Kitchen Lighting and Efficiency

The kitchen is moving along and it is time to look at lighting. I'm looking for ideas. The house is plaster lath so recessed lighting is out.
I see this as being divided into general lighting, ceiling mounted, and workspace lighting.
For general I had thought of some kind of small track lighting like this:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50112415
But all the small track lights are halogens, anyone seen any with something more efficient that is affordable? The LEDS I saw are still too pricey. Perhaps I'm stuck with a flush mount.
It looks to me that workspace lighting should be directly over the space. I have no cabinets over the workspaces so I think this leads to some kind of pendant hanging light. They seem to be halogen also.
I'll be looking at Lowes, IKEA and the Borg. Maybe I'm missing somewhere... Should I suck it up and do the halogens, are affordable drop in LEDS on the way?
Jeff
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On 10/10/2010 9:49 AM, Jeff Thies wrote:

Ah, Found this GU10 replacement in a mini CFL
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
That should open up the options!
Jeff

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On 10/10/2010 9:57 AM, Jeff Thies wrote:

Cheaper:
http://www.conservationmart.com/p-541-overdrive-11w-gu10-jdr-cfl-bulb.aspx#tabs
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Personally, I'd bite the bullet and do it right. Track lighting is lousy unless you have a high ceiling. Those small track light CF things you link to put out 250 lumens, which is worthless, considering that a standard 60 watt light bulb puts out around 800. Cut the ceiling and install recessed lights. You'll be happy with the results. Also, there is a new lamp on the market, Satco makes them, and they are made in standard reflector flood sizes, but they're halogen, and very bright.
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Agreed.
or go with surface mount fixtures.
Lath & plaster does not preclude the use of recessed lighting. Insufficient joist depth (can use low hats) or concrete slab construction are about the only things that would make recessed lights not work.
My buddy & I just installed four can lights in corner room a ranch style house with a low attic space that had blown in insulation.
Rather than struggle through the attic space........ We mapped the ceiling joists, located the cans, cut a hole with a grit style hole saw from Home Depot ~$30 like this one but cheaper
http://www.ohiopowertool.com/P-2949-milwaukee-recessed-light-hole-saw-carbide-grit-select-size.aspx
the grit style hole saws work fine with drywall or plaster but not so good for wooden lath. A toothed hole saw is better for lath but will be ruined by plaster
The best way to put holes in lath & plaster is grit for the plaster and toothed saw for the lath OR toothed blade through everything, it will probably do the job for the few holes you need.
We tied into the ceiling center junction box (ceiling was mounted here). We had one access problem that was addressed by cutting another hole which we subsequently patched.
My suggestion is, cut the holes you need to do the job & patch the ones that don't get cans.
cheers Bob
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On 10/10/2010 10:21 AM, RBM wrote:

can lights with 50 watt halogen capsule lights. This was very nice, however, not the most efficient and the bulbs were not cheap. Here in the new house we had small can lights put in. The electrician put in the cheapest small flood bulbs. I 1st replace them with small CFL floods. The coverage was terrible and these particular lamps started very dim. I then replaced them with regular twist shaped CFLs. I didn't think they would work, but I was wrong. They are very bright. They actually stick down below the trim ring by about 1/2". BTW, be careful on can light placement. Along the cabinets is good, however, too close to the cabinet shows every speck of dust. In this house they are actually 2' from the cabinet line ... maybe just a bit too much. A good guess would be about 16". BTW, this is a 9' ceiling.
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If you use spot lights and recessed lights, your wife will be working in a dark cave. If you want light in your kitchen at reasonable efficiency, use decorative 4' fluorescent lights.
http://www.fluorescentgallery.com/ There are many cheaper versions.

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I HATE recessed lights, they tend to cast shadows and in a kitchen you definitely want diffused lighting. I would try to find a showcase place for kitchen cabinets and see what kind of lighting they use, and if you like that kind of lighting, fine
When we remodeled our kitchen a few years ago, we ended up using a very low profile fluorescent 4' dual bulb fixture in the center of the ceiling, and a number of fluorescent fixtures under the cabinets. The cabinet fixtures were mounted up against the bottom of the cabinets, and then I made panels that fit up under the skirts of the cabinets that match the finish of the cabinets, and cut openings in the panels and finished the openings off with standard plexiglass diffusers cut to the size opening needed. Held the plexiglass in place with a dab of hot glue in each corner so that the plexiglas can be easily removed to replace the bulbs without having to remove the panels. Shadowless light on all the countertops, negligible heating from the bulbs into the cabinets over the bulbs, what more could you want.
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wrote:

I HATE recessed lights, they tend to cast shadows and in a kitchen you definitely want diffused lighting. I would try to find a showcase place for kitchen cabinets and see what kind of lighting they use, and if you like that kind of lighting, fine
When we remodeled our kitchen a few years ago, we ended up using a very low profile fluorescent 4' dual bulb fixture in the center of the ceiling, and a number of fluorescent fixtures under the cabinets. The cabinet fixtures were mounted up against the bottom of the cabinets, and then I made panels that fit up under the skirts of the cabinets that match the finish of the cabinets, and cut openings in the panels and finished the openings off with standard plexiglass diffusers cut to the size opening needed. Held the plexiglass in place with a dab of hot glue in each corner so that the plexiglas can be easily removed to replace the bulbs without having to remove the panels. Shadowless light on all the countertops, negligible heating from the bulbs into the cabinets over the bulbs, what more could you want.
Typically a row of recessed lights centered on the edge of the counter tops will give excellent light without shadows. Conversely any light in the center of the room will assure a shadow on the counter where you're trying to work, as the light is coming from behind you. Under cabinet lights set back against the wall don't generally light the front portion of the counter space well.
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But I put the undercabinet lights at the front edge/skirt of the overhead cabinets so the light is virtually directly above the counter top that you would normally be using. It is forward of the cannisters, coffee maker, toaster, etc that are normally along the back wall side of the countertops.
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wrote:

But I put the undercabinet lights at the front edge/skirt of the overhead cabinets so the light is virtually directly above the counter top that you would normally be using. It is forward of the cannisters, coffee maker, toaster, etc that are normally along the back wall side of the countertops.
That certainly will work if you want to use under cabinet lights as the primary counter lighting source. The drawback to that is the exposed wiring from the fixtures back to the wall. Not everyone likes recessed lighting for a variety of reasons, but in a kitchen, when properly placed they do an excellent job lighting the counters
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But you don't see the wiring or the fixtures, that stuff is above the panels that I made to go under the cabinets, flush with the skirts on the cabiinets. I use frosted /textured plexiglass to cover the openings in the panels where the lights are located. It basiclly finishes the undersides of the cabinets, at least the ones I have have slirts about 1.5 inches deep and that is more than the depth of the fixtures I mounted on the bottoms of the cabinets. SO you just see a panel of wood with rectangular inserts of Plexigas where the light from the hidden fixtures shines thru. IT really is very classy looking.
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I'm in a similar situation, I hate the look of recessed lighting. Here is what I came up with:
General lighting is from a Litepuff 2' 4 tube fluorescent fixture, Lithonia 10641RE, over the center island . The diffuser hides the entire fixture, so it fades into the background.
Decorative pendants taking GU24 fluorescent bulbs over the peninsula.
Decorative semi-flush fixtures (actually very short pendants) taking GU24 fluorescent bulbs over the kitchen sink and the breakfast nook.
Undercabinet T2 fluorescent fixtures to light the countertop, mounted at the front of the upper cabinets, so they are centered over the counter.
I got my decorative GU24 fixtures from www.rejuvenation.com, but there must be other options.
Cheers, Wayne
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