kitchen lighting questions

I'm trying to come up with a lighting plan for a galley style 8'x11' kitchen (the link to the layout is
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/kitchbath/gal011334403598.jpg )
For general lighting, I'm considering three 5" or 6" cans about 34" apart as seen. I would prefer the kitchen to be a little over lit. Any suggestions for the wattage and trim?
I will have undercabinet lights, so I'm not considering lighting the countertops from the ceilings; however, what I would like to do is to somehow "accent light" (wall wash ?) the new wall cabinets. They are dark cherry (like mahogany with reddish overtones) and look really good when lit. The cabinets are 42" tall and moulding will be 4" (flush with ceiling) as seen in the drawing. I did an experiment with a 3" MR16 pointed at the middle of a cabinet door (down about 25" from the ceiling). I placed the light source about 15" from the cabinet angled at about 30 deg from the vertical. The result was good, but since all the cabinets are not installed yet, I'm a little reluctant to begin cutting holes in the ceiling drywall until I'm sure what I'm doing makes sense. So, I have couple of questions:
- Is wall washing the cabinets this way common; i.e. using an angled (adjustable) trim (at 30 deg)? Is there a better way? Will a wall wash trim do the job better than a retractable eyeball, gimbal, etc.?
- I'm considering 3" line voltage cans (with GU10s) (new construction) or low voltage cans with individual transformers (remodeling) probably with 35W-50W MR16s. If I use halogen at about 15"-20" from the cabinet surface, will the heat cause any problems? Any cooler halogens (does dichroic coating make it cooler - not the light but the heat coming from the lamp)?
- if I install regular downlights (not at an angle) pointing toward the edge of the counter (24" from the wall, 12" from the wall cabinet surface), will it have the same "wall wash" effect? (Actually when I tried it, it didn't look like the same as pointing directly at the cabinet surface, but I might be mistaken.)
- I'm planning to use 1 can for each door (they are 16-18" wide). Is this too much?
I really appreciate all the suggestions..
Regards, Matt
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Sorry, this is kinda long and rambling. Looking back on the remodel last year, I realize that lighting planning is the crux of a good kitchen result, and of course cannot easily be altered once the whole project is completed. For my overhead lighting I used 50w low volt mr16 track mounted halogens, and used twelve of these bulbs to light a 12x14 kitchen. I wanted more "aim-ability" than can or down lights allowed.Max wattage was more than I needed, but I have dimmers on all the lighting circuits, for better light control, so max wattage limit is not really a concern. Even with undercab lighting, I aimed a few of the ceiling lights at darker areas of the countertops, as undercab lighting can have darker areas near the front of the counters. For washing cabinet fronts (in my utility room) I used 120v 50w PAR20 bulbs mounted in gimbaled eyeball mounts. They work great, and are easy to install, and you dont have the scores of wattages and many beam-width choices of the mr16's, which can be confusing. The lights are about 40 in. apart, point vertically down, and the spread is good enuf - one per door panel would be too much for this bright and floody par20 bulb. For undercabinet I used low volt xenon modular lights that have two brightness settings, switched from the kitchen entry. They work fine, and heat is not a problem, but these are smaller units than the MR16's you are contemplating. Still, I doubt the 35 watt halogens will be a problem, as long as you use fixtures designed for these bulbs. For all critical choices I bought just one unit of each kind of lighting - ceiling, wall wash, undercabinet, and top cabinet rope lighting. Then I tested them at the heights i planned, and got a really good idea about spacing, ranges, and wattage, before committing to the whole light order. Some of the online suppliers I have been happy with are www.rlights.com, where i bot the undercab Kichler modular xenon lights (i think i used 25w bulbs) - the service, prices and product is great. The quality of the xenon light is comparable to halogen, but slightly truer, less yellow cast. For the MR16 ceiling fixtures I ordered from Eclectic Lighting in San Antonio - I forget the web address. Only fair service but very low prices for WAC Lighting, which I like. Ordered the rope lighting from noveltylights.com. If you have space between your ceiling and cabinet tops, you may wish to light this area a bit, just to cut shadows. Good luck.
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Undercabinet T8 flourescent with warm white type bulb, cans in front of cabinet doors hitting counters with spot halogen and a ceiling fixture of flourescent provide good light, You never have enough light in a kitchen. On 3 dimmers in a kitchen the same size I have apx 2000 w equivalent of dimmeble light. 6 cans and just undercabinet are not enough light to light a kitchen.
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Are you planning on a ceiling fan in the room?
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Thanks for all the responses.
Doug, no I'm not going to install a ceiling fan; there is plenty of A/C in the kitchen.
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OK....because can lights, if too close to the fan, will produce sort of fluttery illumination when the fan is turning. Very annoying.
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Short and simple reply, maybe...
- Is wall washing the cabinets this way common; i.e. using an angled (adjustable) trim (at 30 deg)? Is there a better way? Will a wall wash trim do the job better than a retractable eyeball, gimbal, etc.?
+This much detail is only common when somebody gets bitten by the "lighting bug." Wall washers will definitely do a better job, and not hang down below the ceiling! That is exactly what they are designed for. The Prescolite LVH4-LV6 is my favorite. See http://www.prescolite.com/product/Productsweb.nsf/0/41F168205DE0285E85256B29007B22DD /$FILE/ARCH-INC-006_LVH4.pdf?OpenElement
- I'm considering 3" line voltage cans (with GU10s) (new construction) or low voltage cans with individual transformers (remodeling) probably with 35W-50W MR16s. If I use halogen at about 15"-20" from the cabinet surface, will the heat cause any problems? Any
cooler halogens (does dichroic coating make it cooler - not the light but the heat coming from the lamp)?
+ The dichroic coating lets most of the infrared energy go out the back of the bulb. This keeps the beam cooler.
- if I install regular downlights (not at an angle) pointing toward the
edge of the counter (24" from the wall, 12" from the wall cabinet surface), will it have the same "wall wash" effect? (Actually when I tried it, it didn't look like the same as pointing directly at the cabinet surface, but I might be mistaken.)
+ What you saw is what you would get. You might also want to look at the various lenses and shades for MR16s. They are wonderful when you want to fine tune the beam shape, smoothness, glare or even color. They fit with or instead of the glass cover over the lamp. See the manufacturers accessories and then know that there are more!
- I'm planning to use 1 can for each door (they are 16-18" wide). Is this too much?
+Some would say yes other no. It is a lot depending on your final selection of lamp. It is also somewhat expensive. As Rodger noted the PAR lamps are far cheaper and simpler, but they are not as effective or flexible. All professional lighting designers prefer MR16s (or very similar) for detail controlled light.
Good Luck Richard Reid, LC Luminous Views www.luminousviews.com
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On 4 Jan 2006 20:30:49 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

One thing you might want to consider is putting some of the low intensitry lighting on an occupancy sensor. I did that years ago when I discovered women like to use the open fridge as a night light. Now lights follow you around the house here but the kitchen and bath are a good place to start.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote in

Hmm -- lots of lights there (probably too many). We used the same lights (MR16, 50W, super wide flood), and the lighting designer suggested one light every 4 feet, running down the center of the isle between the cabinets. We then added in under cabinet lighting and three pendant lights over the island. The end result works great, and is very bright when all lit up.
--
Murray Peterson


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