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Alternatives/need to use recessed lights in kitchen??

Posted by karkster (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 23, 12 at 12:57


My eyes are bulging from all the reading I've done over the last couple of days about kitchen lighting!! I'm sooooo ready for some HELP!!

It all started with the lighting plan we received from our architect as part of our kitchen remodel. We have two rooms that will blend into each other (just separated by ceiling header) 11'L x 9'W and 10'L x 9'W, both with 9'6" ceiling height. Both areas have cabinets on both sides.

The plans call for (8) 4" recessed lights in each area, two rows of (4) lights evenly spaced, about 30" apart = 16 lights total in the two areas. It looks like A LOT of recessed lights to me!!!

My first thought was to simply reduce the number of lights to two rows of three so six lights instead of eight in each area..... perhaps changing to 5" cans instead of 4" just in case!

However, now I'm questioning the use of can lights in general!! They seem to be in almost all new kitchens I've seen to one degree or another so I hadn't even questioned their use. The uncluttered, clean look that is lauded sounded like the right move. I'm now thinking I don't really like the look of all those holes, even when you use white trim that helps them blend in, and I'm sick and tired of seeing them. I don't want our kitchen to look like every other kitchen remodeled within a certain time frame.

Having said that, I want our kitchen to be functional and not go to the opposite extreme of design over function. Bottomline about using a nice, unique overhead fixture in the middle of the primary area (one with sink)for the overall lighting? If we install undercounter lighting, would that be enough for the general lighting? Or should we still consider a few cans unless they'll just appear to be 'thrown in?' I'm not sure a fixture in both areas would look right, so we might need to succumb to recessed in the other area. Or, if we stick to the cans, should we cut down on the number of them as 16 in that amount of space seems like overkill?!

I know a lot of this is personal preference but any feedback, ideas, photos! would be great.

Thanks SO MUCH in advance for any assistance!!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Alternatives/need to use recessed lights in kitchen??

16 is definitely too many.

Assuming 35 lumens per sq ft, 546.25 lumens output per can (using either a CR4 or CR6), all light coming from the cans
11 * 9 * 35 = 3465
# lights needed 3465/546.25 = 6.34 (round up = 7 or 6)
10 * 9 * 35 = 5.7

Max 12

The following link may be helpful

Here is a link that might be useful: recessed can guide

RE: Alternatives/need to use recessed lights in kitchen??

As someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, I want good, bright lighting which cans provide. In our first build in 1998, we used cans. Our last build 2 years ago also has cans--this time CREE LR6 led lights (for kitchen only--the only place we really use overhead lighting, and use it a LOT). I can't imagine other lighting scenario for the kitchen.

You might have too many planned, but I can't imagine not using any. Looking up at our 10' ceiling, our cans look no closer than 40" apart.

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