Advice on ambient lighting for kitchen

plllogDecember 15, 2008

I'm getting ready to remodel my kitchen and the one big hole is lighting. I'm in California so have to comply with Title 24. I hope some of you can help!

My eyes are really sensitive to brightness and hue, and I hate shadows and hot spots. I can tolerate fluorescents if they're indirect or diffuse, but otherwise they give me a headache (I'm not talking about the flicker, which doesn't bother me as much unless I'm doing something really fiddly or if it's too slow, but the glare and color). I haven't yet found a CFL that didn't bother my eyes.

I also hate the swiss cheese ceiling look, and the "dramatic" pools of light that the old kitchen has.

So... I read here in some old messages about LEDs that are compliant, and have 180 degree dispersal, if I understood right, but I haven't been able to turn up more complete information searching the web.

There will be some kind of undercabinet lighting on general principles, but what I would like to have is good enough ambient lighting that I don't need to use the under cabinet because I don't like the light bouncing up in my eyes while I work, and because I so dislike having task areas brighter than ambient. The counters will be light to medium hued, non-glossy, tiles, so they won't be very glary, but still...

I admit I'm fussy. I've been trying to design some sort of indirect that will bounce the light off the ceiling, but it's not really working. The room is approximately 16'x18', a U with an island, with a passage I'm calling a "butler's pantry" and a short entrance passage.

Any information, ideas, wild notions, etc., will be welcome, as will references to any showrooms in the L.A. area where I can see options.



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You asked for a showroom in LA area. Walters Wholesale Culver City has a light lab which has Renaissance LED recessed alongside Iris dimmable fluorescent recessed, Philips Color Kinetics LED and dimmable fluorescent over cabinet lighting, Philips Color Kinetics LED and Juno fluorescent under cabinet lighting. They also have a lighting designer on staff with many years of kitchen experience who is fully aware of Title 24 and the many solutions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Renaissance

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 11:04AM
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Oh, cool! I've never heard of them, of course, and they sound like exactly what I need.

Many thanks!


    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 2:44PM
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This branch is several months old and part of a chain of over 20 stores. The light lab isn't quite finished but functioning well enough for what you want to see. The store and lab provide materials and services to electrical contractors and specifiers such as architects and designers but home and business owners with discriminating tastes are welcome. It is not a retail store for the general public so they don't advertise to that market.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 9:16PM
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Thanks for the further info. Works for me. :) It'll be an electrical contractor buying and installing them. I just want to see 'em. :)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 11:08PM
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