over cabinet lighting?

moegaffJune 4, 2009

My ceilings are going to be vaulted like a tray style and I would like to highlight them. Can anyone suggest what type of over cabinet lighting I should install? I've read that rope lighting works, but should I be looking to "bounce" the light more off the ceiling to highlight the vault? Any help appreciated!

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Does anyone have over cabinet lighting? If so, what do you have & do you like it? (I'm also considering putting in over cabinet lighting...after the fact...above my two cabinets that are not to the ceiling.)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 12:39PM
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Sorry I don't have an answer --- I've got the same question, nd am ahoping you get some recommendations. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 4:53PM
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Another reader here with the same question! I don't want to add recessed cans in my old 1880s farmhouse ceiling, so this seems like a good alternative.

I'm lucky to have a friend who is a lighting designer to bounce ideas around with...

She suggested rope light (nothing fancy, the stuff she used was from Target) if you are looking for a warm glow. She said there is no science to the placement, just tack it down out of the line of sight. You can get either incandescent or LED rope light.

For more light, she suggested T5 fluorescents. From what I know about lighting you can adjust the look of that a lot by specifying a warmer color lamp (around 3000 K) if that's the look you're going for. Higher temps are cooler and more like daylight.

Personally, I think I am going to try the rope light first. If it works, I've saved a ton of money. If not, I'm only out a little.

I did price T5s and my cost for materials for about 51 linear feet of lighting was going to be about $700. So that's roughly $14 per foot. The fixtures I looked at could be either hardwired or plugged in. There are limitations to how many you can join (the ones I looked at "snap" together like Legos) either by number of fixtures, watts, or length so make sure you talk to someone familiar with the fixtures to find our what their rules are.

Hope this is helpful!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 5:56PM
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I had the electrician put in outlet boxes above my kitchen cabinets b/c I'm planning to just plug in the cheap rope lighting. If I get really ambitious during Christmas I'll put up electric candles or lighted angels or some sort of festive lighting. The outlet boxes are controlled by wall switches with dimmers. HTH.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 7:51PM
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Our last kitchen had rope lighting on the cabinet tops. I had them wired separately so my long run of cabinets had a long run and short run of lights, separated by the sink. I used the short run for a night light. When we had guests, I often turned them all on, so people could see if they wandered out to get a drink or something.

My only complaint was that as the rope lighting got older, it produced an orange toned light -- no real big deal, I'd just put up with the color until it bothered me and then replaced it.

I'd planned to find another light type in my new kitchen, but just didn't find anything better, so I have rope lighting again. Apparently the electrician goofed a bit and they're not wired separately, so I'll live with all or nothing. Not a real big deal, I guess.

I really loved havin over cab lights!!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 8:45PM
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I put switched outlets over my high cabinets and have incandescent rope lighting there. I have LED disks over my horizontal lift-up cabinets-- my original plan was to uplight some modern glass bowls with the LEDs, but I ended up not going that route. Anyway, I find the LED light to be a bit harsh-- bluish, and it casts more shadows.

For a vaulted ceiling I think over-cabinet lighting is a great idea. You are smart to plan for it!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 8:58PM
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We did the same as flseadog. It was recommended by the builder, electrician and several friends that had the same set-up. Several friends used the rope lighting on there tray ceilings also, should be a good option for you.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 9:16PM
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I'm going to answer more than the question you have asked because if there is anything I have learned through my kitchen reno process it is just how important it is to have a really good lighting plan!

In addition to recessed cans and a large adjustable pendant, I have under cab, in cab and over cab lighting -- all on dimmers. Plus, the range hood has its own lights. As such, it's highly variable lighting scheme in which I can change the settings to create moods, highlight artwork on the walls or on display in my glass cabs, light specific task areas, illuminate the whole room, or just the dining nook -- all at different intensities. It's one of the features of my new kitchen that I love most.

The above cabs, in-cab and under cab lights are all the same: xenon light bars -- either 2 or 3 lights per bar. Their glow is warm white. The only thing I would change if I had it to do over again is that I would not use xenon light bars for the in-cab lights. Although the light they give out is lovely, I find the housings too large and industrial looking for my tastes. But at this point, I'm not spending another dime to change a darn thing! LOL!

Sorry I can't give you any advice about how those xenon light bars would work with a vaulted ceiling but whether you choose those, or rope lighting or something else -- by all means go for it. I know that I love the above-cab lights on my own ceiling. On a vaulted ceiling I would think lighting would be simply marvelous!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 10:15PM
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