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Recessed lighting in kitchen - what are people doing nowadays?

Posted by khallock (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 30, 13 at 9:34

We currently have recessed lighting, but we are going to re-do the can locations for the new layout.

My kitchen is roughly 11.5' x 16'. I'll attach the mock-up layout. The current cans would barely clear the cabinet doors if my old cabinets went to the ceiling. So we need to move the cans out at least a few inches. I think they would currently sit right over the countertops. I've been looking at some pictures and it seems like people are putting the recessed lights more over the walkways, than over the countertops. Can someone tell me how far out from the wall I should have my recessed lights? I think our current cans are 6" ones. We will probably either replace them or buy those LED inserts for them.

We have 1 can light over the main sink area. We are wondering what to do about lighting over the range. We will have a hood with lights in it, but should we put a can light over the range area as well? I think we will most likely do 2 pendants over the island. But I almost wouldnt mind skipping pendants and instead just having more can lights. My thinking is that pendants might block the view of our new range/hood (36" Bluestar + Chimney hood).

What about the fridge/pantry area? Would 2 recessed lights work here?

And last, what do you think about the island? Should I do pendants or more recessed lights?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Recessed lighting in kitchen - what are people doing nowadays

They need to be spaced so you don't cast shadows onto the countertop when you're working at the counters. Of course, if you have undercabinet task lighting this isn't as important.

In my kitchen, I have lights over the aisles as well as over the prep sink, the Cleanup Zone, and the short peninsula b/c they have no cabinets above them for undercabinet lights and they needed additional lighting for task lighting. (I also have pendants in the window well behind my sink - but there are over 24" b/w the back of the sink and the window b/c it's a bay window.) Where I have upper cabinets, I have undercabinet light for task lighting. [The longer peninsula - on the left - has two pendants over it. It has seating and is deeper than the short peninsula on the right.]

Your island...I think more recessed lights so you don't distract from the range/window wall...unless you want the focal point to be the island. If so, then I would get an eye-stopping chandelier (or pendants) for the island.

I've included my lighting plan in case it helps...

Lighting Plan photo LightingPlan1200dpi353x486-1.jpg


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RE: Recessed lighting in kitchen - what are people doing nowadays

How many lights do you have on that long aisle in front of your sink? I see 10 or 11 circles?

What do the dotted lines mean?


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RE: Recessed lighting in kitchen - what are people doing nowadays

One recessed lighting trend I see and am told of seems to be smaller can sizes, 4" or 3" and more of them. This has it's drawbacks (more actual labor and more cost for fixture) as well as it's benefits (smaller, less obtrusive look?).

I'm still working out our lighting plan, but as I dislike recessed in general, I'm going with the 4" size. It appears I will be relying more on the under-cabinet LED lights for heavy duty task lighting (3000K, high CRI, phosphor diffused led light bars) and therefore the recessed more for path lighting and some room light.

Very nice layout and view. I'd be tempted to skip the island pendant too, given the window view behind.


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RE: Recessed lighting in kitchen - what are people doing nowadays

LOL, no that isnt my actual view. My real view is the side of my neighbor's house. We just are adding windows to get some more natural light into the kitchen.


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RE: Recessed lighting in kitchen - what are people doing nowadays

Over the island you might want to put a couple of 4' remodel cans, if you don't want pendants. That will give you some good lighting and if you decide later to install pendants, you can pull the cans out and insert 'old work' ceiling boxes for the pendants to mount to.

You may want to put at least one 6' can near the fridge and pantry area.

I'm looking to redo my kitchen's lighting layout as well. Our current cans are centered over the counter top edges. I am moving them a foot out from the counter to better light the walkways. I am not sure just how far to space the 6' cans from one another. I ended up putting them about 4.5 ft apart. That might be a little close, but I'd rather have too much light (decrease the bulb wattage if that is the case) than too little (current state).

I've attached the layout that I came up with for our 13.5 ft x 19 ft kitchen with 9 ft ceilings, if it helps any. I started by placing the task lighting (sink, island, kitchen table) and then did the general lighting.


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RE: Recessed lighting in kitchen - what are people doing nowadays

There are five lights in front of the sink run.

There are 8 lights along the other run....one over the prep sink, one over the peninsula, one in front of the basement door (b/w the kitchen and FR), and the other 5 spread out.

Now that I look closely at the plan, I think they deviated from it a bit. However, that may be b/c the plan called for 5" lights but they didn't fit, so we have all 4" lights. Hmmm....you'd think there would be more lights...

Whatever the reason, what we have now gives us plenty of light - we don't need more lights!

I think the dotted lines are showing what switches they go to. I have switches on each end of the kitchen with a switch for both "lines" of lights.

This may be easier to see:

My Kitchen Zones photo MyZones-All.jpg


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