Recessed lighting layout for my kitchen

hobbesctFebruary 13, 2013

Hi all,

Excuse me for cross-posting this from the lighting forum. Traffic seems pretty low over there currently and I have to make some decisions quickly.

I'm trying to finalize the layout of the recessed lighting for my kitchen. Any feedback/help would be appreciated.

I plan on using 6" cans with Cree CR6 LED lighting. Over the sink will be a 4" can with a Cree CR4 (separately switched). There will be LED tape lighting under the cabinets. There are two pendants over the peninsula and a chandelier above the table.

The dimensions of the kitchen portion of the room (not including the eat-in area) are about 9' x 14'. Ceilings are 8' high.

I've worked out two rough options. Option 1 has cans positioned in seemingly optimal locations, but if looks like it could be too much light. That is a lot of cans in a small space. But the lights will be on a dimmer so maybe it wouldn't be an issue.

Option 2 has fewer cans, so maybe a more appropriate amount of lighting. Certainly it is a less cluttered ceiling. But the can locations don't seem to work as well and I'm concerned that the spacing may be just a bit too far apart to get good even lighting.

I'm open to any feedback, including modification to either of these two plans. Thanks.

- Mark

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I would center the light over the sink. Also if you have crown molding be sure that you allow for it and that it doesn't hit the light can trim. I would also add a can in the open area between the table and the hallways. You will end up with a dark spot as is.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:24AM
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Mark- I did a quick overlay showing what I would do if this were my kitchen. I am no lighting expert, just a fellow GWer that did this recently. I would use a 6" can over the sink and move the lights out so they are centered on the edge of the counters.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:55AM
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I think you need only about 8 overhead lights to give you your 35 lumen/sq ft in the 9 x 14 part of the kitchen. So corgimum's plan for 9 (plus 2 more in the eating area) looks good to me. I'm assuming it includes the one in front of the fridge. I think you'd need that one to see into any cab over the fridge.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 11:30AM
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Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, I can't move the cans back over the edge of the counter since that is a joist location (the joists run parallel to the range wall).

My concern with the light centered over the sink instead of centered over the window would be harsh shadows while using the sink, and strange lighting patterns on the flanking cabinets.

I had seen davidtay's recommendation for 35 lumens/sq ft in the kitchen, but adding 8 cans with the undercabinet lighting and pendants seemed like it may go overboard.

Other thoughts?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 2:04PM
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You could leave the one over the range out if you have adequate lighting from your range hood. If you are using dimmers I don't think too much lighting will be a problem.

Where would the harsh shadows and strange lighting patterns be coming from over your sink?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 2:18PM
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I had the joist problem, too. A few inches one way or another doesn't matter so much. My cans are over the counter, centered more like 19" rather than 24". You do what you can do.

I was including the pendants in the count, so you have 9 lights if you put one over the fridge. The reason I prefer corgimum's plan is that the lights seem more evenly spaced. In the original, there are a few lights clustered at the end near the sink.

In my just-under-8 by 15 galley, I have 6 cans plus 2 pendants - one centered over the sink - in addition to UCL and a light in the hood. It isn't too much for my middle-aged eyes.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 2:21PM
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Corgimum, overall I agree that your layout is an improvement.

I am not sure there would be harsh shadows over the sink, but with the light over the sink and little light coming from the sides (due to the distance from neighboring fixtures) I was thinking that hands and arms would block the light while using the sink. As for the lighting patterns, the cabinet close to the fixture would be awash in raking light, while the other flanking cabinet would get little.

Also, I have a predilection for symmetry wherever possible. :-)

I'm also trying to figure out the switching for the eat-in table fixture. Ideally I'd like to keep it with the rest of the switches on the right when you come in from the foyer, but with two switches there already for kitchen lighting and under-cabinet lighting it may be confusing which switch controls what.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 3:16PM
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Well, you have broken your symmetry rule with the sink not centered on the window:). If you center the light over the sink you will not have body parts in the way. I know that when I am washing dishes I want a lot of light focused in the sink. If you are concerned about lighting the cabinet to the left of the sink you could add a can centered to the front of it. But you have stated that you think you have too much lighting already.

I know what you mean about keeping the switches straight and I don't have an answer for that!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 6:06PM
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Yep, the sink is staying in its current location. There is a dishwasher to the right of the sink that restricts the ability to center it under the window. It hasn't bothered us much being off-center though. I'll have to think about the location of the light above the sink. Perhaps two 4" fixtures would work since they are on their own switch. It's more lighting but I could dim them down a bit.

I wonder how other folks tame the confusion of multiple switches in one location.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:01PM
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My current kitchen has two 4" lights spaced 18" from center to center above the kitchen sink and I think they provide great lighting. They are also centered across a double window that's above my sink.

My previous house only had one 6" can above the sink and I think the two 4" lights is much better for light distribution.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 12:28AM
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