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Kitchen Lighting


paulraphael
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What do you love, hate, wish for?

 

We're about to embark on the fun project of having all the 120 year-old wiring ripped out of a house and replaced with more useful / less deadly equivalents. It's an opportunity to replace fixtures while we already have gaping holes in the walls and ceilings. 

 

Currently the kitchen has a couple of quite ugly track light fixtures, plus some DIY under-counter lighting. All put in by the previous owner.

 

The quality of light is pretty good, in terms of useful work lighting plus plus pleasant ambient light. 

 

We'd like to have cleaner, better looking fixtures, along with counter lighting that's easier to use. But we want to make sure we don't end up with something that looks good while creating worse lighting.

 

Our electrician is suggesting recessed lighting. He can install it for around half his usual price since he'll be all up in the plaster anyway. We have no experience with recessed fixtures, other than in other people's kitchens with old versions, where the lighting seems bad (dim, and not where you want it).

 

Is modern recessed lighting better?

 

I'm open to track lighting also. Just not the current fixtures. 

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Notes from the underbelly

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29 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

What do you love, hate, wish for?

 

My current house, less than two years old, has modern recessed lighting and it's great.  My previous home had an older style of recessed lighting that wasn't very attractive.

I'd stay away from track lighting, it can obtrusive and unattractive.

Wired-in undercounter lighting is a godsend in the kitchen.

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we have the typical 'can' lights - the bulb protrudes slightly, the bulbs are not recessed.

I've switched most of them over the 'daylight' LED floods.  very white light, I'm seriously happy with them.

recessed lighting tends to be much more "restricted" to 'just down' - the protruding flood bulbs provide much more area coverage

 

I got several of the three panel 'as seen on tv' LEDs - used in the garage and in my workshop.

in the garage I had to make up & put them on a pendant cord - the old screw in sockets in the ceiling were not in a good location for the new adjustable panel thingies.

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2 hours ago, paulraphael said:

 

No trouble getting the light to all the places you need? Do you know what kind of fixtures they are?

 

 

they are regular can lights.

 

Everywhere that needs light gets it.  Some fixtures can aim the light at an angle.

 

There are newer more compact LED units that are available now, but I'm very happy with what we have had for about 5 years.

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When we remodeled our kitchen a couple of years ago, we settled on a combination of ambient lighting and task lighting. The ambient was to light up the room; the task was to hit specific work areas: cutting boards, the sink, the small appliance area (mainly the coffeemaker and coffee grinders). There's much more to the story (which I'm happy to tell if peeps want), but we ended up with flat LED downlights to provide part of the ambient lighting; the rest of the ambient lighting was provided by replacing three two-bulb fluorescent fixtures with LED-equipped pendants. For task lighting, we had these installed (well not these, but something similar). Everyone (including kitchen designers and subsequent lighting designers) has called their friends to tell them about these lights. I'm really surprised they're not more popular.

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9 hours ago, gfweb said:

we have recessed lighting in the kitchen.

 

its great... dimmable LEDs

 

We have assorted dimmable LEDs; under counter, tracks (recessed not allowed here). But all LED and dimmable.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Under both the stainless shelves on the left, and in a channel grooved into the wood floating shelf on the right, we're using these LED strips, along with whatever was needed to make them work! All dimmable.

 

https://www.waclightinglights.com/product/wac-lighting-invisiled-led-led-tx2430-5l-wt.html

 

image.thumb.jpeg.e2e5533d16a10ed14c80dfe53360243e.jpeg

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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33 minutes ago, weinoo said:

Under both the stainless shelves on the left, and in a channel grooved into the wood floating shelf on the right, we're using these LED strips, along with whatever was needed to make them work! All dimmable.

 

https://www.waclightinglights.com/product/wac-lighting-invisiled-led-led-tx2430-5l-wt.html

 

image.thumb.jpeg.e2e5533d16a10ed14c80dfe53360243e.jpeg

 

Can you say more about the LED strips? Hard to tell what they're showing in the product listing. Looks intriguing.

Notes from the underbelly

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I have can lights in the kitchen. I like them, and they provide plenty of illumination. A couple of corners could use some under counter supplements, but the CSO is in one of those corners and the coffee station is in the other, so it works as is.

 

highly recommend the dimmable function if your kitchen is visible from other rooms in the house.

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10 hours ago, paulraphael said:

Can you say more about the LED strips? Hard to tell what they're showing in the product listing. Looks intriguing.

 

I think I can - under the stainless shelves (bought at a kitchen supply store on Bowery), they're hot-glued to the front-edge, facing the white subway tiles, so the light reflects off of the tiles, lighting up the counter top nicely. 

 

IMG_7979.thumb.jpeg.d40ae33dfefaf2ca9e3a17463521c97f.jpeg

 

IMG_7981.thumb.jpeg.872fe0aa0394a48e703720bc50dc3447.jpeg

 

I imagine at some point they'll need another shot of glue...these have been in place for 5 years. The power feed on this side runs through the walls to the transformer located in the cabinet above the fridge.  On the opposite side, aka the floating shelf side, it looks like this...

 

IMG_7982.thumb.jpeg.11a0bb1dbb974bfb5a4cd5ff2ca57608.jpeg

 

And here the power runs through that wall, to the transformer located on the top shelf of a high cabinet.  Since all the walls were down and being rebuilt or cabinets being installed, this made a lot of sense.  Here's the invoice for everything involved with this part of the lighting task (well, everything except the labor!)...

 

1803828762_BUILDUndercabinetLighting.jpeg.f28de3671d04c6013ae0e949eee98916.jpeg

649305898_BUILDUndercabinetLightingpage2.thumb.jpeg.7686b2c81224fdb8b8f92abca178f381.jpeg

Edited by weinoo (log)
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5 hours ago, palo said:

So, ballpark, what was the labor?

 

p

 

It was part of a gut renovation of both our kitchen and bathroom, so I can't really put a finger on this.  Once you're using licensed electricians and plumbers, labor costs here skyrocket.  This under counter LED strip lighting I guess could be done by someone who knows what they are doing and has the tools, time, and temerity.  But in the case here, a full electrical upgrade was done to code. And then lots of outlets were put in the kitchen.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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We renovated our entire apartment before moving in, and I outfitted everything using LEDs from https://www.superbrightleds.com/

 

In the kitchen, we have exposed C beams so I used lengths of https://www.superbrightleds.com/led-strips-and-bars/24-volt-led-strip-lights/5m-white-led-strip-light-eco-series-tape-light-dual-row-24v-ip20 on the inside of each beam facing upwards to provide the ambient lighting.  It basically seems like the ceiling glows and you can't see where the light comes from.  They come on a reel with a self adhesive backing that once it goes on, it is NOT coming off!  Ask me how I know.....    I really like it.

 

For undercounter lights, I used these IP67 rated https://www.superbrightleds.com/led-strips-and-bars/24-volt-led-strip-lights/5m-white-led-strip-light-highlight-series-tape-light-12-24v-ip67-waterproof

 

All of the lights are dimmable - but really, most LEDS are dimmable by nature - it's the power supply that needs to be adjustable.  I use my own type of power supply - I have a central control box in a closet running an arduino and a bunch of high current transistors - I use an adjustable PWM output of the arduino to trigger the transistors which switch the power from a large redundant industrial 24V power supply also in the control box.

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20 hours ago, paulraphael said:

 

I'm popping the popcorn right now. Please tell!

 

Sorry to disappoint, if you were hoping for a saga of despair, dashed hopes and eventual victory over the forces of evil. But as it turns out, the lighting was the least traumatic part of the project. I'll skip the bulk of the story of our kitchen remodel, which took either two months or eleven years, depending on how you count. This is just about the lighting.

 

I moved in here in 2005. This is what the place looked like:

 

kitchen_4aa.jpg

 

 

kitchen_3aa.jpg

 

There was a 24" fluorescent bar over the sink, two 60W incandescents in the range hood, a ceiling fan with a light kit attached, and finally, a 4'W x  8'L x 1'D recess in the ceiling, which housed four 48" twin fluorecent fixtures. You can see the fan and the recessed (such as it is) lighting in the last photo. Note that the ceiling is 7'.

 

Over the next few years, we made some changes. (Please excuse the mess you see here. These pics were taken in the middle of renovation, so things were, shall we say, chaotic -- not that the kitchen wasn't normally pretty chaotic.  Hence the need for renovation!) I added fluorescent work lights over two work areas, one a makeshift island:

 

IMG_0150a.jpg

 

and the other the dishwashing/coffeemaking area.

 

IMG_0152a.jpg

 

You can sort-of see in the photo above that I also removed the prismatic plex that covered the recessed fluorescents, mostly to provide more light, but it had the unexpected effect of making the entire ceiling seem higher than its agoraphobic-inducing seven feet.

 

So when we 1) got serious about remodeling; 2) could once again afford it, we kind of did it all at once, or at least in a tight sequence. We replaced the fluorescents with pendants (the ceiling here, where the fluorescents used to be, is 8'):

 

old cabs - new lights 2a.jpg

 

installed flush-mount LED lights over a new  prep area and the coffee equipment:

 

IMG_0189a.jpg

 

IMG_0190.jpg

 

and added undercabinet LED lighting to the wall cabinets on the sink/range wall (the range hood has two led lamps as well);

 

IMG_0191.jpg

 

backsplash 1a.jpg

 

Between getting rid of the original fluorescents, addition of bright white cabinetry and upgraded lighting, we don't notice the short ceilings any more. The kitchen is bright (one contractor said it looked like a hospital operating room) and a pleasure to work in.

 

Obviously, there was a lot of other work done, but that's for a different topic. The kitchen lighting was about $2200, including labor. It's impossible at this time to break it out, but that included installation of a new 18-amp circuit to safely accommodate a power-sucking toaster oven, as well as adding a new outlet to an existing circuit and rewiring another.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, KennethT said:

They come on a reel with a self adhesive backing that once it goes on, it is NOT coming off!  Ask me how I know.....    I really like it.

 

How do you know?  That is exactly what is on the LED strips here - the stuff they hot glued is the power cord, which didn't have a backing.

 

Your description of the glowing is exactly what it looks like on my counter top if only the under cabinet stuff is on...looks great.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

 

How do you know? 

 

I made the mistake of putting one strip in the wrong location... needless to say, when I finally was able to peel it off, it wound up taking the paint with it - so the paint adhesion to the beam failed before the strip adhesive.

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When we arrived we swapped high lumen LED bulbs into the incandescent cans in the kitchen (170sf?). When it came time to put in some more permanent lights, I found that the commonly-used standard LED downlights weren't bright enough for me. So, into the soffit where the can lights were, we installed* 8 - 8" Ultra thin LED Downlights, each 1550 lumens - 18 watt- 3000 Kelvin (from 1000bulbs.com).

 

The fan over the stove has halogen bulbs. We also have some track lighting in the kitchen.

 

* the electrician installed

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47 minutes ago, TdeV said:

So, into the soffit where the can lights were, we installed* 8 - 8" Ultra thin LED Downlights, each 1550 lumens - 18 watt- 3000 Kelvin (from 1000bulbs.com)

 

Color temperature turns out to be very important.

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2 hours ago, Dave the Cook said:

but that included installation of a new 18-amp circuit to safely accommodate a power-sucking toaster oven, as well as adding a new outlet to an existing circuit and rewiring another.

 

 

 

18 amp circuit? That's a really oddball number, usually you have 15 amp, 20 amp (std for kitchen) or 30 amp maybe

9 minutes ago, Dave the Cook said:

 

Color temperature turns out to be very important.

I prefer a "white white" (6000k) as opposed to warm white (3000k) as far as color goes, it appears brighter

 

p

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35 minutes ago, palo said:

18 amp circuit? That's a really oddball number, usually you have 15 amp, 20 amp (std for kitchen) or 30 amp maybe

 

You re right, I'm sure it was 20-amp. I carried that 18-amp number (what said toaster oven required) around for so long that it got burned into my memory cells.

 

35 minutes ago, palo said:

I prefer a "white white" (6000k) as opposed to warm white (3000k) as far as color goes, it appears brighter

 

That's because it IS brighter to human eyes. Most household fixtures are 2700K. Many have a switch that will change them from 2700 to 3000Kor 3500K (sometimes 4000K). We like things bright, but 6000K is a little too blue for us. YMMV.

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