Our kitchen is 12 feet long, 9.5 feet wide. Dead center in the ceiling is a
10-inch round incandescent light fixture with two 60-watt bulbs. We want to
replace this fixture with a fluorescent fixture (square or rectangular).
What length tubes and how many tubes should the fixture have to provide
adequate light? Also, is replacing the incandescent fixture with a
fluorescent fixture difficult? Thanks! --Art
Even a fixture with two 20W fluorescent lamps should produce about the
same amount of light as the one you have. I would suggest looking for
something you like the looks of (sq or rectangular) I will stay away from
the U shaped or round lamps. They cost more with not advantages, unless you
really like the looks. I suggest sticking with fixtures that use 40W (or
32W) straight lamps. That means you will be looking at rectangular 4 ft
fixtures with two or four lamps.
I would also look for the slightly more expensive warm (natural) color
lamps so the food looks a little better in the new light.
Aside from the size, you may run into wire insulation in the ceiling
box which has deteriorated from the fixture heat. Also, check to
see that the wiring contains a grounding conductor. Many fluorescent
fixtures won't start reliably without a good ground.
Making a proper connection from a ceiling box to a fluorescent
fixture poses more problems but you'll have to see what's up there
Equal to 60 watt is 15 watt flourescent. Adequate is what you like I
have a slightly larger kitchen lit to daylight with 12, 4 foot T8 on a
dimmer and 800 watt of halogen on dimmers, it equals 3000 w . of
incandesant,. If someone wants it bright and im hungover i use
Your going to be stuck with a 2'x4' something close fluorescent with 2 or 4
lamps. Which in time will have a dated look to it. Moving up to T-8 lamps
will give more light over the standard T-12 lamps. ( bulb to bulb)
The suggestion on checking the insulation is right on. I had that issue when
I remodeled my kitchen. If you handy you could cut in some new boxes and
use smaller fixtures, say the circle line ones. Make sure that what ever
you put up you find a joist and place the screws into it. Hanging fixtures
from non rated boxes is a no-no now.
Have you thought about some of the new modular track lights?
Personally I find track lighting a poor choice for overall light.
You do make a good point repeating the insulation problem on old wires.
And you are right about the new fluorescent fixture looking dated in the
future, but then I expect the track like will be the same. Who knows?
Also a good point about the T8 vs. T12. They are more efficient, even
if they are currently a little more expensive and difficult to find.
I have about the same size kitchen, and I replaced the incandescent fixture
with a commercial 48 inch 2-lamp (F32T8) fixture. I thought I'd have to
replace the ballast with a high output ballast, but it's bright enough with
just the two lamps and a normal ballast. There's no flicker, and you have
to listen real close to hear it hum. And the instant start ballast will
work without a decent ground. I also added some undercounter fluorescents
for task lighting, and there's still the single bulb incandescent fixture
with a glass globe over the sink. I use 3000K lamps in the flourescent
fixture and the color matches the incandescent lamps pretty good.
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