Recessed Cans in Kitchen

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Old 02-17-11, 10:54 AM
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Recessed Cans in Kitchen

Thanks or taking the time to answer. My wife and I are remodeling our kitchen and removing the fluorescent lights and putting in 4" recessed lights. We have an 8' ceiling and the kitchen is 10' X 18'. The electrician who gave us a quote said we need 17 cans. The floor plan is wide open and doesn't have any hidden corners. This seems like a lot of cans for an 8' ceiling. Is there a formula for figuing the number of cans? I do not want the cans on a dimmer and will be using incandescent lights. Thanks again.
 
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Old 02-17-11, 12:09 PM
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There goes your electric bill....LOL

17 cans sounds about right. Mine are on the perimeter and spaced 2 1/2 ft apart. I would put them on a dimmer. Why not. At least you will have that option. 65 watts x 17= 1105 watts...

I wish I did something else like perimeter fluorescent or LED. I am all about trying to lower the carbon foot print. Plus the heat...uggg.

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Good luck.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 02-17-11, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by craymer45 View Post
Thanks or taking the time to answer. My wife and I are remodeling our kitchen and removing the fluorescent lights and putting in 4" recessed lights.
Most places this is okay, but if your area has an energy-efficiency code you may need fluorescents in the kitchen. I believe California has such a code, probably other places too.

The electrician who gave us a quote said we need 17 cans....Is there a formula for figuing the number of cans?
There isn't really a specific formula, more of a design issue. I can see the electrician's point about using 17 cans. The 4" size cans do not put out a very wide beam of light, so if you space them too far apart you will get dim zones and shadows at normal coutertop/table height (30" above floor). It is also better to install too many and later decide to use a dimmer or smaller wattage lamps than to realize you don't have enough light to comfortably work and need to do demolition to install more fixtures.

I do not find 4 inchers well suited to general purpose lighting because of the narrow beam width and limited lamp size and configuration, especially in a busy room like the kitchen. They are much better suited for task lighting or lighting a small decorative space like an alcove. For a kitchen I would lean more toward the 6" or 8" can, possibly a ballasted can, if you want good brightness with energy-efficiency and long life. Another option would be to go with general purpose lighting on the ceiling and also install some undercabinet pucks or strips which are available in halogen, fluorescent, xenon or LED for a nice bright work surface at the countertop.
 
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Old 02-17-11, 06:31 PM
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Throwing in my 2 cents, I'd certainly recommend 6" cans for a kitchen area. You'll get much better coverage with 6-8 (or maybe 10) cans. Like Ben, I've always found the 4" cans nice for accent type lighting, but not so effective for a bright room like a kitchen.
 
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Old 02-17-11, 06:36 PM
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I do not want the cans on a dimmer and will be using incandescent lights.
Have you considered LED cans? The days of the typical incandescent lamp are definitely numbered.
 
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Old 02-17-11, 07:51 PM
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I agree with going to 6" cans. There is also already LED retrofit trims/lamps in the big box stores that are quite good. Spendy, but good.
 
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