Where would you put recessed/pot lights in this kitchen?

marti8aAugust 4, 2012

The electrician was here today finishing the dining room and we asked his opinion on placement of lights in the kitchen. He thought right down the middle. Granted, I'll have undercounter lighting, but I seldom see kitchens with recessed lighting only down the middle. What do you think? My kitchen is about 10 feet wide, or 8 feet once the uppers are on both sides. The ceiling fan stays.

Here is my almost finished dining room. It has 5 recessed spots, that are 3" LED, and I am amazed at the amount of light they produce. Our pot lights are about 4-1/2" and take regular bulbs.

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I'd put the lights down both sides of the kitchen in front of the cabinets. The lights in my kitchen are centered over cabinets and the light washes down the front of the cabinet. I think you'd be happier with that setup. If you have the light down down the center, you'd be casting a shadow on the counter. Under cab lights will provide good task lighting, but you want good light everywhere. Put in good lighting and then put it on a dimmer!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:59AM
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Can you post a cab layout? Then we can give you better advice. Right down the middle may or, more than likely, may not be the best placement.

Love your french door and side lights!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 6:52AM
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marti8a - I'm not sure, but first guess is down both sides, more or less over the edge of the countertop.

My lighting plan is so complex and I made a lot of mistakes along the way :( Think about where you put the switches, VERY carefully. I love my kitchen table light, but the switch is not where it should be, so I forget to turn it on for ambiance.

Also think about the order of switches at each location. My UCL I use regularly, so switch should be closest in the bank (when I walk in the room). Physically locate the switches on the stud closest to the door, vs. in the next bay. (I'm getting used to what I have but it's a reach).

Your DR looks terrific, isn't it wonderful when the drywallers come? (Wait, was that you?!) What will the spot lights, spotlight?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:09AM
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Away from the fan blades so you don't get moving shadows.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:54AM
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Good idea about the dimmer Poohpup, I'll do that. Both you and oldbat2be said in front of the cabinets, and that is what I was thinking too, with a couple in the center so the light is even.

Good point oldbat2be about the location of the switches. Unfortunately, they are already done so I hope they work. They are on 3-ways and one by each doorway. The undercabinet lights I bought are the kind little fluorescent pucks that plug in. I couldn't find any of those that direct wire or that are dimmable. I really wanted dimmable. Yes, it looks so much better after the drywall is complete. Dh & I put in the sheetrock (and dh cut the hole too big for that one outlook) and we had someone else do the tape/bed/texture.

Thank you breezygirl, I love that door too. Here is a plan of the side of the kitchen that is currently torn out. The oven cabinet at the end isn't done yet and I am rethinking going to the ceiling. I think I may make a soffit over it too so the vent hood stands out more. Dh took out the soffit on the empty side because it was easier than trying to rebuild what was there to fit the new arrangement. On the side that it there, there is a pantry at the end which will go up to the ceiling, the dishwasher, 30" sink, 5 feet of uppers and lowers, and the refrigerator/freezer cabinet. My baking center will be the long counter in the above plan.

onedogedie, good point about no lights over the fan blades. Those moving shadows drive me nuts in restaurants.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:58AM
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I put mine towards the edge of the counters - but I also have decorative lighting in the center - otherwise, I would have gone in front of the cabs - the new ones have quite the range - and yes, a dimmer is a must!

Zowie - lights near the fan blades - l think it could trigger a seizure in addition to driving me crazy (Not that I have seizure problems but have a friend who does)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:48PM
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Do you have a photo of your center lights with the spots too?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 4:23PM
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Sorry. I didn't realize I didn't pick the right code for the picture to show. Here it is, but dh & I have been discussing the cabinets, and have changed a couple of things today.

He was concerned that vent hood and double oven cabinet would swallow the upper beetween them, so we are going to eliminate the double oven cabinet and put that oven in a lower unit and the microwave in an upper.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:20PM
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Dh rigged one of the fixtures to work with a cord with a plug and he held it in various locations while I was pretending to work at the counter. It seems the best place is directly overhead. The flood light spreads the light out and that was the place that caused the least shadows. Does that sound about right?

a2gemini, I'd still like to see pictures of a combination of pot lights and regular lights though I really can't see that in my small space.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:05PM
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Hi Marti. Do you have a layout plan other than an elevation? Even to scale on graph paper?

Here's a early version of my lighting plan without my switching pattern drawn. Ignore all the cans in the LR.

Are you planning 4" or 6" cans?

Cans should be placed centered over the edge of the counter. My research showed me that kitchen cans should be spaced 3-4' apart. You might also consider cross posting on the Lighting Forum. There are a couple of pros over there.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 1:43AM
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Thanks breezygirl, I'll have to see if I still have a copy of a plan on graph paper. My scanner isn't hooked up right now so I can't make a new one. I did play around with the one light (they're six inch btw) and held it over dd in various places in the dark kitchen, and 4 feet apart seem to be what we found to be best too.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 3:32PM
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breezygirl, the smaller lines on the graph paper don't show up but this is a plan made prior to changing the double oven stack to a lower and upper. But that won't affect lighting. The red circles are where we think the lights would be good on one side, but it's hard to tell with only one light working. There will be a light in the soffit over the kitchen sink, so is the pot light there necessary? Or would we be better to leave it out and space out the other three evenly? There will also be a light in the vent hood, so the same question for a light in front of it.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 10:49AM
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