Please help with placement of recessed cans Kitchen...

tntwSeptember 19, 2009

we're finally getting rid of the light box and since we have to paint the ceiling anyway...we've decided to do pendants above island and recessed around perimiter. I asked over in kitchens where I hang out and was directed here.

Here are pics. We live in the woods so it's darker than normal.


Planning schoolhouse pendants. Do you think 3 or 4 pendants? Island is 84" x 35"

Thanks so much!


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    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 9:59AM
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I have a kitchen layout like yours I did 3 pendents over the island and 3 cans on each side and one can over sink- I put everything on dimmers and had lights put under the cabinets also- plenty of light- good luck w/ the project!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 7:50PM
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You did not say what wattage the schoolhouse pendants would be. Also whether they are incandescent or fluorescent lights. Also, how high off the island to you plan to mount them?

The schoolhouse pendants in general will give you a great quality of lighting. They will provide lots of ambient lighting, and you will get much more "bounce" from your white ceiling than your current light box. Ambient light is important to give an open feeling to a room. Your kitchen has dark floors and wall, so you do not get much reflected light from them.

I am not a fan of recessed lights for general lighting because downlight is not good for people. It creates very unflattering long shadows on the face. Also, you get no uplight for the ceiling. Recessed lighting is great for task lighting.

With your schoolhouse pendants, you can experiment with the height you mount the lights if you want more light on the island. If you have the room, you can mount a couple of adjustable recessed lights on either side of the island on the long dimension. Use PAR30 75W bulbs semi-spot, and angle them onto the island. The idea is to create cross lighting onto the island. I think you can get recessed fixtures that angle up to 30 degrees. This may not work because the hanging pendants will interfere with the light path from the angled recessed lights.

One more piece of advice is to put the pendants and recessed lights on separate switches. You may find the pendants are enough light and only need to use them.

Good Luck...

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 12:41AM
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thanks so much.

When you say 3 on each side of island you mean short walls? I was thinking following the L ? NO...

the contractor came out and bid for 7 but with DH so I'm not sure what they said...

I've also since learned to look for juno? and air tight? and 5" ... it's all so confusing.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 5:36PM
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Juno Lighting is a very good company that make a very high quality product. I recommend you study their residential recessed lighting catalog. The back sections have a lot of information on different bulbs and beam spreads to help you determine your light coverage.

"Air tight" refers to the recessed fixture being sealed so it can be place next to insulation. If the fixture was a non-IC fixture, then you must have a few inches of clearance between the fixture and the insulation. The recessed fixtures can get quite hot.

Good Luck with your project...

Here is a link that might be useful: Juno residential lighting catalog

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 11:57PM
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I prefer the 3 3/4" diameter recessed fixtures from Lightolier so the light source is not so obvious. These lights must be spaced closer together.

"Air tight" refers to an air sealed fixture housings that are required in ceilings below roofs and unheated attics. Insulation contact (IC) refers to fixture housings that are required if insulation will be close to or in contact with the fixture. It is possible for a housing to be rated for both conditions (AIC). These fixtures often must be lamped with less wattage to avoid excessive heat build up. Pay close attention to the catalog in this regard in order to avoid fixtures that automatically cycle on and off or lamps that do not throw enough light on counters.

Downlights only make people look bad when they are located over their heads so keep them over the counters and avoid lighting floors.

Schoolhouse/Lab lights are huge. 2 or 3 are all that is needed over the island and they throw a lot of light upward but don't get the glass globe type.

There should be 2 recessed lights over the sink to avoid shadows.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 10:37PM
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