 30" to 48" apart. Larger diameter fixtures can be spaced farther apart and that saves money but the lamp is more visible which many find unattractive.

If there is insulation in the ceiling use an IC housing designed for insulation contact. If there is a roof above with insulation use an AIC housing. If you don't use the proper housing insulation can cause the unit to overheat and the thermal fuse will shut the fixture off. When the unit cools it will turn back on. This cycling of recessed fixtures can occur in installations where the insulation was pushed back in order to avoid buying a more expensive housing.

Don't buy any recessed fixtures or lamps (bulbs) at Home Depot or Lowes. Always buy Sylvania lamps from an electrical supply house. The new frosted PAR and MR16 lamps are nice.

If you want a more efficient fluorescent fixture buy one designed for that purpose rather than adding a CF lamp to an incandescent fixture. The replacement cost of the poorly designed lamps will probably cost you more than you save in electricity

Undercabinet lights should be Xenon or LED and be installed toward the front of the cabinet rather than against the wall.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 8:48AM
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