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Reasonable ft-candles for kitchen general lighting (at floor leve

Posted by joehouston (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 4, 09 at 15:37

Hello folks!

The question: What is a reasonable foot-candle or lumen/sqft number for kitchen general lighting?

The background: Replacing a 6 unit 4' 40W T12 construct on the 9 ft high kitchen ceiling. That structure, combined with the single 150W R40 over the sink, yielded a crazy bright kitchen. Abusing some of the Halo calcs, just for the T12's in the 9x13 space, yields about 80 fc at floor level (roughly a 50% lumen deterioration from source to floor). I'd like to go with six 150W R40's with a dimmer (including the over sink lamp) which will apparently drop the fc to about 50. Alas, simple install would use IC units apparently limited to 65-75W and yield about 20 fc at floor level. A bit more effort to get the non-ic 50 fc. I think the R30 bulbs in 6" cans look wrong so the 5" cans would be used, limited to 65W for IC use, further lowering the fc to about 18. And looking ahead to potential LED units, about 11 fc. Based on some of the other area lighting in the house, I'm guessing about 10 fc at floor level is about the "floor"???

Sorry for the number focus, an engineer by training (ChE) and over designing typical (dimmer a nice thing). Thanks in advance for the advice!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Reasonable ft-candles for kitchen general lighting (at floor

30 - 50 foot candles at counter top level is desirable. Overhead general lighting can be supplemented with task under cabinet lighting.

So far, retrofit LED by Halo and LLF need 6" housings.

Halo H7UICAT housings up the wattage capacity versus H7ICAT.

The right airtite reflector trim in a H5ICT housing can take a 75 watt par 30 long neck.

Philips has 60 watt par 30s that put out lumens similar to 75 watt par 30s.


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RE: Reasonable ft-candles for kitchen general lighting (at floor

Thanks very much for the feedback dim4fun! Knowing that 30-50 fc target range is most helpful.

Pretty sure I'm going to go ahead with 6" cans for the flexibility. If I convert to LED units in the future, the counter level light is lowered to about 14 fc. With the existing under cabinet fluorescents, do you think that adequate?


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RE: Reasonable ft-candles for kitchen general lighting (at floor

LED isn't as accurate with color as incandescent but can dim better than fluorescent with the right brand, if you need to dim it. There are different qualities of LEDs. The inexpensive types can be terrible. To up the fc with LED you can put fixtures closer together. There should be improvement in LED lumen output. The issue is with cooling the driver inside of the housing. More efficient drivers should help in the future.


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