Low Watt Kitchen lighting in California. Avoiding recessed lights

tygerdanSeptember 25, 2009

We're planning to remodel our SF kitchen which already has 2 socket incandescent ceiling lights. I always felt it was not enough lighting near the sink and stove area with my own shadow blocking what I'm seeing.

With Title 24 I would need to replace the existing lights to 2 fluorescent ceiling lights (each 32W) and maybe add a 22W fluorescent light over the sink and another 22W on the left of the stove using these "puff cloud" lights. I don't really want to go over 150W total.


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I have 32W fluorescent pendants from WAC lighting, hanging 40" above the countertop, and spaced 45" on center. They provide bright shadowless lighting for the workspace. I have one of the pendants centered over the kitchen sink. You can get fixtures that support 26W, 32W, and 42W, so you can adjust the amount of light you get. Also adjusting the height of the pendant will adjust the light intensity. If you do not want to block your windows, recessed are they way to go. If you cannot install recessed, perhaps a line of linear fluorescent fixtures over the countertops.

In another room, I have 2 ceiling fixtures that use circline bulbs (40W + 22W). They are ~10' apart on a 10' ceiling. I have been a little disappointed by the amount of light these bulbs produce. The room is not dim, just not bright. For ambient light, they are fine. On an 8' ceiling they would give more light. I think a light fixture over your table would also be nice. Don't worry so much about the light over the cooktop. I have 3 20W halogens in my ventilation hood that produce more than enough light. Also the lights in the hood do not count for Title 24. One more thing is to look at fixtures from Besa Lighting for some glass fixtures instead of the plastic clouds. I find glass gives better lighting.

Very nice kitchen rendering by the way.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 11:51AM
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Thanks it was really easy and fun to make the rendering using Lowes online designer.


I do have 8' ceilings. I prefer not to have any hanging pendents. I was thinking of using a 6" recessed can over the sink and another on the left of the range. I read it gives a 4' spot of light which I think would be enough, but I'm worried it would look to much of a spotlight and I prefer more spread out lighting.

I don't think I need a light over the table as sometimes we sit 4 people and move the table so a light that was there won't be lined up. Maybe we can use some kind of low watt track lighting on the wall.

Thanks for the recommendation for the Besa lights as I didn't realize the ones I was looking at was plastic which I guess would yellow over time.

Here is a link that might be useful: lowes designer

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 9:41AM
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