Advise: Vaulted Kitchen ceiling and also 7' ceiling

rcstevensonazSeptember 26, 2009

We just finished remodel and now need to finalize lighting trim... (that is, rethinking original plan to just use halogen (PAR) lights for the entire area.

The original section of the kitchen has a 7' ceiling (with 4" Halo line-voltate cans).

The new section of the kitchen has vaulted ceiling from 11' up to 18' high (wtih 6" Halo IC cans). Unfortunatley, the contractor did not install sloped cans that are designed for vaulted ceilings.

My questions:

1. For the low ceiling, should I consider CFL lamps? Are there quality LED lights that fit into a 4" trim fixuture (replace a PAR 30 bulb)? Or do I not need to worry about the heat from the lights that are so close overhead?

2. For the valuted ceiling, how important is it to use trim kits that will allow me to angle the light buld downward? Or, do I not really need to worry about the light coming off the ceiling at an angle?

3. For the vaulted ceiling, could I use the Cree LR6 LED bulbs? Or, is the 11' to 18' distance too far for LED to be effective?

Much thanks!

-- Craig

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Don't put CFs in recessed cans. They get too hot and the bulbs burn out quickly. I spent a fortune in bulbs before I ran into an engineer that designs lighting fixtures that clued me in that it wasn't bad or cheap bulbs that were the problem.

I was not impressed with the quality of light from the retrofit LED bulbs I saw, but you local lighting store probably has a display you can look at.

You might want to look at frosted halogens for the vaulted ceilings. The light is indirect, unlike regular halogens, and very, very warm (2850K). Too warm for my taste, but I prefer cooler lights in general. They provided a lot of light without the glittery halogen look and it was very comparable to a warm incandescent light. I think they would be too hot for a 7' ceiling, though.

I'm wrangling with light, too, right now, so I am interested to see what other suggestions people throw out to your question. It seems like there are a whole lot of not-great choices out there right now when you take incandescent out of the picture. I am hoping the light bulb pain the EU is going through now will help get some better options on the table for the US when our turn comes up in 2012.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 10:11PM
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Bumping my earlier message and changing subject to match my current question: can I use Cree LR6 lights in a vaulted ceiling (11' to 18' height)?

And, also, would I want the Warm Light (2700K) or the True White (3500K) for kitchen use?


    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 12:36AM
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I'm going through the same problem right not. My sloped ceiling isn't as high, but I worry about recessed lights that don't point straight down.
We live in California, and so far, CREE LEDs seem like the lesser of the two evils.
BUT - I need to know if they will fit in a housing that is designed for slope ceilings.
Did you make a decision yet? If so, what did you decide upon?

Hope people continue to post here. I will be watching carefully for any responses.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 10:43PM
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I don't know of any LED or CFL residential product that will provide an acceptable level of light when mounted above 9'.
The light drop off is dramatic, with the light levels on your counters dropping by 50-75% when the fixtures are mounted over 10',compared to the same fixtures at 8'.
It's called the "inverse square law"
Keep your 6' cans, replace the trims with a PAR30 gimbal to offset the slope in your ceiling, and install 75PAR30NFL or 75PAR30SP lamps.

If you use CFL's, use 2700K when matching incandescent, or 3500K if you want a cooler feeling environment, of if you're over 50 years old.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 10:04AM
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Good advice normclc, thanks. In my case I'm right at 9' at the part of a kitchen ceiling vault where I would like to install a few LR6 cans as general ambient fill.

We will have other counter top task lighting and accents, but I'm looking for something to add a little general light at night (skylights during the day).

Will the Cree LR6 fit in slope fixtures and work with sloped trims? Or does one *need* to use the special trim Cree sells?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 12:23AM
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You should always have the light source aiming straight down .
If they're installed at an angle, you can encounter uncomfortable galare as the light may shine into your eyes.
Recessed lighting should provide the level of light wanted, without it attracting the eye to the ceiling.
Use the sloped ceiling adapter or frame that the mfg. suggests

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 12:12PM
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