Need Help with Kitchen Lighting

We recently pulled out the fluorescent light in our kitchen to replace it with an incandescent light fixture. Canned/recessed lighting is not an option since we are getting quotes of $1K+ and we don't want to spend that much right now. The problem we are having is that the first light fixture we put in was so bright (when we dimmed it, it was too dark) and it created a lot of shadows. So we replaced it with another light fixture, basically a flush mount light that takes 3-60 Watt bulbs with a white glass dome covering it. Again there is so much glare and too many shadows and the whole room has that orange glow. Does anyone have any suggestions on better light fixtures I can try? What are some different options out there that wouldn't involved cutting holes and rewiring the kitchen? The shadows and glares off of the fridge/cabinets are killing me. But the fluorescent light we had in there before was too dim and the light color was so drab. The one we just put in looks something like this: http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId051&langId=-1&catalogId053&productId0468882&N000003+90401+500910 Mona
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goldenalgae wrote:

You aren't going to get even shadow free lighting from a single fixture. If you can't DIY recessed lights, consider DIY track lighting which will allow you to distribute the lighting appropriately. Also consider using track heads that will accept CFLs, as they will save a lot of energy, and the color temps are vastly better than the old fluorescent fixture you replaced.
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goldenalgae had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Need-Help-with-Kitchen-Lighting-337354-.htm : Thanks Pete. Do you know if LED track lighting is any good? My husband just suggested it to me. How does it compare to CFLs? Also, we installed a dimmer switch, can we use this with LEDs or CFLs? We found some CFLs that accept dimmers, but the light color was very yellow/orange.
------------------------------------- Pete C. wrote:

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There is a lot of hype with LED lighting. Screw base floodlight style ones generally produce about half as much light as 50-60 watt incandescents/halogens, more likely less than more. The color is usually an icy cold slightly bluish white. There are warmer color ones, but the light output is even less for those versions.
I know of one with good color, good color rendering and good efficiency, but they are not track lights and I have yet to see one in use. Since I have never seen one, I suspect they are either hard to get or cost an arm and a leg (or both). Those are the ones by Cree Lighting (www.creelighting.com).
I advise to only buy an LED light after you see it in actual use in a situation similar to yours. Either that, or get it from a reputable established supplier with a good return policy.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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goldenalgae wrote:

http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Need-Help-with-Kitchen-Lighting-337354-.htm
From everything I've seen, LEDs are not ready for household use yet. The color temp of the "white" ones is still very blue, the color temp shifts over time on the high power LEDs, and the beam patterns are far more suited to flashlights than to residential lighting.
I don't use any dimmers on CFLs, but I've tired them and they worked ok. The big issue with lighting is to keep all light sources in the room the same color temperature. If you have mixed sources it *really* accentuates the differences between them. When all the light is the same color temperature, your eyes will very quickly adjust to them.
Since CFLs are significantly more energy efficient than incandescents or halogens, and LEDs aren't quite ready, I recommend going with flourescent for all lighting. You can use CFL lamps in track lighting which I suggested due to the simple DIY installation and ease of getting multiple lights where you need them. You can also use CFLs for under cabinet lighting, either the new T4 tubular or the new mini-puck (forget type number) version.
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Hard to believe you got a quote of 1K for hi-hats considering the basic hi-hat is around $10 in a home center, and they are relatively easy to install in existing sheetrock.
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goldenalgae wrote:

Why did you remove the florescent fixture?
The long-tube florescent lights can't be improved upon for even lighting and minimization of shadows.
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You probably want a fluorescent with four 4-foot 32 watt T8 (1 inch diameter) bulbs. 4 of those 32 watt bulbs will produce effectively about as much light as 4-5 100W incandescents, even after such factors as different light distribution, aging of the bulbs, ballasts for these usually giving them slightly less than full power, light loss in the fixture, and temperature maybe being non-optimum.
These bulbs come in a few different colors and 2 color rendering index grades. The upper color rendering index grade has CRI around 84-85. And unlike most fluorescents with CRI below 78 or above 86, the color distortion is *not* generally in the direction of making colors duller.
For home use at that brightness of illumination, chances are you will like the 3500K color best. That is a "warm white" shade, but whiter than the more-orangish color of fluorescents trying to simulate incandescents.
So you will probably want to replace the bulbs with any of these, which may be best obtained from an electrical/lighting supply shop of the kind that contractors go to. They may have to order them and you may need to wait a week or so and come back. Now for the bulbs:
Sylvania FO32/D835 Philips F32T8/835 GE F32T8/SPX35
SPX or 8 means upper color rendering grade. The lower CRI grade has "SP" instead of "SPX" if by GE, otherwise has 7 instead of 8 in the color code. 35 means 3500 Kelvin.
Other colors are:
3000 K - incandescent-approximation warm white - often looks orangish
4100 K - the usual "cool white" color
5000 K - very slightly more blue than "cool white", about the color of noontime tropical sunlight. May appear stark in home use.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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