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Kitchen Lighting Plan Help

Posted by JMNorse (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 28, 11 at 0:05

Hi, I was hoping some of the really good minds around here could help review my kitchen lighting plan.

I have a 26' by 21' space that is cut in half by an overhead beam to create a living room and a dining/kitchen area. My living room is already finished, but the dining/kitchen area is still in the works. The attached image shows my plan (the table is cluttered since I modeled it with and w/o a leaf installed, sorry!).

I color coded the lights to show the different circuits and the switch or dimmer that controls them. There are five switched circuits: range hood lights, sink lights, overhead kitchen lights, undercabinet lights, and dining room lights.
The D or S indicates a dimmer or a switch.
The light over the table is a chandelier.
The light over the sink is a 4" recessed can.
All other lights are 6" recessed cans.

I'm trying to figure out several things:
1) Should I be using the 6" cans or should I switch to 4" cans? The 4" are so much more expensive!
2) Should I definitely use Cree LEDs or ones with similary beam spreads to prevent light from pooling?
3) Is there enough light and is my placement ok?
4) Should I create another switched circuit for the two recessed cans in the dining room to allow the chandelier to operate on its own? I could probably put another switch to the right of the stairs.
5) Do I need lights in the pantry? It seems like recessed cans wouldn't be able to light it all the way. I supposed I would run that switched circuit off of a door open or motion detector.

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Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Kitchen Lighting Plan Help

You may want to check out the following
Or grumpydave's thread on 4" cans.

With the new ecosmart light from Cree, the pricing is now sane compared to the lr4.

If you intend to have the kitchen area illuminated with only recessed cans on certain times, the number of lights is too few.

The layout is a little strange.

The pantry could use some lighting., You could use something like the phantom lighting system instead of a recessed can.

RE: Kitchen Lighting Plan Help

For the cans: I think you had mentioned those LEDs on another thread. But, they are more expensive than the 6" and 4" housings are more than double the cost of 6" housings. Since the cost is higher, why would I choose 4"? Does it look better or produce a better effect?

Yes, I realized I had overlooked the pantry as I was submitting my post. I'll have to fix that.

What about the layout looks odd? I'll admit that I don't know much about lighting placement. Should I change the island lights from two to four and put them around the edge of the island?
I have an area of the living room that is similar in size to the kitchen. 8 6" cans provide more than enough light for that area.


RE: Kitchen Lighting Plan Help


The appearance of the new ecosmart 4" recessed lamps from Cree is a welcome change as the price drop makes them price competitive with 6" CR6s.

The housing itself isn't that expensive if you look around. A 4" hole would look better than a 6". If I were doing my kitchen now and the pricing of the total package isn't significantly higher than 6" cans (unlike CR6 vs LR4), I would use the new ecosmart 4" lamps.

Most people would prefer a fairly regular arrangement.

The can in front of the right side of the hood looks to be in an odd location.

8 6" cans will provide more than adequate lighting for the living room. However, it would be prudent to provide better lighting in the kitchen especially if it will be heavily used for food preparation.

If you intend to use other light sources together with the recessed cans, the number could be adequate.

RE: Kitchen Lighting Plan Help

Well, I'm slowly playing around with the lighting. I do intend to have undercabinet lights, the sink has a dedicated 4" light, and the range hood includes halogen lights. From the pics on finished kitchen blog, it looks like it might be ok to move my recessed lights away from the counter edge and rely on the undercabinet lights for task work. I think that's the approach I'll take.


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