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Opinions please on kitchen lighting plan

Posted by la_koala (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 20, 10 at 21:04

Hi,

I would greatly appreciate your opinions on our proposed kitchen lighting plan.
(read down for the image).

Background/stats
This is the first remodel/construction work we've ever had done, so we're nervous about every decision. We have an architect, because this is a gut kitchen remodel and we're adding windows and changing around some things in the existing room.

We're aiming for recessed lighting and undercabinet task lighting (where there are wall cabinets). No pendants (I think they're more decorative than functional and want to avoid breaking up the view out the windows).

Leaning toward CREE LR6, but open to other ideas or suggestions at this point. (We'd look at the CR6, but not sure whether the CR6 will be what we want when they finally arrive.)

The main kitchen space is 11 feet, 9 inches by 14 feet. The "ell" space is 8 feet by 8 feet.

If I use davidtay's formula as a rough guide (35 lumen/sq ft and 600 lumens per can), I get:

Main kitchen: 11.75 feet x 14 feet x 35 lumens / 600 lumens = 9.59 --> round up to 10 cans.

Ell space: 8 feet x 8 feet x 35 lumens / 600 lumens = 3.73 --> rounds to 4 cans.

In the proposal, there's 8 cans (2 less than the rough guide) in the main kitchen area, plus it has the undercab lighting (and the range will have a hood with its lights over the cooking surface). In the ell, the architect put a single central light (vs the 4 from the rough guide). (Originally, there was also a pendant over the little table, but he thought there'd be enough light from the central fixture).

He's also mentioned doing a "wash" light on the wall behind the stools to light any artwork we'd hang there--just hasn't added it to the image yet.

The Proposed Electrical Layout
Kitchen electric July 2010

What do you think? Should we be thinking about adding more cans, and in which places?

[fwiw, we've been living in this kitchen for a few years with a central light/fan combo-fixture with 3 60-watt incandescent bulbs. Part of me wonders that I might have to become a better housekeeper if there's more light because more of the crumbs will show. ;-)]

Thanks in advance!
Lee

Here is a link that might be useful: JPG of Kitchen Electrical Layout Plan


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Opinions please on kitchen lighting plan

Why are the lights so close to the wall?

I think you'd need some spread around the middle of the room.

I'd rather start at least 24" or more from the wall. In my situation, I tried placing the lights in a fairly regular fashion across the room. An exception was made for the light over the sink.

Since I had wall hung cabinets, I ended up with the lights starting around 30" from the wall.

How much light do you anticipate coming from the wall washers. Are they to be turned on together with the main lighting?


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Track lighting?

Have you considered using track lighting to augment the recessed lighting?


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RE: Opinions please on kitchen lighting plan

Hi davidtay, thanks for responding!

Re track lighting, while we did think of it, we've ruled it out because this is an 1880's house and tracks would look too modern.

I appreciate your comment about spread in the middle of the room. That's an area I've been wondering/worried about. I can see doing a single ambient in the center, Schoolhouse Electric-like, to give some light overall and some old-fashioned ambiance. What do you think?

How much light do you anticipate coming from the wall washers. Are they to be turned on together with the main lighting?

Wall washer on the "upper" wall in the pic--not sure how much light from that. It came out of my husband asking the architect what about if we had some artwork on that one, long-ish wall, so I think the light is going to primarily be for that. (Yes turned on with the main switch, afaik).

I think the architect's idea on the cans is:
- For the counters in the 'bottom' wall (no wall cabs), the cans serve as both task lighting, plus some spill to see into the base cabs there. (That's maybe why he put them closer to the midpoint of the counter.)

- For the counters along the right-hand side, there's undercab lights for task (with their own switch), plus the cans above, so those seem more on the edge of the counter (at 24 in.)

As it's easier to add a light in the center now than after the job's done, one central might be best for peace of mind. Any downsides to that? Other than cost of one more fixture?

Thanks!
Lee


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RE: Opinions please on kitchen lighting plan

If this is an 1880s house and you're looking for something that isn't too modern, why on earth are you considering recessed lights??? As on old-house lover, I suggest checking such vendors as Rejuvenation Lighting for more period-appropriate fixtures. (There are others, that's just the one I happened to think of offhand.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Rejuvenation Lighting


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RE: Opinions please on kitchen lighting plan

I think you need to tie the other components of your kitchen together with the lighting. ie - If you have contemporary look stainless steel appliances, faucets, ... it would be more consistent to have lighting that fits.

If you're looking for a more period look, like davidr asked, why recessed lighting?

If you're looking at lighting pictures, there are led micro track lighting that could work very well. However, you need to consider whether the kitchen would have a consistent look vs a mix of modern and period.


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RE: Opinions please on kitchen lighting plan

Hi,

davidr, thanks for the mention of Rejuvenation. Just discovered they have a great wizard there where you can input the dimensions of the room and the period and it'll give some suggestions. Cool stuff!

If you're looking for a more period look, like davidr asked, why recessed lighting?

A long while ago, when first imagining this remodel of the kitchen, I had thought of going more period and using the Schoolhouse Electric classic forms of surface-mount fixtures. (Even though the house is that old, the current kitchen is circa 1950's from the previous owner's remodeling at that time--so the question is where to take it?) To do really it as it was when built in the 1880's, it would have to look like gas lights (there's still some old gas lighting tubes in the basement).

We started thinking recessed lighting when it seemed that was the most "unobtrusive" source. There's a nice river view outside the windows, and my husband is rather tall, and we think that anything pendant-like would intrude on enjoyment of looking out the windows.

And I've got photos in cabinet brochures and magazines of kitchens that combine recessed lights with a few period-type of fixtures over the islands--and it seemed a reasonable choice to sort of have the light just "be there" without fixtures calling attention to themselves. One of our neighbors did something similar and it seems to work (at least, when you're sitting in the kitchen and eating there!)

I think you need to tie the other components of your kitchen together with the lighting. ie - If you have contemporary look stainless steel appliances, faucets, ... it would be more consistent to have lighting that fits.

Yes, your comment is spot on. That is where my personal challenge is--I don't know if I have the best "decorator's eye" to see how to tie them together. So, I look at photos from different sources and see what seems to resonate.

Thanks for your input, both of you. I really appreciate it!

--Lee


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RE: Opinions please on kitchen lighting plan

Here's how I did it.
1. Figure out what style I preferred.
2. Discuss with my wife.
3. Figure out the budget.
4. Look for the things that fit the common style.

After all, we figure that we should be happy with the choices and not have to keep remodeling it.


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RE: Opinions please on kitchen lighting plan

davidtay, thank you for sharing that about your process. That has been most helpful. It led to a very good brainstorming discussion with my husband, which I think will lead us to be "happy with the choices". :-)

Thanks again!
Lee


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