OK, that I can help you with. I used to use fls a lot before CFLs.
There are 5 problems with typical fl lighting installs:
1. bare bright tube gives glare
2. ugly fitting
3. poor light quality
4. Flicker and flash
6. excessively bright lights are often fitted
... All of which are easy to avoid.
1 and 2 are easy: use either trough of shelf fittings - preferably
___________ <-- ceiling
| O | O is bulb on a shelf with a side, making a trough.
|___| The ceiling is lit up diffusely,
| while the fitting and bulb are not seen
| <-- wall
| _ O|_| is bulb and fitting mounted sideways on a shelf
|__0|_| The ceiling is lit up diffusely,
| the bulb is not seen, but the fitting is.
| <-- wall
3 is a matter of choosing your tube: there are many versions of white
cool white - horrid, avoid
4500K - not nice, avoid
daylight - fair
white - ok
warm white - good
2700K - good
3500K - very good
philips numbered tubes - mostly very good
full spectrum tubes - pricey
These colours are marked near the end of the tubes. Sales assistants
often dont know that there are different versions.
4 can be avoided by using an electronic fitting.
5 can be avoided by
- always keeping a spare starter and tube,
- use the same tube size throughout so youve always got something
- have more than one light per room
When a ligt fails, first replace the starter, and if that doesnt work,
then replace the tube. With electronic fittings you just replace the
tube, theres no starter.
6 is simple, youve already used fl there so you know how much power
Finally I'd suggest using 2 foot tubes, as theyre small enough to fit
lots of locations, easy to store, their light output per fitting is
sensible, so they can also be used in every room if you want, and the
tubes are common. 4 foot is the next best. 3' tubes are harder to come
by, 6' are almost obsolete, 5' are too bright to look good in home
use, and 8' are impractical for house use.
Finally wipe the bulb clean twice a year (they last so long), and have
each light on its own wall switch. You wont need PIR.
If you like the downlighter look, a good half way is to add some
miniature very low power downlighter-style fittings (just 2w to 5w),
arranging them to direct the light towards eyes rather than the floor.
This way they give the same appearance as downlighters, but consume
next to nothing. There are many other options too.
Yes, thats one reason trough is better. You can stick something on the
fittings, but really just use troughs. Shelf setup is more for quick
temporary lighting, you can try things out like that.
Of course you dont have to stick with the original casings, but that
is more work.
Yes, but not by a lot. 2' tubes are much nicer to use than 4 or 5
footers. Big ones really limit what one can do, a 2 foot tube is much
A modern fashion is to hang a trough from the ceiling in the centre of
the room, and put a large fl tube in that. For commercial premises its
a big step up from the bare tubes, but I wouldnt want something like
that in a kitchen.
As far as I know theyre not sold. Find some little bright metal cups,
something the right width, find some suitable bulbs... have the bulb
filament forward enough so its directly visible, the idea is just to
recreate the glare and outline of downlighters, but without the
I think youre asking for extra work with LEDs.
If you want to play you can change the tint of the lights by painting
some of the wall within the trough a desired colour - I've done that
occasionally. It can be used for a bit of dramatic effect. Best to
play then go back to white, unless youre sure you got what you wanted.
I used coloured paper just to try it out, but the paper always
bleaches after a while. Or you can put the paper over the lights for
great mood lighting. Fls dont get anything like as hot as filament
bulbs. However I'd probly best say dont do that, you never know.
I also like to include a 3-6w fl or cfl for nightlighting, and its
bright enough to use on its own occasionally too. Or a 2w cool white
one gives a moonlit effect. If youve got plants you can put a 3w CFL
in among those for a simple effect.
You can make windows too with fls, hang the curtains up and put 2
vertical tubes behind them to mimic daylight leaking round the edges.
Many tricks, but I must go to bed this century. Have fun.
Our kitchen has two circular flourescent fittings for general lighting
which are quite acceptable. There are then under cupboard slim
flourescents and some downlighters over the sink. The two circular
lights are spearately switched and that's what you turn on for
'walking through' the kitchen.
On 27 Jan 2004 10:27:56 -0800, email@example.com (N. Thornton) wrote:
Even with all of this trouble, they still look clinical.
I use daylight fittings with electronic ballasts in my workshop
because I want good light intensity and the spectrum is appropriate.
I am far from convinced that fluorescents used in a kitchen to the
exclusion of incandescent lighting can cover the complete range of
requirements and moods.
If the kitchen is like a commercial one, used for preparation and
cooking only and wall to wall white and stainless steel, then this may
be OK. It certainly isn't, in my view if the room is
multifunctional - fluorescents, no matter how good just don't have the
aesthetic warmth. This may cost more to run, but need not be
excessive and is quite reasonable unless one is looking for an energy
saving Holy Grail and that is more important than a balance with
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
(N. Thornton) wrote:> Even with all of this trouble, they still look clinical.
I honestly think thats a myth born from the way people mostly use them
- that is what makes them clinical. I have done some very warm moody
fl setups, and people didnt believe it when I told them it was all
fluorescent. A light can be any way you want it. Once you're using the
right tubes (not daylights, I like 3500K best) and installing them the
right way, then you can play and get what you want. The problem with
fls is not fls themselves, it is the culture that has grown up around
them, plus the now antique cold white tubes, which are just plain
orrid. The problem is they can be done so badly.
of course, I've yet to meet anyone who believes it till theyve seen
it. Its like telling someone eggs taste good when all they've ever
seen is stinking rotten eggs. I'll just agree to differ. :)
Hi. I found most diffusers were fairly useless IME. If they really
prevented glare theyd cause a bright patch under the light and
darkness elsewhere - so theyre made so they dont. They dont seem to
solve much at all.
Good idea! I am forever flushing the toilets for the children.
The problem with the lights is that not all the children can reach the light
switches. Also the kitchen is a thoroughfare between other rooms (it has 8
doors leading from it).
I was wondering about a PIR. Perhaps driving some small lights on the
skirting and with a 10-20 minute timeout. (Oh no not more lights!)
Have you thought about a Reliance Senselec IR WC control?
Could they be lowered? My 19-month old daughter can *almost* reach the
light switches in my parents house - built in 2002 to the new
Also the kitchen is a thoroughfare between other rooms (it has 8
But presumably you don't need full lighting to go through the kitchen en
route from one room to another?
Maybe you could contact Boeing and ask who supplies their floor level
emergency lighting strips - sounds similar...
Guess why offices use em throughout...
The MOST efficient INCANDESCENT is a bare bulb dangling on a bit f
wire. about 10W/sq meter. Any kind of mood lighting, wall lights,
standard lamps or downligheters is about 20W/sq meter.
So... I guess that to get mood lighting costs twice as much as what I've got
now. I suppose this is acceptable. What I was baulking at was using
downlighters which, on paper, appear to cost ten times more...
It appears to me that downlighters may well go the same way as laminate
flooring and date really quickly... ;-)
| 15 lights
| 50W per light
That'll be 2 new lighting circuits then, as each point must be rated at 100W
| I assume that low voltage downlighters cost the same to run
| as mains voltage(?)
LV cost a lot less to run in bulb replacement costs, apparrently.
And you'll only require 1 new lighting circuit as you can run 5 transformers
at 150W each.
To be fair, not if they're limited to taking lamps only available in
50W max - such as LV halogens. Haven't exhaustively scanned for any GU10-style
mains halogens above 50W, but if they don't exist then 50W per lighting
point is reasonable for them too. Not that I disagree with the notion that
15 * 50W of downlighting is likely to be a right PITA - too bright where
the beams fall, too dim where they don't, i.e. not diffused enough.
Stefek Zaba wrote
| > | 15 lights
| > | 50W per light
| > That'll be 2 new lighting circuits then, as each point must
| > be rated at 100W
| To be fair, not if they're limited to taking lamps only available in
| 50W max - such as LV halogens. Haven't exhaustively scanned for any
| GU10-style mains halogens above 50W, but if they don't exist then
| 50W per lighting point is reasonable for them too.
I take 100W per mains lighting point because the fittings could be replaced
with 60W or even 100W spots, in another style if not GU10, but the
transformer as one point at actual rating, because that is the end of the
But people could make all sorts of modifications, and if they do, the
onus is on them to do it sensibly.
The trouble with (weakly trying to) protect against what someone might
mis-do one day is that its openended: there is no shortage of things
an idiot could do, but how is that relevant to your install? Typically
when I come across this 'but someone might' approach I see just one
maybe offered, and all others ignored, which doesnt seem to make good
sense to me.
And if someone did decide to replace this circuit with 100w fittings,
thus putting 1.5kW of bulbs in the OP's kitchen, there is already
protection equipment in place to deal with that anyhow.
And if they went one step further and replaced the MCB, just how
dangerous is running 1,5kW peak on 1,5mm2?
Any why would the present OP have to take action now to prevent
someone else's highly unlikely mis-actions in this situation? It
sounds like stretching it to me.
I'd love to hear a good explanation though.
You probably need to start from functional requirements, which will
almost certainly lead to a mix of different lighting types. We have a
somewhat larger kitchen - about 32m^2 - roughly L-shaped, and our
lighting scheme consists of:
- three triple-spot clusters, one in the central part of the L and one
in each "leg" - these provide the general illumination throughout the
- striplights underneath wall units covering most of the food
preparation worktop areas
- lights built into the cooker hood
- two sets of two LV downlighters, one over the sink, one over the one
food prep area not covered by the under-unit strip lights
These are all separate switched (apart from the downlighters, each
pair of which is switched with the nearest spot cluster).
I reckon that's a total of 580W of lighting, although its rare for all
to be on at the same time, and there's no way that any will be on for
15hrs a day (the room has one N-facing window, two S-facing, and a
part-glazed exterior door on the S-facing side).
You really need to think about which areas of the room you need to
light and why, then work out an appropriate solution ... and, as other
posters have suggested, switch the damn lights off ;-)
julian (at) bellevue-barn (dot) org (dot) uk
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