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Lighting Layout Design - How many can lights are too many?

Posted by NewSouthernBelle (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 28, 11 at 22:16

So I know you are suppose to have layered lights - currently my plan calls for:
- Recessed can lights in Yellow - on dimmers in 4 seperate areas - including those that are positioned close to the counter tops rather than in the aisles to be task lights
- 3 Pendant lights in Orange over the island
- Under cabinet lighting in Red
How does this look? And, how many can lights is too many?
Here is the basic layout:
Just Lights

And here is how they are grouped together for switches. The colors of circles don't signify anything - just a way to tell the groupings apart:
Light Groupings

Thoughts? I guess one of my concerns, in addition to the cost, is will it be super hot with this many cans? And would I do better with one flush mount light in the keeping room. Maybe I should do a flush mount light there but leave the cans on the left over the locker area...??? TIA.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Lighting Layout Design - How many can lights are too many?

Are you using 6" or 4" recessed cans?

There are quite a number of cans in the kitchen area- 11. Assuming each can produces approx 500 (CR6 - 575 max) to 600 (LR6 - 650 max) lumens per can, you will have between 5500 - 6600 lumens.

Estimated kitchen area (12' x 16')? 192 sq ft, rounding up to 200, you should have almost enough lighting from just the cans alone, assuming ~ 35 lumens per sq ft.

If you count each pendant as producing ~ 400 - 600 lumens, that is an additional 1200 - 1800 lumens.

If you use LED cans, the heat output is not noticeable.

RE: Lighting Layout Design - How many can lights are too many?

Thanks David. The whole room is 30 feet long and mostly 14' wide - the "kitchen" part is almost 18' of that. The keeping room is 14'8'' x 11' at the bays.

We were thinking 6'' recessed cans. I guess I was thinking the cans were for me while cooking and the pendants for kids doing homework or guests sitting at the island and the UCL for...??? Because everyone raves about UCL. I don't know - I guess for when I want softer light but still need to see what I am doing. Maybe more as mood lighting for during dinner, after dinner... I don't know. Are UCL best for task actually done on the counter top? The problem is my prep area is on the right side of the island and obviously I won't have any UCL lights there.

What does figuring out the total lumens mean? I guess there are rules of thumb...?? What are the suggested rules and guidelines? I am sure it is posted on this side of the forum but I'm new here and haven't looked around yet. I noticed you frequently answer these sorts of questions so you must be the resident expert so thank you.

RE: Lighting Layout Design - How many can lights are too many?

UCL is best for task lighting. In addition, it can effectively replace the main lighting under certain circumstances - early morning, late at night. If you want a soft light, the light output color should be 2700k.

UCL Installation would be greatly helped if your kitchen cabinets have flat undersides without any interrupting fences.

The rough rule of thumb I used for my kitchen was ~35 lumens per sq ft.
Total area * 35 gives you the total illumination required.

Divide the total by the output of each can (assume 600 or 500+ lumens per can) if all the lighting is envisaged to come from the recessed cans.

A normal 60W incandescent bulb outputs ~ 800 lumens, but when put inside a can, the effective output is significantly reduced.

If you use a LED recessed can light such as the LR6 or CR6, the lighting will be superior to a standard recessed can light (incandescent or CFL).

Recessed cans are typically spaced ~ 4' apart. However, if necessary, the spacing could be reduced to 3' for areas such as the kitchen.

The recessed can in the keeping room could be replaced with some surface mount / chandelier/ pendant.

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