How much light/watts for kitchen?


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Old 11-02-06, 05:27 PM
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How much light/watts for kitchen?

Our kitchen is approx 20'X8', with 10' ceilings. We are removing the current lighting (fluorescent), but I'm not sure how much lighting I need (in terms of watts) to replace it with. Are there any guidelines out there?
 
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Old 11-02-06, 06:10 PM
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The trend in kitchen lighting today is to 'mix it up.' A beautiful ceiling fixture as a focal point in the center of the kitchen ceiling, often over an island, can be pendant lights, a chandelier, or whatever supports the decor, mood, and style of your kitchen and home. Recessed lighting can highlight displays, art work, and collections in glass door cabinets and add to the ambience. Under cabinet lighting for tasks is recommended by many. Some put these lights on dimmers for additional ambience. Under cabinet lights range from rope lights, some of which can be cut to desired length, to fluorescent, to halogen. Halogen lights can put off a lot of heat. If cranked up, they can even serve as warming lights and melt butter. Check out your options at a local lighting store or home center. Watch a few HGTV shows, pick up some kitchen magazines, and read about kitchen lighting in online articles. With a little research about what is available in lighting options and selecting lights that will provide a focal point, provide ambience, and task lighting, your selection process can be narrowed down to what best meets your needs.

Watts is a measure of power consumption of the bulb, not light output. Different types of lighting have different amounts of light output and consume different amounts of power.

Square footage of room is a consideration for general lighting. Certain areas require work lights. Others accent lighting. Consider features that block lighting (perhaps a large central rangehood or other feature).

A beautiful fixture in the center of the kitchen ceiling can provide general lighting as well as be a focal point. Amount of light output and wattage used will vary according to bulb size used. Then, there is the task lighting that is usually placed beneath the wall cabinets or over the kitchen sink. Rope lights and bar lights typically can not be adjusted for output or wattage used, although newer products do provide some opportunities for adjustment with dimmers. Accent lights with dimmers provide opportunities to adjust for both output and wattage used. General lighting should be in balance with the task lighting and neither should conflict with accent lighting.

For concerns about wattage, it is not so simple. See the following links:

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/living/15479052.htm

http://oikos.com/esb/40/kitlight.html

http://archive.tri-cityherald.com/HOME/HOME/home42.html

http://www.cs.wright.edu/bie/rehabengr/kitchens/electric.htm
 
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Old 11-03-06, 10:58 AM
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Thank you for the information and the great links. This is very helpful.

RatHat
 
 

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