Critique my Kitchen Lighting Plan, please!

buildinvaMay 20, 2013

***ETA: Revised plan with kitchen, living, dining included.***
NOTE: I think this is too many cans. I'm just not sure what to do about it. We are going for a modern look and since the whole space is open I don't want lots of flush mounts cluttering things up. But then this doesn't work either! Help, please!!

Would love to hear thoughts & feedback. The lights here are about 30 inches apart. My current kitchen has cans @ 36 inches and the shadows are really annoying.

Does this look like it will be enough light for the space?

Should I add recessed light in any other place?

Finally, I'm thinking of doing this in 3 switches: the pendants, the island cans, and the other cans. Pros or cons to that?

Thanks very much!

This post was edited by buildinva on Mon, May 20, 13 at 21:35

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seosmp

Are these 4" or 6" recessed cans?

Will you have undercabinet lighting as well?

I ask since mine are 4" LED cans about 39" apart (due to joist location). I have UCL though which I expect to use when working on the counters. So my cans are placed sort of mid-aisle.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:44AM
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gpraceman55

30" apart seems awfully close together. What lights do you have in your existing cans? We tried out a CR6 bulb in one of our kitchen cans, before committing to swap them all out, and found them to be brighter than the 65W flood light bulbs we were using. So, if you haven't tried one, I'd recommend it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 12:02PM
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palimpsest

I think 30" is awfully close, too, and that they are kind of positioned to light the top of your head when you are at the counter, which will also cast shadows.

I would also eliminate the two cans closes to each pendant over the island and align that whole grouping with the pendants down the middle of the island.

My tendency would be to align the cabinet run cans where you have the two for the fridge and pantry for ambient light in the kitchen and then use undercabinet for task lighting

And, you have nothing over the aisle on the other side of the island or on the left side near the French doors. This will light the kitchen pretty unevenly. The idea for lighting is to create a general "grid" for ambient and overall lighting and then supplement with decorative (your pendants) and task (undercabinet).

I don't understand the position of the can over by the passageway at all, why was that selected.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 12:35PM
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buildinva

seosmp--I will have UCL. It's in my current kitchen and love how it lights the backsplash and removes the dark recesses from the counter, but I don't think it's enough for task lighting too, hence my desire to place the cans half over the counter and half over the floor. Do you think this is a good placement? Or not? I haven't decided on 6in vs 4 in yet...

gpraceman--That's a great idea to try one out. I haven't done that. Can I DIY it with my current cans? (I'm not DIY savvy!)

palimpsest--The can over the passageway was going to be an "eyeball" to highlight art on the wall beside the fridge. I have changed that now, however. I also eliminated the 2 cans as you mentioned and have brought everything into line. Thanks for the tip about the "grid." I hadn't thought of it that way.

How far apart should recessed be placed? This is a huge open concept kitchen/living/dining so that makes it extra challenging!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 8:36PM
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gpraceman55

It was easy to change to the CR6 bulb. See the video below. Our can was a bit different. There was a wing nut that had to be loosened for the socket plate to come out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Installation Video

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 9:38PM
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williamsem

I'll start with I'm absolutely not any expert in lighting, I barely got my own kitchen plan pulled together and I don't even know how that worked out yet!

But here's a start. I'm not sure what exactly is going on with the basement stairs/hall area so I'm not sure what lighting it might need. I'd assume the living area will have some lamps, and I think a fan/light combo would work very well in the middle of that space while eliminating the need for recessed lights there. I also think you should consider adding back the light over the sink, just space those lights evenly. I tried to indicate roughly what I lined up since my finger is only so accurate.

I'm sure someone can improve on this. But I'm always a more ideas ate better type of person. Might cause that spark if brilliance in someone!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:03PM
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Gooster

If you go to a lighting specialty store, they will often do a lighting plan for you based on your cabinet plan.

I'm not an expert, but do have some knowledge of optics. The spacing of the cans is dictated by the height of the ceiling, the spread of your selected fixture, its size and lumens delivered (specs on the light itself), the target intensity desired at various heights, and even the type of surfaces you have. Your prior issues may be just due to the wrong fixture or bulb selected.

If you do post in the Lighting Forum, you will get helpful recommendations from experts. You will need to provide your ceiling height, the rough dimensions of the space, the size of the fixtures, and the general type of surfaces involved.

Oh, and you may wish to incorporate multiple can switching zones in such a large space. It is nice to illuminate the eating area separate from the kitchen (and obviously the great room).

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:40PM
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buildinva

Thanks for the feedback! That's a good point about my current kitchen perhaps having the wrong type of light. I had not thought of that.

I like williamsem's plan, But what about the middle of the room where the sofa is? Won't that be dark?

Also, if I move the cans to the kitchen aisles, will I be working in my own shadow when I stand at the counter?

I love recessed lights, but I am concerned about the energy efficiency. This is a ranch, so the only thing about this is attic space. It gets I hotlist here in the summer. Yet I don't want a lot of flushmount lights since it's all one big open spaceâ¦

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 7:10PM
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buildinva

Thanks for the feedback! That's a good point about my current kitchen perhaps having the wrong type of light. I had not thought of that.

I like williamsem's plan, But what about the middle of the room where the sofa is? Won't that be dark?

Also, if I move the cans to the kitchen aisles, will I be working in my own shadow when I stand at the counter?

I love recessed lights, but I am concerned about the energy efficiency. This is a ranch, so the only thing about this is attic space. It gets I hotlist here in the summer. Yet I don't want a lot of flushmount lights since it's all one big open spaceâ¦

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 7:11PM
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