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Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Posted by firsthouse_mp (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 25, 09 at 2:14

I am in California and trying to weave my way through T24. I have 14' ceilings and a rectangular 16' x 26' area to cover in my kitchen, including an island.

Now that the CreeL4s are available, would you spend the extra money to use these smaller cans with a ceiling as high as mine? It seems with the height, I might want the L6s...what's your gut feeling?

I currently am thinking of 6 LED lights, undercounter LED lights and if I can squeeze out the wattage, two pendant lights (not LED). Do you think I have enough light? I also have a large skylight that you can see up on the ceiling just left of center.

My hood mock up, and it shows my ceilings....

From Menlo Farmhouse


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

I don't really think that any LED downlights will provide the light levels you'll require in your kitchen.
We need approximtely 40-50 footcandles on the counter plane.
Ask your supplier to show you the performance of his LED's st 10 to 12 foot mounting heights.


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Thanks Norm. I subsequently searched more on LED on this site and found your posts in a number of places, so I read those carefully too! After visiting both another lighting store and revisiting our site, we are fairly certain that we would need to double the number of LR6s in that space....a lot of cans! Thanks for the reply.


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

You are dealing with an area of lighting design that is new and developing rapidly with a lot of unreliable information and pit falls. I recommend finding a lighting store with professional designers or one that can recommend a consultant. You might save yourself a lot of pain and expense.


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

I've successfully used the LR4 in up to 16' ceilings. The only problem is that yours are sloped, and the LR4 only comes as a downlight.
The LR6 comes as a gimbal. I'm assuming the 14' is the highest point, correct? The gimbal LR6 should work just fine.
It's not the prettiest fixture, but it sure is nicer than fluorescent.


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Thought I'd follow up with some pics of the LED Cree LR6s....my lighting sub hooked up the lights to make sure I felt there was enough light. I have a sloped 14' ceiling which will be faced with tongue and groove paneling--therein lies the problem. There is no way to change the lighting after the paneling and the steel roof is put in. It won't be like drywall where you can just cut it out and re-do. So we mocked the whole thing up today and waited until dark...ta da!

Twelve cans in a 22' x 13' kitchen.

From Menlo Farmhouse

The breakfast nook has 4 cans in the middle of the great room:

From Menlo Farmhouse

Six cans above the family room section:

From Menlo Farmhouse

It's difficult to truly capture the lighting with a point-and-shoot camera in the dark, but I think you can tell that it's plenty bright, even without the white T&G ceiling, the white walls, white cabinets and white counters (can you tell I like white?). I will also have flourescent undercounter lighting, two pendants over the island, a gooseneck sconce over the sink and a chandelier over the breakfast table. We got light!!!


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Great! The LR6 is a great light. I forgot to mention that you get a 160 degree beam angle with it. So on a sloped ceiling it still works great.


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

How about a picture of them dimmed down. I still don't think the "Dimmable ones" are ready for "Prime time"
I recall a post where an Aussie ripped out the CREE "suppossedly dimmable LED's" and replaced them with Halogens---why
(1) They dimmed very little only about a 20% decrease and He said room was still way too bright for their needs.
(2) When He did try to dim them, He got a flickering "Psycadellic effect"

Being an Electronic Engineer (Retired), this caught my attention and I goggled "Dimmable LED's"
Strange thing, much info about these same 2 problems, (they don't really dim, and when you try they flicker) There were even very detailed and scientific reasons why this is so---anyway I found nuff info that it convinced me.
(One company that makes dimmers claims they have a model that does actually work, they dim down just like any incandescent light and no flickering (Fraid to ask the price for that Dimmer)!!!
Sooooo, Am I saying "Don't buy LED Lite, CREE, or any other maker?
NOPE If you intend to use them full on without a dimmer, they should be great. But watch out for brands other that CREE, especially cheep ones, There is a lotta junk out there right now!!!
I really hope the dimming problem will be solved soon.
I live in Calif, Hate Florescent lites, and before I know it my rite to buy Incandescents will be "Terminated"!!!!

Good Luck

Gary


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Lightguy, (or anyone else knowledgeable in lighting), we are building and our LR has a 23 ft cathedral ceiling. I plan to do a soffit on two sides of the room at the 10ft level with "up" lights on the soffit for accent / decorating, but what type can lights should I use for the rest of the room. The ceiling will be tongue & groove. I am clueless as to the best type of lights to use on such high ceiling. I am meeting with a "lighting designer" that works at the lighting center where I'll purchase lights, but just wanted to know what some of you thought was best. Thanks for any advice.


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Dodge- All things being equal, the Cree bulbs should have a good 90% dimming range. You have to make sure the dimmer has its minimum load requirement met. Of the countless LR6s we've used, I've never had anyone mention that the dimming range was any less than 80%.
The problem is that this is funky stuff. Setups which work in one house will not necessarily work the same in others.
You're right though. There is a lot of junk out there. Wattage is almost meaningless with LEDs and even lumens can be misleading.

Stayn2busy-
Too many options. I have 16' sloped ceiling in my living room and don't use any ceiling lights- just two bright sconces.
You can use low voltage lighting, a ceiling fan, recessed or others. I'm not a huge fan of having recessed lights floating in the central areas of the room. I just don't like holes in the ceiling. Kitchens are a different story- due to the task nature of the area.


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Thanks Lightguy! I'm thinking I most likely won't do any on the ceiling, other than the ceiling fan---might not even do a lighted fan. Then some sconces on either side of the fireplace. Thanks for you input!


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

First pic full light, second dimmed:
From Menlo Farmhouse

From Menlo Farmhouse

Here are the lights dimmed. I mentioned the flickering thing and my contractor said he has definitely seen it before. The Cree ones that we used didn't have problems with that though and I felt they dimmed fairly well. I am not sure I'd ever really dim the kitchen this much. I tend to like things lighted!


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

firsthouse, what spacing did you use on the cans? Also, do you notice any issues with cans not being directed downward? Also did you use 2700Ks or 3500Ks?

I am thinking of doing the same thing with a sloped ceiling, so would love any details you can share. Sure does look bright in the pictures.

Does anyone know whether it makes a difference what type of dimmer is used whether there is a flicker?


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Thanks for the dimmed pics. I could probably live with that. I guess the wife and I aren't representative of most folks our age. We do not like a lotta light, just about every light in our house is on dimmers, inside and out.
We have 35 watt Halogens in the kitchen (8 of them), and we usually keep the dimmer well below half so <17 watts which is about the same or less power than many CFL's use and the halogens will last longer and were cheaper--alto had I been able to buy Xenons (like I have under counter), I would have done that.
Thanks for throwing some hope in for what comes after 2012 in the "Peoples Republic of California"

Gary


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Lat61: The spacing you see in the kitchen is about 2-2.5 ft apart over the double window on the left. There are 12 of them that are pointed into the kitchen not downward,yet I didn't see issues with the angle. The 160 degree beam that was mentioned seemed plausible as the light diffuses fairly wide from the can. The covering on these LR6s are not like the cans with bulbs--they are a flat opaque white lens that is flat when not lit up. Also, the cans that we put in are the 2700. If you want even bluer, brighter lights you can use the 3500s.
From Menlo Farmhouse

This is a fairly bad photo of the can, but it shows how the can is "flat" and bulbless. The "bulb" is behind the opaque lens. Also, the LR4s seemed too small for my space, so I opted for the larger cans, but if you want to be more discreet, the smaller ones are now out.

Dodge: I really wasn't sure I wanted to be the guinea pigs for this LED thing but I wasn't happy with the fluorescent light, and the height of the ceilings kinda helped sway me toward the LED--I don't really want either myself or my hubby up a ladder changing bulbs very often. Between these 12 in the kitchen, the 4 over the breakfast nook and the 6 over the family room, I think we might be lugging a ladder inside every month! The longevity of the LED is a huge plus for us. This room will also be the hub of the house, so chances are it will suck the most electrical energy--again, another positive data point for the LED.

I think it's great you like and use your dimmers! My husband goes around turning everything "off" and I am hoping that since the remodel will include dimmers which we have never really had, he will indulge us all a little more light :)


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

I could look this up, but maybe you know the answer?
What is the wattage use of each LED fixture?
Thanks Gary.


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

HI Gary,

12 watts for the LR6.


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Which is why I am worried about my pendant lights. We can only have 50% incandescent wattage of the total wattage used in the kitchen. I have 12 cans at 12w, which totals 144w. Therefore my two pendants will have to squeak by with 60w bulbs. I had originally hoped for one or two pendants over the sink too, but alas, no wattage left! Went with smaller low voltage directional lights.

My contractor told me we can put in ugly fluor pendants and switch them out after the final inspection. Or he can say that we left the electrical outlet up on the ceiling "in case" at some point in the future I decide to put something there. They can't ding me for a "future light".


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Which is why I am worried about my pendant lights. We can only have 50% incandescent wattage of the total wattage used in the kitchen. I have 12 cans at 12w, which totals 144w. Therefore my two pendants will have to squeak by with 60w bulbs. I had originally hoped for one or two pendants over the sink too, but alas, no wattage left! Went with smaller low voltage directional lights.

My contractor told me we can put in ugly fluor pendants and switch them out after the final inspection. Or he can say that we left the electrical outlet up on the ceiling "in case" at some point in the future I decide to put something there. They can't ding me for a "future light".


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

That's the problem with how Title 24 is written. You get punished for being more energy efficient.
It's apparently being revised to take into account lumens produced rather than watts used.
Your contractor has the right idea.


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

I wanted to add my experience with the LR6. I have a 22' x 14' family room where I installed nine 3500-degree LR6s. The layout was a row of four lights down each side of the room, about 4' from the wall and about 4.5' apart, with one additional light in the center widthwise at the far end of the room (over a fireplace), essentially like this:

:* *:
: :
:* *:
: :
:* *:
: :
:* * *:
---------

The front four lights are controlled by one dimmer, and the back five by another. I used the Cree-recommended Cooper commercial dimmer switch and, while it doesn't dim as low as an incandescent, does go to 20% or so (in my estimation) without any flicker.

We are thrilled with both the quality and the amount of light these give off. Before our "re-do" of this space, our family room had dark paneling and beams and was a challenge to keep adequately light, even during the day. We have remodeled the room in a contemporary style and the lighting really complements the new look.


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Ronny: Thanks for posting your experience. Are the four lights on one dimmer something you would use for direct lighting? I am curious because I would normally put the lights on dimmers in a more "every other" pattern to dim the room as a whole, not each side of the room. However, maybe your TV or something else makes sense for you to dim one whole side of the room.

Also, how tall are your ceilings? Curious about that too--mine are rather tall and I THINK I have enough but am still wondering....

You chose the 3500 rather than the 2700, any specific reason why? The 3500 tends to have a bluer color according to some opinions and I normally like the clearer blue color but my electrician liked the 2700.

Thanks again for posting!


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

*I can't speak to the led "can lights", but we just had led under cabinet lighting installed and we love it. After my wife burned her hand on a neighbors halogen, I did some research and decided on the rather costly alternative - led. the light is plenty bright, bulbs last about 20 years, the fixtures are slim, well-made with aluminum casing. The energy cost is less and less heat is generated requiring less cooling in the summer. The 18" were about $80 each and were bought at Lowes; I can't remember the manufacturer.


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Anybody know the status of the title 24 rewrite that was mentioned? We are planning our kitchen remodel this spring.


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RE: Lightguy and others...would love your opinion about LED

Yes, would love to hear if they managed to get this revised....now struggling with the ugly outdoor Title 24 requirements.


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