Lighting Suggestions for Kitchen Remodel

kitchen2011November 3, 2011

Hi -

Could anyone help me out on my proposed lighting for my kitchen remodel?

The trick for me is that the main functional area of my kitchen will have upper cabinets that come down to the counter. (Left and Right on the diagram). So there is only counter in front of the windows which obviously means "under cabinet" lights wont work for me.

I have planned two large pendants with glass shades over the island, and am thinking that I wouldn't also want pendants in front of the windows - too many things hanging down. I'm not a big fan of recessed lights for my 1935 colonial, but they seem to fit the bill for providing task lighting in front of my windows.

Since I am putting them there, I am thinking to add the two shown in front of the door which will light a retained original glass front built in, and perhaps two more (not shown) at the bottom of the drawing to light that aisle. That little run has regular upper cabinets so under cab lights would be possible there, but it's not a prime work space, so I don't know that I need them.

I haven't found a local shop that has someone who will take more than a cursory look at this, so I'm not feeling confident that this is going to be enough light, and I'm wondering if there is anything that would look less modern than the recessed and still provide the task lighting I need. And of course I'm open to any other suggestions as well.

And just FYI, my cabinets are all built already, so the layout of the kitchen is fixed.

Here is my floor plan

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Using 35 lumens per sq ft, your kitchen will need light sources that will output 14700 lumens, distributed relatively evenly.

If you use standard bulb within recessed cans, expect the output of each to be ~ 500 lumens.

The Cree CR6 has a max output of ~ 575 lumens and works far better than the standard recessed can lighting (incandescent or CFL).

If you intend to use dimmers, it would be prudent to shave 5% off the max light output.

A naked 60W incandescent bulb outputs ~ 800 lumens.

It would appear that more light sources are required.

I would count the light output from under cabinet lighting separately as supplemental (late night/ early morning/ other lower light conditions) & task lighting for counter top work.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 4:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you DavidTay. I'm only changing the lighting in the "kitchen" portion, not in the "dining" portion.

So using your formula, that's 14 x 11 = 154 sq ft = 5390 lumens in the main portion of the kitchen area and 8.5 x 6.5 = 55.25 sq ft = 1934 lumens in the narrow portion by the back door.

So at 575 if I use the Cree CR6 that's 3 fixtures in the small portion, which I have, and 9 in the larger portion - including the pendants I assume?

I have revised the plan (see below) and wonder if you would be willing to answer a few specific questions.

(1) I am planning two pendants to be similar to this over the island.

Does this seem appropriate? I will be doing a lot of prep work at the island and want it to be well lit for task work. The working part of the island is 42 x 76. There is also a small step up towards the dining room.

(2) I only have one light above the counter at the far right/top in the diagram. Will that cause me to cast a shadow over my work at that counter? Should I squeeze in two?

(3) Could I use 4" lights over the counters since those are really "task" lights?

(4) Do you think the placement of the lights is reasonable/appropriate?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 12:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

0. I don't use the advertised output to give myself some margin and to account for a 5% reduction in output when dimmers are used (dimmers will limit the output to typically 95% of the max rating).
1. The pendants would work. You might want to explore the use of LED or CFL bulbs since incandescent bulbs are being phased out. Some people don't like the looks of twisty CFL bulbs, light output color, the time it takes before full light output is achieved, ...
Alternatively, a suspended linear fixture (with T8 tubes/ or linear LED strips) could be used if the style is suitable. As a side effect, such a fixture could be used provide a significant amount of indirect lighting. I don't think it would, but it's ultimately your decision.
For example

2. A single 6" CR6/ LR6 / Sylvania RT6 would suffice.
3. 4" cans are possible, though the complete package could cost significantly more than 6" cans. In addition, 6" recessed LED modules (RT6, CR6, LR6) have a very wide spread of light which provides more flexibility in the location and you may find that characteristic more useful.
4. The arrangement is workable, though I would prefer having a more regular pattern. The final placement of the cans depends on what is above the ceiling.

You might have to shift the locations depending on whether there is a joist, height limitation, pipe, duct work/ electrical or some other "inconveniently located" obstruction.

The layout planning is simple if the ceiling is torn down. It will be somewhat more challenging if you're cutting holes into the existing ceiling. Retrofit cans clip onto the ceiling board which means that the ceiling board has to be sufficiently well supported and strong (It will usually be so, unless there was a previous patch).

If the crown molding has not yet been installed, you need to have sufficient offset so that the light does not overlap with/ start immediately at the molding. It would be reasonable to have 6" can lights located between 26" - 32" from the wall - accounting for the cabinets and molding.

If you want the lighting to be dimmable, most fluorescents don't fit the bill.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 1:11PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Alternative to pot/can lights
Spoke to my GC yesterday and he suggested that I use...
MBR ceiling light or fan
Hi all, We have a farmhouse/colonial that was built...
Can I use a light fixture to define an entry??
We do not have a foyer. Our front door opens into the...
Hubbardton Forge
Does anyone by chance have their Icarus and/or Mobius...
What size fixture for bathroom lighting?
I'm choosing overhead bathroom lighting for a guest...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™