lighting for kitchen renovation

jenrenovateDecember 5, 2011

We are doing a kitchen renovation and have a sloped ceiling at about 13' height. We are interested in the most natural lighting (vs fluorescents that are part of the Title 24 in CA) One lighting consultant recommended 4 6" LEDs (w/ sloped ceiling housings) Of note, there is preexisting perimeter incandescent lighting and we'll have 4 small (3") recessed halogens for tasks in a beam over peninsula.


Those that have LED are you happy w/ them, is the lighting natural?

Is there a general rule of thumb for # of lights per sq foot?

Any good sources for ordering these fixtures and housings at good cost?

thank you!

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Yes, happy with LED.

I figured the number assuming 35 lumens per sq ft for the space divided by the output per can (LR6 derated from 650 lumen to 600 lumens).

If you have additional lighting, reduce the amount required accordingly. is a good place. Home Depot has the Ecosmart branded CREE recessed lighting.

For high sloped ceilings, LR6 DR lights may be better.
The Title 24 requirement specifying that half the wattage has to be expended on high efficiency lighting could result in an over lit area.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 6:03PM
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Here is a view

In your case, the ceiling is high enough for the use of other forms of lighting other than recessed cans, for example cove lighting, suspended light bar, chandeliers.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 6:57PM
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Davidtay, I love your kitchen! What cherry stain do you have on your gorgeous shaker style cabinets? I love your floors and counters also.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 7:48PM
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Thanks. The stain is natural cherry since the color will darken over time. The cabinets were made and installed by a local craftsman.

With the exception of the can over the sink, the cans were put in a roughly regular pattern, about 30" away from the wall and ~ 3ft apart.

Before, the ceiling was 7' due to a recessed T8 fluorescent light box. The LR6s worked really well as diffuse light sources (I wasn't looking for spotlighting effects). The LR6 has a higher output compared to the CR6. However, it does not dim as well.

The alternative I looked at was CFL cans, but the total cost of materials (can, trim and bulb) was about the same as the LR6 + can.

In addition, the readily available CFL cans were not dimmable and the bulbs were not the standard spiral CFL bulbs (which drove up the cost of the bulb). The final deal breaker was the issue of replacing the integrated ballast (when the time came) as I did not fancy crawling around on top of fiberglass insulation in a hot and dark attic space.

The UCL is also led (low voltage), inspired from an earlier garden web post. From this angle you cannot see the beads of light, though there is an interesting shadow under the cornet since the bar was put on the hypothenuse (becoming a little too pricey). The bars came from environmental, but are also available from other places and under different brand names (e.g. - nora lighting). The nice thing about those bars is that they are polarity neutral - there is no terminal marked +ve or -ve.

The UCL gets used more often than the main lighting.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 8:52PM
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The oft-recommended Cree CR6 or most other LED modules (which encompass the trim bezel wouldn't work in a sloped ceiling), the Cree LE6 is an exception, but it protrudes rather than is inset in the ceiling. For sloped ceilings, I'd stick with a traditional separate can, trim, and lightbulb, since sloped-ceiling trim kits are readily available.

There are some separate LED floodlamp bulbs available that provide high-quality light that fit into the same fixtures and trims designed for halogen bulbs - the Cree LRP-30-GU24 (available in narrow and wide floods) which give off even better light than the LR6 and CR6, and is T24 compliant, and the Cree LRP38-10L-25D-GU24, which is available in narrow flood only and whose light quality is comparible to the CR6 and LR6. All I've mentioned here are available in incandescent-like 2700K warm color, with cooler color temperatures available. The Sylvania Ultra HD LEDs may be worth considering too - several GU24 sizes available, all with outstanding color rendering, but may glare more with their small beam surface area, and they give off cooler light (3000K) than incandescent bulbs which you may or may not like.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 3:00AM
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Many Thanks for the insights.

lee676, I am looking into your suggestion re: CREE LRP's. Any more specifics on trims and housings for halogens that are compatible?

Appreciate it!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 2:01PM
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Their website just notes
* Energy Star qualified to last at least 25,000 hours,
* Designed to last 50, 000 hours in open fixtures
* Designed to last 35, 000 hours in non-IC recessed cans (non-insulated ceilings). 3 year warranty.

LRP38A92-20D40-GU24 is an 11 watt replacement for 75 watt PAR38 halogens in recessed cans, and requires ELV (electronic low voltage) dimmers if you want dimming; narrow 20 degree flood, excellent 94 color rendering index (CRI).

LRP38-10L-27K-25D-GU24 is a newer design, 13.5w and considerably brighter, and replaces a 90 watt halogen PAR38 bulb. It's a still fairly narrow 25 degree flood, and has the same life expectancy, and 92 CRI. A slightly cooler, slightly brighter LRP38-10L-30K-25D-GU24 version is also available, it has 3000K rather than 2700K color. Also needs ELV dimmers.

LBR30A92-50D-GU24 is the only wide flood of the group, and can fit smaller 5" cans, an 11w LED that replaces a 65w to 75w PAR30 halogen bulb - 50 degree beam angle (25 degree also available), 94 CRI. Same fixture and dimming specs as the others.

Their spec sheet says "consult Cree LED Lighting for use in other fixture types", i.e. insulated-ceiling (IC) recessed cans.

All this info copied from; go to "Products", then either "Lamps" for LED reflector bulbs or "Downlights" for LED modules that include built-in trim bezels. There's lots of downloadable PDFs for all of their lights with pictures and detailed specs. Most of their info is aimed at lighting specifiers and commercial customers - still the main buyers of expensive LED light bulbs - but these are UL listed and rated for residential use as well. I'm assuming you're in California or somewhere where GU24 bases are required so that's all I've mentioned, but they have standard screw-in Edison (E26) base bulbs too that retrofit incandescent fixtures.

I'd normally consider only the 50-degree wide flood for home use since an 8' ceiling doesn't give narrow flood bulbs enough space to dissipate and you wind up with bright spots under the lights, but with your high ceilings the narrow floods may work too.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 4:59PM
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I like the Lighting Science BR30 and BR40 bulbs too, but Jen needs a Title 24 compliant bulb and fixture and those are only available with an incandescent-style Edison base, so she probably can't use them. They are a great value though - inexpensive, bright, and the individual LEDs and heat sinks aren't visible when installed. Home Depot sells the 2700K versions rebranded as Ecosmart, which I've used. My only beef with them is the rather low CRI (they look a bit pinkish) and they take almost a second to turn on after you flick the switch (but are full brightness from then on).

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 7:16PM
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