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Kitchen Lighting


paulraphael
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1 hour ago, TdeV said:

Yes, we came to 3000K by trial and error (back in the era when we purchased LED lightbulbs with incandescent screw).

A tad of warmth is much cozier (to us).

 

3000K is my preference too. It looks bright relative to standard incandescent lighting, but is still warm and doesn't look clinical. 

 

I also use 3000K-3200K as print evaluation lighting in photography, so I'm used to how things look at this color temp. 

 

These days for much of the house we use Philips Hue lighting, so everything is whatever color we want it to be. Much more fun than painting, and you can do it from the couch.

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What about Island lighting?

 

The current setup is a couple of pendant lights. I see this is trending everywhere. I can't stand the visual clutter. Currently going with the electrician's recommendation to put a pair of 4" cans directly above the island, while using 6" cans for more ambient lighting around the room's perimeter. This plus an undercounter solution.

 

Am I missing something by dismissing the pendants?

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48 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

What about Island lighting?

 

The current setup is a couple of pendant lights. I see this is trending everywhere. I can't stand the visual clutter. Currently going with the electrician's recommendation to put a pair of 4" cans directly above the island, while using 6" cans for more ambient lighting around the room's perimeter. This plus an undercounter solution.

 

Am I missing something by dismissing the pendants?

 

Functionally, downlights can easily replace pendants. Just make sure you'll have enough light to do island-related tasks, and that the beam angles are wide enough to completely cover the island. Is that the reason for using 4" lights, rather than the 6" used elsewhere?

 

ETA: it's possible to design a lighting plan that obviates the need for "extra" lighting over the island. Much depends on the size and shape of your room, the size of your island and the height of your ceiling.

Edited by Dave the Cook
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21 minutes ago, Dave the Cook said:

 

Functionally, downlights can easily replace pendants. Just make sure you'll have enough light to do island-related tasks, and that the beam angles are wide enough to completely cover the island. Is that the reason for using 4" lights, rather than the 6" used elsewhere?

 

ETA: it's possible to design a lighting plan that obviates the need for "extra" lighting over the island. Much depends on the size and shape of your room, the size of your island and the height of your ceiling.

 

Our electrician strongly recommended using a pair of 4" cans for the island if we didn't want to use pendants. He said that in his experience trying to use 6" cans (floods) or trying to use a single light gave poor light quality for this purpose. 

 

I don't know how to judge his judgment, but he's clearly a lighting enthusiast, and has strong opinions about the topic. Meanwhile, this is the first time we've thought about it.

 

Edited to add: ceilings are 9-1/2 feet, so a pair of spot lights will probably have plenty of dispersion.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

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I'm sure things will work out fine. It's pretty hard to go wrong these days. Just buy more lighting than you're sure you'll need, and install dimmers. Adjust your levels, and never give lighting another thought. I'll only ask you to be careful. I don't want to be a jerk about this, but while your electrician is probably right, he's not a lighting engineer, no matter what his level of enthusiasm. Put it this way: I'm an ice cream enthusiast, I've made a lot of it, and I have strong opinions about it. That doesn't mean that I can make ice cream that's as good as yours.

 

By the way, you can figure out precise answers to these questions on your own, if you have enough information and graph paper, own a tape measure, and don't mind a lot of math. Also, I'm sure you won't be surprised to find out that there are computer programs that can do it. For some reason they quite expensive.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Dave the Cook said:

Put it this way: I'm an ice cream enthusiast, I've made a lot of it, and I have strong opinions about it. That doesn't mean that I can make ice cream that's as good as yours.

 

Then again, you might think my ice cream is terrible!

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I would do a combination of 4" slim fit recessed lights and undercabinet leds. This provides a nice flat diffuse light that is good for cooking/evaluating food. The new recessed lights are also very cheap and easy to install, about 20CAD a piece, and 50CAD all in if you paid someone to install. They provide great coverage and a fair amount of lumens in a small format. Because they are so cheap, you can use a lot of them, and just cap the upper limit of your dimmer switch.

 

I do have a few pendants for aesthetics but I almost never turn them on. The pendant fixtures these days, especially all the modern farmhouse designs. are quite bright and harsh. If I didn't want to sell my house in the future, I would do just recessed lights in their place, but this would require me to cut the ceiling boxes bigger so I will not do it. You are right though they really just get in the way and then you have to clean them.

 

I use 5000k but I know that's not for everyone. Ideally I would use 4000k but it is very hard to find all lights in this color.

 

6" is considered a bit outdated although I haven't tried them myself. I find the 4" provide a good brightness and coverage. Keep in mind though that Hue only carries 6" slim fit. Their 4" recessed light is a retrofit that requires cans.

 

My ceilings are similar size to you.

Edited by andrewk512 (log)
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Here's what we decided. No idea yet if these were good decisions; we're still waiting for the electricians to finish their upheaval, and we'll have to wait for some of the fixtures to arrive and then install them ourselves.

 

The kitchen's about 12 x 12.5 feet, with a small island in the middle. We're planning to build a bigger island as the next minor renovation. In a year or so we want to do some bigger renovation, but keep the lighting and island. 

 

We're going with 4 6" recessed fixtures, inset from the room corners. These will be on their own dimmer and will house Philips bulbs that get warmer when they dim (like incandescents). 

 

In the middle of the room we're putting in a 6 foot track with minimalist fixtures. We'll try Soraa 25° spot lamps in these. 3 for the island, and up to 2 more for whatever needs it. 

 

For under-cabinet lighting, we're still doing research. There are some usable lights there for the time being. 

 

The ongoing debate is about dimmers. The kitchen has 3 entrances, and we'd like a switch at each. To hook up dimmers in a 3-way situation like this requires smart dimmers with wireless remotes, and unfortunately we dislike all the options. The top choice in everyone's book Lutron Caseta. But the remote dimmer looks like this: 

 

51k3isWiddL._AC_SL1200_.jpg

 

My partner and I are both involved in design and UX, and find this jaw-droppingly awful. I mean, imagine staggering into the kitchen late at night for a glass of water. You reach around the corner for the general area of the switch, and ... you have to decipher this horror show by feel. This would enrage us many times a day, every day. Lutron seems to have very good engineers, but they never thought to hire a UX designer. And so the world suffers.

 

We're open to suggestions on something better. We may try this. So far we haven't found reasonable alternatives.

 

Many thanks to everyone in this thread, and to James Blair, who's very helpful post was removed by moderators for technical reasons. He got us thinking about emphasizing adjustability and adaptability. 

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Lutron Caseta is certainly designed poorly (appearance and the numerous button presses required to dim) but the functioning is unparalleled. You won't find any consumer grade smart switches that come close to it. I am in the process of making all my non-motion switches to Lutron (about 80% of the way so far)

 

You might have seen the nicer new gen 2 Lutron Caseta Diva, but that doesn't fix your pico remote issue. I haven't tried these gen 2 switches yet but was planning to try them out eventually. I do have some hesitation as to how the paddle function will work on them.

 

I would fully embrace it

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@paulraphael, sounds like a good plan for your room.  Have you looked at the new Philips Hue smart switch?  I've been waiting for years for something like this and it's finally arrived.  Hard buttons for four scenes (we have one set up as an "off" command), plus a rotary dimmer which can be set up to control all the lights in the room or just some subset of them.  Surface mountable so no wiring needed and battery powered so it doesn't have the clunky self-powered manual switches which make my teeth itch on the old round Hue controllers.  I think you said you had Hue elsewhere in the house so would tie in with that too?

 

https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Hue-578807-Switch-1-Pack/dp/B0B6LLKHTM/

 

Edited to Add: the other thing which we did with our kitchen was to use these plaster-in recessed fittings:

 

https://www.lightingstyles.co.uk/plaster-in-recessed-ceiling-downlight

 

They take a standard GU10 lamp but give a really clean look to the ceiling, especially when they're not on.  You'd need more than the 4" cans you've got specced at the moment I guess but might be a nice option. I'll take some pics of them in our place if you're interested.

Edited by &roid (log)
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13 hours ago, andrewk512 said:

Lutron Caseta is certainly designed poorly (appearance and the numerous button presses required to dim) but the functioning is unparalleled. You won't find any consumer grade smart switches that come close to it. I am in the process of making all my non-motion switches to Lutron (about 80% of the way so far)

 

You might have seen the nicer new gen 2 Lutron Caseta Diva, but that doesn't fix your pico remote issue. I haven't tried these gen 2 switches yet but was planning to try them out eventually. I do have some hesitation as to how the paddle function will work on them.

 

I would fully embrace it

 

Yes, the Diva switch looks like an improvement. And it's new as of this summer. We're hoping they have an improved Pico in the works.

 

It's so strange to me that I haven't found a single review complaining about the user interface. 

 

They have Pico switches at my girlfriend's office; she says everyone fears / mocks them.

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3 hours ago, &roid said:

@paulraphael, sounds like a good plan for your room.  Have you looked at the new Philips Hue smart switch?  I've been waiting for years for something like this and it's finally arrived.  Hard buttons for four scenes (we have one set up as an "off" command), plus a rotary dimmer which can be set up to control all the lights in the room or just some subset of them.  Surface mountable so no wiring needed and battery powered so it doesn't have the clunky self-powered manual switches which make my teeth itch on the old round Hue controllers.  I think you said you had Hue elsewhere in the house so would tie in with that too?

 

https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Hue-578807-Switch-1-Pack/dp/B0B6LLKHTM/

 

Edited to Add: the other thing which we did with our kitchen was to use these plaster-in recessed fittings:

 

https://www.lightingstyles.co.uk/plaster-in-recessed-ceiling-downlight

 

They take a standard GU10 lamp but give a really clean look to the ceiling, especially when they're not on.  You'd need more than the 4" cans you've got specced at the moment I guess but might be a nice option. I'll take some pics of them in our place if you're interested.

 

I haven't seen that Hue switch. We're fans of Hue lights for some rooms (probably not the kitchen). Our favorite switch for them is the Aurora (ironically, it's made by Lutron). It's exactly like the one you linked but only one button. We find it perfect. You don't choose scenes from the wall switch ... you just get the last one used. But you get on, off, and dimming, with a 100% intuitive single control. 

 

It can snap on to an un-smart wall switch (and keep you from turning off the hard-wired switch) or stick on a dummy wall plate. 

 

We love these for the living room and bedroom. But they only control Hue bulbs, and there aren't any of these that make sense for the kitchen. 

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3 hours ago, &roid said:

@paulraphaelEdited to Add: the other thing which we did with our kitchen was to use these plaster-in recessed fittings:

 

https://www.lightingstyles.co.uk/plaster-in-recessed-ceiling-downlight

 

They take a standard GU10 lamp but give a really clean look to the ceiling, especially when they're not on.  You'd need more than the 4" cans you've got specced at the moment I guess but might be a nice option. I'll take some pics of them in our place if you're interested.

Interesting. Too late for us for that. Recessed fixtures are all installed.

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