Lighting Layout -- Need Advice for Kitchen Remodel

bakerbostonOctober 3, 2011

I am completely remodeling my kitchen and am in search of advice on the best layout for my recessed and pendant lighting for the new layout. I'm looking to put in about 5 or 6 recessed lights and 2 pendants in a 14x15ft space. The image below is my best guess based on what I've seen and read so far. Would be great to get a few other opinions. Please feel free to alter the layout as you see fit. Thanks!

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Here's another view of the kitchen to help with your perspective:

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 12:14PM
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6 recessed cans alone could be too few (assuming an output of 600 lumens per can).

For recessed cans alone and ~ 35 lumens per sq ft, you need around 12.

There are ways to reduce the number of recessed cans.
For example, it looks like you have the opportunity to do cove lighting. How high is the ceiling -10'?

You could also have a suspended light fixture/ tube in place of the 2 pendants or utilize higher output bulbs in the pendants.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 12:48PM
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Ceiling is 10'. I plan to have 5" cans. I plan on having the recessed lights (in yellow) on one dimmer switch and the pendant lights (in blue) on another dimmer switch.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 2:11PM
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If you plan to upgrade to led at some point in time, using 6" cans would greatly improve the possible range.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 2:16PM
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What's the cost difference on LED vs. traditional cans? Say I'm doing 6 recessed lights.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 2:47PM
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The LED module is separate from the can.

The Cree CR6/ LR6, Sylvania RT6 all fit in traditional 6" cans.

If you're affected by energy efficiency laws (e.g. Title 24) the can must utilize a non E26 base (no "Edison" screw in bulb). This typically means either a can using the GU24 base or a compact fluorescent can with integrated ballast.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 4:03PM
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I'll hold off on the LED decision for now. Really just looking for feedback on the lighting layout.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 5:59PM
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Does anyone have any feedback on the actual layout (where I have proposed the lights go)? Would be great to get some advice from someone who has done this before. Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 10:49AM
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Your general idea is fine, though I think the number of lights is too few, assuming that all the lighting is from the recessed cans and pendants.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 12:25PM
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Does anyone have any feedback on the locations of my 6 recessed lights? I was hoping to create a more balanced layout, but perhaps it's more important to put the lights exactly where they need to be? I've never done this before, so I'm deferring to some of the "experts" out there. Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 4:57PM
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I believe that if the lights are not somewhat evenly spaced it will look "messy and unplanned" to the eye. Mine are more or less evenly spaced with purpose. I made sure that there is one over the pantry area, the walk ways have the recessed running along the path. They are aprox 27 inches off the front of the upper cabinet doors. There IS a correct place for them to go so you don't have shadows when doing work. Yours look to be to much over the counter. If you are leaning in to cook, mix, prep your heads will create a shadow and if you are using granite you will get a big glare off the countertop. Also, undercabinet lighting is wonderful. All of the lights that where installed our the kitchen are on dimmers. This was a must for me (drove electrician crazy) but we use them all daily. Makes making lunches at 5:45 am bearable when I can dim the lights and brighten them as I wake up! ;-) Take your mark up to a few lighting showrooms - you will get alot of "free" advice. I did this with many areas of the remodel and would go to 3 or 4 different places, take all info gathered and go with the advice that was repeated time and again. Go to friends/family homes and look at their kitchen lighting also. Good luck .. CJC

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 8:47PM
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Thanks, CJC. I'm having trouble with the challenge of making the recessed lighting look symmetrical and pleasing to the eye, while also placing it in the areas which make the most sense. I just wish there was a more standard way of arranging the lights so it didn't seem like such a crapshoot in my mind. I'll likely need to show my layout around and get some feedback from various places.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 5:40PM
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I'm doing lighting and constantly looking on the web. One person said "who looks up at the lights to notice if they are symmetrica." So I'm going with lights in front of my fridge, sink, d/w, sides of the oven, in front of the hutch and under the cabinets. We'll have a table in lieu of an island and there will be two pendants over top. Of course, all subject to change as I browse LOL!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 10:00PM
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My understanding of 6" cans is that a 4-foot spacing gives good overlap so it looks like room lighting, not stage spotlights. If you don't want to add more lights in the perimeter/countertop line that you've got now, maybe you could add an "inner ring" staggered to those. I'm thinking 4 cans, over the walkway, kind of off the 4 corners of the island except lower left more between the fridge and the island. General sense of light would also depend on whether island lights are directing straight down or are also some ambient.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 4:59PM
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Move (4) upwards some so its light isn't blocked by the top of the fridge. Maybe split (1) into two cans placed horiontally about 2 feet apart lighting the largest, most-used section of countertop - let's call these (1) and (1 1-1/2). Main thing here is to have four, not three, recessed lights for the back counter - two on the left, one between the sink and stove, and one to the right of the stove. This will illuminate evenly and reduce shadows in the crucial sink and left-of-sink workspace area. Light (6) is fine as long as it's supplimented by undercounter lights so you don't get shadows, which it will be since over-the-range microwaves have a light or two underneath to light the cooktop (but for the microwave, you would be better off with a non-range-hood over-the-countertop model that doesn't needlessly include an exhaust fan, like the Sharp R-1214:

These have more room inside, yet are only 24" wide rather than 30", so the hard-to-reach cabinet above the MW can also be only 24" wide, allowing the more useful adjoining wall cabinet to the leff to be a half foot wider whilst remaining the same overall width for the right and left wall cabinets combined. And the microwave controls are easier to reach with all the buttons conveniently placed along the bottom.

You'll want good general-purpose lighting fot the corridors that run between the counters/walls and island, perhaps LEDs, under-soffit LEDs or fluoescents, or some other onobtrusive edgelighting.

Can the outdoor entry door near the stove be reversed in swing direction? As it appears now, someone entering the kitchen thru that door could startle someone holding a pot full of hot food in front of the stove, or at least the cook could get in the entering person's way.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 5:45PM
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As far as the lights over the counter, I don't think bakerboston has a choice, especially on the sink wall. There aren't any uppers shown here, only windows so undercabinet lighting is not an option. Thus, to avoid shadows, I would think that the light needs to be position directly over the counter. Wouldn't that minimize shadows? If the light was over the floor, you would have more shadows by you body being between the light and the counter. I have the same issue in my current project and I had positioned the 6" recessed lights directly over the center of the counter. I am still in the middle of construction but sort of tested it out and is probably the only option.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 10:27PM
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