How far apart to space 75 watt halogen recessed cans?

eks6426November 23, 2009

Hubby and I worked on lighting over the weekend. We are using 5" HALO cans with 75 watt halogen bulbs. We have ceilings just under 8'.

I wanted to put the cans right above the counter top edge but there was a beam there. So, I had to move them...chose to move them closer to the cabinets because I didn't want them on top of my head.

Then we ran into some more beam issues next to the stove. Plan was to put the cans on the edge of the 36" not directly over. I had to move the cans 6" from the edges of the stove. So, now we have 48" in the middle of the cabinet run with no lighting. Should I put a light directly over the range? We will have a wood hood. If yes, should it be in the same line as the other lights or maybe further back from the stove so that it is coming from more behind me?

The rest of the lights are spaced about 33" apart. Does this seem right?

Help please!

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There's always been a controversy over placement of recessed lights.
I use the Lightolier taught method of placing the cans 18" back from the counter edge ,48" apart.
As light comes out in a cone dispersion, this will provide good light.
Keep in mind. all recessed lighting needs undercounter lighting to get rid of unwanted shadows on the counter surface caused by the person performing the tasks.
By placing the cans on either side of the stove, you will attain the best light levels

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 11:01AM
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Hmm, right now I have the can lights about 3" closer to the cabinets from the edge of the countertop.....

I can't get the lights right on the edge of the stove like I wanted...I had to offset 6" on each side (due to ceiling joists). That's how I get the 48" with the stove in the middle.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 1:33PM
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I think you'd like one directly above the stove. That way you'll for sure be able to see what's cooking. Just my two cents.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 3:05PM
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I was sort of thinking that too, but if I keep it in line with the others, it would be over the range hood. If I move it back, it would be at best over me or maybe behind me....

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 4:44PM
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Just remember that light comes out of the recessed fixture in a cone shape, expanding as it goes down.
With lights 6" on either side of the stove you'll get great light on the stove surface.
A light directly above the stove will always be blocked out by the range hood, and your body, as just lean forward to do anything on the stove.
As you move the recessed cans closer to the upper cabinets get more light in the upper cabinets, but less light under the cabinets on the counter.
Also, any light directly above your head creates discomfort.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 8:53PM
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As noted a light directly over the range will put a bright spot on the hood and a shadow on the range top. Offsetting them to each side is the best approach.

Lighting on kitchen counters is a conundrum. 18" back from the cabinets puts the light directly on your head unless the lamp can be aimed toward the cabinets which is more expensive (often over the budget/allowance).

Non-adjustable fixtures at 8" from the cabinets provide good lighting but will throw a scalloped hot spot on the cabinets (only one client has liked that). Wall washer fixtures will throw a soft continuous light on the cabinets and counters but there are few choices of inexpensive fixtures especially if the ceiling is insulated.

I've never solved this problem the same way twice because people have such different tolerances and prejudices for lighting.

If the fixtures are 5" diam. and 33" apart I recommend A-lamp Wall Washers with an Alzak reflector (haze/clear diffuse) or an eyelid type. If you want more light try 4" adjustable Low voltage MR16 fixtures.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 8:23AM
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Hmm, thank you for the input everyone. I am still concerned that if I don't put something in front of the stove, I will have a dark spot in my kitchen. But I do understand about not having a light directly overhead. Here's my layout with the lighting attempt. Maybe this can help. Green circles are cans. Pinkish ones are 2 pendant lights that would go over the table. My area of concern is outlined in red. Suggestions?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 9:03AM
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