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Old 07-17-2009, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
1,149 posts, read 2,701,733 times
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Default Where to place recessed kitchen lights?

Another thanks to everyone who helped me with my kitchen design a few weeks ago. Been going crazy with the house closing since then - just closed two days ago - and we will be gutting the kitchen today.

I'm attaching a picture of the layout - unchangeable at this point, it's ordered and done, and we're pleased with it. On the left side, I believe we are taking out the wall where the upper cabinets end (actually just making it a half wall, trying to open up the space a bit), and I'd like to put some pendants on that "peninsula" area - it's kinda like an L.

I also need some recessed lighting. Anyone here who has done this before know where I should place these things? My father in law does electrical work, but he is not one for design, so I need to figure this out beforehand.

Thanks all!
Attached Thumbnails
Where to place recessed kitchen lights?-layout.png  
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:13 AM
 
Location: In a happy place
3,133 posts, read 3,272,812 times
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My suggestions in designing with my clients has always been - figure out where your work areas are. (Sink, Range, Food Prep, etc.). Now put your lights on either (or both) side(s) of that area, never directly above it. You don't want to be working in your own shadow. Now, if you also use under-cabinet lighting to light the countertop, you can fudge a little more on recessed placement. Also, if you have interesting design features you want to accent (display racks, accent doors on cabinets, etc.) place lighting in those areas, but think separate switches. When you are gutting it is easy to do that. This way you can just have your task lighting on if desired, or just your accent lighting when you are not working, but want to "show off" your pride and joy.

Best wishes, and remember, unless you are looking at this to resell, it is YOUR kitchen and it needs to be what you want.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 29,083,342 times
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Instead of going nuts trying to strategically place your hi-hats in various places I like to keep it simple. I would like to see about 6 to 8 hi-hats in a perfect tic tac toe pattern with or without the middle one. The penninsula side will have the lights directly above it while the rest will be about 30" from the outer walls perimeters. Does that make sense?

I like the option to light up the kitchen like a baseball field but I want multiple switches to have multiple light combinations for other times when it's just you and you only need 1 or 3 or whatever lights. But when company is over you can turn on all 6 or 8 lights.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,310 posts, read 21,032,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun41 View Post
Instead of going nuts trying to strategically place your hi-hats in various places I like to keep it simple. I would like to see about 6 to 8 hi-hats in a perfect tic tac toe pattern with or without the middle one. The penninsula side will have the lights directly above it while the rest will be about 30" from the outer walls perimeters. Does that make sense?

I like the option to light up the kitchen like a baseball field but I want multiple switches to have multiple light combinations for other times when it's just you and you only need 1 or 3 or whatever lights. But when company is over you can turn on all 6 or 8 lights.
I agree with desertsun, albeit with a tweak or two.

I overkilled the lighting in my kitchen and have never regretted it, but it looks like the "walking space" in your kitchen is about 7'x5', so you could get extremely bright light in that area by installing four cans (preferably on a dimmer), offset about 30" from the corners. That's what I would do, anyway.

I would add that you will not be sorry for putting in some functional, rather than symmetrical, lighting. I think you will be happy with a decision to put a pair of cans (on a seperate switch, if possible) directly over the sink and directly over the countertop adjacent to the sink. If you're working over the sink or chopping on that counter you don't want to be casting a shadow over your work station because all the kitchen lights are behind you. Trust me, you'll be happy with that.

Are you going to put undercabinet lighting in? If so you have good, functional lighting over just about all of your counterspace. I would wholeheartedly recommend xenon or halogen over flourescent. I think halogen throws the best, most natural light, but those suckers put out a lot of heat. Xenon is good light and considerably cooler, probably the best balance. You may like flourescent under cabinet lighting, but I can't stand it. It just doesn't look right.
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
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Thanks so much everyone! The kitchen doesn't get a lot of natural light because there is a huge screened in porch that sucks up all the light coming into the room - so it would be nice to have a daytime option for lighting, and then a full-on nighttime option - not sure if I ever saw that with cans though - is that feasible/makes sense? I will be getting undercab lighting, and will use the xenon suggestion - I like the look of halogen, but don't need the heat! There's also a few glass upper cabinets that will have lighting as well. The cans and the pendants will all be on dimmers.
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:19 PM
 
Location: In a happy place
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StarryEyedSurprise - Sorry about some info in my earlier post. I've been a little preoccupied as we have been getting our house ready to put on the market.I forgot from your earlier thread that you don't have soffits. In our area of the country, soffits (bulkheads) are still quite popular and my suggestions were for locating task lighting recessed in the soffits. I still recommend making sure that you won't be standing in your own shadow while you are working.

As for daytime lighting, even though you are putting the lights on dimmers, you can still put them on a couple of separate switches so they don't have to all be on at the same time.

In our kitchen we have fluorescent lights for under-cabinet lighting, but it is a warm light rather than a cool-white. There is practically no heat generated. I would suggest a trip to the lighting store to actually look at the type of light each one gives before you lock yourself into a final choice.

Good luck. I'm sure you are excited.
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,310 posts, read 21,032,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedSurprise View Post
Thanks so much everyone! The kitchen doesn't get a lot of natural light because there is a huge screened in porch that sucks up all the light coming into the room - so it would be nice to have a daytime option for lighting, and then a full-on nighttime option - not sure if I ever saw that with cans though - is that feasible/makes sense? I will be getting undercab lighting, and will use the xenon suggestion - I like the look of halogen, but don't need the heat! There's also a few glass upper cabinets that will have lighting as well. The cans and the pendants will all be on dimmers.
You can go with a flourescent system with "low Kelvin" lights for a more yellow and less blue light. A lot of people don't mind it, but I still think it looks flourescent. I think Xenon is the best selection, but definitely check out all of your options.
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,652 posts, read 4,833,037 times
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I think you new maybe 4 or 5, no more than that. Do you have elevation plans?
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:01 AM
 
41,633 posts, read 44,854,191 times
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Most makers of recessed lights have guides depepnd on teh wattage og light.It really depends on teh room and type of lighting to need such as highlighting painting and such on the wall or just general room lighting. I persoanlly do not like Halogen bulbs because of heat generated.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
14,254 posts, read 22,344,762 times
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Our kitchen appears to be about the same size but with a different layout. We have five cans for lighting and it is just enough. You might want to go with 6 for your layout. Ours were placed 13 inches off the upper cabinets and directly over our peninsula. I am considering adding under cabinet lights though for a little more light in the darker corners of the work area but that really depends on the color of your countertops and if they bounce light into these darker areas. We will definitely have to add the undercabinet lights when we replace our countertops with soapstone next year. Jay
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