LED equivalent recessed lighting

Old 02-21-20, 01:20 PM
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LED equivalent recessed lighting

I am replacing 13 (7 six inch and 5 five inch) recessed cans in our 100 s/f open kitchen. The 6 inch cans had 60W incandescent and the 5 inch cans had 50 watt incandescent. The original lighting layout was provided by a lighting pro and it was perfect for our needs. The electrician doing the work thinks that LED lights in that pattern is overkill too much light.
My understanding is that the available light from recessed cans has as much to do with ceiling height as it does with lumens or watts. He wants to reduce the number of cans and I want to keep it the same. Should I insist on the same layout (I'm paying the bill) or go with the electricians plan (reduce from 13 incandescent to 9 LED) and take a chance on inadequate lighting/coverage?
Old 02-21-20, 01:39 PM
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Thirteen cans in a 100 square foot space? That is a lot of cans! Why so many? Once we know why you have so many cans we can see if reducing the number is a good idea. Many LED recessed ceiling lights spread their light in a pretty broad pattern so you might be able to go with fewer. But, it's your house so you can have as many as you want.

My kitchen has five cans over the walking area but they are not the only source of light. I also have under cabinet lighting which mainly illuminates the counters along the wall. Then we have hanging pendants over the island and provide general room lighting.

One thing I would consider is traditional cans. This gives you the option of using regular screw in light bulbs (LED) of any wattage/brightness or color tone. You can also use LED retrofit bulbs that replace the lens of the can. The old style can provides a lot of flexibility to change the bulbs and get the amount and color of light you want. If you start out by installing dedicated LED ceiling cans or flush lights you are a bit more stuck though a dimmer might be an option.
Old 02-21-20, 02:18 PM
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The following is the defining part of your question " take a chance on inadequate lighting/coverage"
Depending on the fixture type it can be easy to get less light but often not that easy to add light.

I also like Pilot Dane's suggestion of using standard bulb LED's.
This gives you the most flexibility in the future.

If you get dimmable bulbs then you can lower the light level by simply installing a dimmer or just use a lower wattage bulb in some fixtures to get less light there.

Yes ceiling height is a factor along with lumens/wattage also the type/design of the fixture makes a difference.
If you use less fixtures but higher lumens to achieve what you had for total lumens then odds are the light will seem harsh to you.

I would stick with the 13 cans then at least it is your decision.
If the electrician agrees to come back and install more cans at his expense (at least the labor) if you do not like the lighting in the room then I would consider his way. Just be sure to get this in writing!!!!

Old 02-21-20, 07:36 PM
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I've been doing a lot of LED recessed lighting lately. I'm fast becoming a fan of the self contained unit. The new generation of direct install LED lights comes with a multiple temperature switch for color rendition. Halo offers direct install and upgrades for cans.

Just did a big living room.... 14' x 23' ....... 325 sq feet. Installed eight 4" fixtures. Also installed a Lutron Maestro dimmer. A lot of light. The dimmer was a must have.
Old 02-21-20, 07:43 PM
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When I renovated the kitchen 10 years ago I went to a lighting store. I provided a lay out of the kitchen and explained that I wanted recessed cans. We had a typical centered light fixture that we hated.. The store's lighting pro provided a computer generated layout of lighting and a recommendation for the number and location of recessed cans. The 13 lights (plus we had a couple of pendants over the cook top) provided exactly the light we needed. Part of the problem is that we have low ceilings (92") so the cone of coverage is smaller than we would get with a higher ceiling.

Now we are getting "too much" light from our electrician. I think we will tell him to use the same light pattern and have him install a dimmer.


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