Suggestions needed for lighting over island with 8' ceiling

treasurethedayMarch 23, 2013

I'm still in the dreaming stages of kitchen renovation, hoping to move to actual planning later this year. My husband threw me a curve when he said that he wanted me to choose lights to replace the 6 cans currently in our kitchen asap.

When we gutted two upstairs bathrooms, we needed to move some plumbing which led to the removal of two of our 6 cans. I've lived with the empty holes for a year was prepared (resigned) to keep them until the kitchen reno. My husband really wants to close up the holes and make any new holes all at once. He does not want to relocate cans now only to have to potentially do it again in another couple of years.

Since I was hoping to put a chandelier or pendants over my island in the future, he'd like me to get something now that would be the same type of fixture. Not that I can't choose something different when we do the kitchen, just ideally something that would take the same box configuration.

My ceiling is only 8' so is it realistic to consider a chandelier or pendants or do I need to stick with something semi-flush?

I'm struggling because I don't know what would work with the kitchen that I have now (can lights were easy, at least) and be pretty close to the same configuration as what I'd likely choose in the future. We don't have UCL now so my perimeter counters are fairly dark, especially with 1/3 of my overhead lighting gone. We'll add UCL in the future but I don't think it's worth the expense to put them in now on my old cabinets. I do use my island for nearly all of my prep so as long as I have good general lighting in the room, that would be sufficient.

Here is my current kitchen, with the missing cans over the stove wall.

I don't recall who made the chandelier over the kitchen table but I'll need to work with this...

Do you have any suggestions? What would you do?
Thanks so much!

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If you can do a recessed area in your ceiling I would consider doing something like what I found in this kitchen. I don't like the huge hanging lights but a pendent light can be used in the 2 hanging lights place.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 10:59PM
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Thanks, kdjess, for your suggestion and the great photo. I love coffered ceilings and would love to incorporate that look into our new kitchen. I guess that would really change our lighting pattern...

Any other ideas for how to light our kitchen today?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:46AM
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If your island is going to remain that narrow, I would not like pendants. I would feel like they were intrusive and always in my face, even if they would be above my head. I just would find it uncomfortable. Why don't you try the balloon mock-up to see if it would bother you? (It might not)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:24AM
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That's a good point, catbuilder. When we redo the kitchen, I think we'll be able to widen the island by a few inches but that may not be enough to address that concern. I'll try making a mock-up since that helped us decide on size and placement of pendants in one of our bathrooms.

What is the recommended height about the counter for the bottom of pendant lights?

The other possibility I'm considering is just leaving the 4 cans as they are, since they are centered along the length of the island, patching the two empty holes and putting some UCL in if I can find something reasonably economical. I've been working with such limited light for the past year that almost anything would be an improvement.

Is there such a thing as "economical" UCL?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 3:24PM
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Even if you remodel you will need lighting back over your stove run counters. 4 can lights in that kitchen are probably 2-4 short. IT will probably cost less than $800 for an electrician to install 4 lights and move the current ones to a better configuration, and another $200 for drywall patching of the ceiling.

Alternatively you can use the pseudo can led lights that install into regular junction boxes, possibly even where your old can lights were ($38 each) . For now that might be a stop gap measure to have more lighting in the kitchen and fill up those holes without repairing drywall. You can also put them into your existing can lights so that all the lights match. Might be worth a try since they are returnable to HD if it doesn't work for you. They are much brighter than incandescents and fluorescents so you may find that you don't need additional lighting. When you do remodel you can reuse all those LED's so that your investment is not lost.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 4:06PM
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