Does anyone know a general rule of thumb, or an online tool that is
used to determine how hi-hats should be spaced out and how many you
need in a new kitchen?
For example, do you space them out according to the room size, do you
center them on a work area, or a wall cabinet?
Not sure about rules but I laid out my kitchen with the can lights roughly 4
feet apart, a row over each work surface, and one centered in each doorway
( I was told the doorway rule is pretty standard..it worked for me). My
lighting seems to be laid out well, nice and bright where needed but not
overdone. My brother put his more evenly around the kitchen in his house,
not specifically over the worksurfaces or doorways, and closer together too,
and in my opinion he ended up with too many and has to dim them to make it
"Mikepier" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
I usually use Halo H7 cans for this and I try to line them up so that the
center of the can is lined up with the countertop edge. With this
arrangement there is a great deal of light on the countertop and using a 90
watt R40 bulb there is light going into the upper cabinets and light
illuminating the lower cabinet drawers as well as the dishwasher. Most of
the jobs I do are remodels so spacing is contingent upon what is already in
the ceiling cavity such as pipes and ducts, but generally 24" - 30" is what
I aim for. With the R40 lamp you could go as wide as 36" and still have
On Tue, 25 Sep 2007 08:14:04 -0400, "John Grabowski"
So, can you tell me about the energy efficiency of this type of
lighting? Right now we've got a basic 4-tube flourescent flushmount
ceiling fixture in the kitchen, but we're thinking of removing that
and installing can lighting. I'm curious whether the energy
consumption is significantly higher than flourescent. Is the lighting
with can lights improved enough to justify the higher electrical bill?
Incandescents are always less energy efficient than fluorescents.
I replaced my kitchen fluorescent light with can lights (wife's demand)
and found that every worktop and cabinet area needed its own light.
Now I have 9 ceiling cans, and 7 under cabinet halogens. Also the glare
is intrusive. Reading a glossy magazine at the table requires tilting
the mag up to be able to read it.
I agree with all of that. In addition your hands will produce shadows on
your work with a concentrated direct light like cans. Aim for lighting
by 2 sources at any work location. Linear fluorescent lights for a work
area are not a concentrated source and don't have the same shadow
problem. 'Normal' ceiling lights bounce a lot of light off the ceiling
and do not have as much shadow problem. Cans give you 'dramatic' light
but are not necessarily good where you are working.
This is helpful for me as I get ready to replace a single 2 long-bulb
fixture in the center of my kitch with cans as part of a total
remodeling job. I was wondering how far out from the cabs the cans
should go and distance between.
One friend has his kitch redone and the remodeler went overboard...6"
cans everywhere. Its bright and hot!
I'm thinking of using 4" cans with halogens on a dimmer. Do those
guidelines still apply??
You actually raise a good point. I installed 4" cans with halogens in
the BR against 1 wall. But those were intended to be "spots" over a
dresser. I'll have to think about whether what would work as
floods. Its a small kitchen and I just don't like large 6" cans.
4 inch cans really limit your bulb options and also the wattage. Have
you considered 5 inch cans which can use BR-30, 65 watt bulbs or 75
watt PAR 30 max. for the Halo brand. The 6 inch cans can go to 150
We have just added recessed lights in our dining room aand had used them in
previous houses. If you're not careful, you can make those in the room
feel as though they're sitting in a spotlight or have it glaring in their
eyes when they look across the room. Based on past experience and advice
from product sources, we went with R-30 units, using a flood (not spot) bulb
mounted almost at the ceiling surface. Equipped with a dimmer, this has
proved to be a good installation. They provide ample light, but the fixture
is smaller and less obvious than the larger units. We originally thought
we'd need six to eight fixtures, but the manufacturer's information included
a table that showed we would only need four. My recommendation would be to
use as small a diameter can as possible, optimized for use as a flood light
unless you're trying for a special effect such as highlighting artwork or
light-washing a wall.
The manufacturers have calculators for the number of recessed lights for
rooms of various size, and any good lighting house ought to have their
brochures. There's also info on the web at
http://www.active-elec.com/faqsRec.html and others also showed up when we
Googled "Recessed lights numbers."
A 32x32 inch grid worked for me, (in every second joist pocket), with
the counter rows row aimed just inside the countertop edge. The
chrome reflector inserts are great for cutting down shadows and
getting the most even light.
A lot depends on the type of bulb you use. Spot or flood. Par,
Take a look at:
which compares a R-30 Flood bulb to an Par 30 Flood. A big difference.
So first decide on what type of light you want and then look at
spacing. If you look at trim for 6" cans you will find similar charts
for the larger bulbs. Also the trim you use will also have an effect.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.