Can Lights

shortys7777

Burning Hunk
Nov 15, 2017
228
Smithfield, RI
In the process of deciding our cabinet lay out for redoing the kitchen. Ceilings are only 90" so can lighting is going to be installed. I have done a little reading and looking at pictures. What is the best way to lay them out? I see some lights over the major appliances but need to make up for the other areas too. How far apart should they be? Going LED all the way and I'm doing the entire kitchen myself. Looking for ideas. Thanks!
 

Gearhead660

Member
Dec 20, 2018
222
WI
how big is kitchen? layout or pics would be helpful.
 

shortys7777

Burning Hunk
Nov 15, 2017
228
Smithfield, RI
Waiting on 2 more quotes and designs. I will post as soon as the wife decides what she likes best. The kitchen is 11x 20. It will have an Island with a drop down light over that.
 

Gearhead660

Member
Dec 20, 2018
222
WI
sounds like you should be able to get away with 4 strategically placed cans.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,051
Lackawaxen PA
I used track lights. Great for directing light to counter tops and into the pantry.
 

rwhite

Minister of Fire
Nov 8, 2011
1,612
North Central Idaho
I have 5 led cans in a similar sized kitchen. I absolutely despise track lights in a kitchen. I have tried several and they all cast shadows under the cabinets. And if you get in the right spot you block it all together. If you like to cook I dont recommend tracks.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,035
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I have a similar size (10x15) and shape kitchen, 93” ceilings, and I retrofit cans. Put them right over the edge of the counter. I have 6 cans plus a drop light over the sink.

way way nicer than the two 8’ t12 fixtures.
 
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shortys7777

Burning Hunk
Nov 15, 2017
228
Smithfield, RI
I live in a ranch so easy access below and above. I am not using track lights. There will be a small hanging light over the sink. I am upgrading all the outlets to 12/2 and putting a sub panel in for the fridge and all the new wiring to go along with the redo.
 

rwhite

Minister of Fire
Nov 8, 2011
1,612
North Central Idaho
My 5 cans are set up like a 5 on a dice with the center right over the island. Plenty of light.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,117
Northern Maine
Go onto the Lightolier site. They have the proper light spacing charts related to the elevation of the ceiling.
I used it 24 years for a 150 foot long covered porch as my boss did not want "hot spots" of light. I did it again 13 years ago when I built our house. I also did not want hot spots on my front covered porch.
Other companies may provide the information but I have no experience with them.
 

AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
820
Vancouver Island
If you're lucky enough not to have upper cabinets, place fixtures about 12'' from the wall, that way you're never in the shadow. If you have upper cabinets, place the fixture just in front of the cabinet and to either side of the work area. If you place lighting at the edge of the counter, you will cast a shadow when working at the counter. If you have upper cabinets, seriously consider running low voltage wiring to under cabinet led's - you can use the dishwasher receptacle to plug in the transformer/driver.

This is our reno from two years ago nothing worse than working in the dark! P_20171127_115818.jpg
I've placed a light on either side of each work zone and they're 12'' off the wall.
 
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burnham

Member
Oct 19, 2007
181
central massachusetts
Tought to say without seeing the layout. I'd probably lean toward a grid of six 5" fixtures, with a pendant light over the sink as well as the island. If you're using undercabinet lights, four recessed in the ceiling will be enough. It's can be tough to make six fixtures work, it really depends on where the center of the island works out. The center recessed fixture may crowd that pendant light.

I start the layout in a corner, and come out equal distances for the first light. Then just measure off the center of the kitchen and match it.
A grid design lights the whole area, and doesn't key on the center of any cabinet or appliance. In doing the layout this way, you do have to pay attention to the fridge location, because it comes out pretty far.
 

DickRussell

Burning Hunk
Mar 1, 2011
245
central NH
Since you are in a ranch, then I assume there is attic space right above the kitchen ceiling. In that case, installing tall can lights in the ceiling would be a big mistake, from a building science point of view. Even some rated IC/AT (Insulation Contact/Air Tight) will leak some interior air into the attic, and in general each can is a thermal hole in your conditioned space boundary. However, you may be able to use low profile LED fixtures, installed in shallow electrical boxes, which can be air sealed from above. This is covered in plenty of other places. Here is one good discussion: https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/question/are-can-lights-really-that-bad.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,677
Massachusetts
i do these all the time for customers. if you center all lights to be 18 to 19 inches off the wall and each one centered on either a big door or center of twin door cabinets it will look good and keep them in a straight line so as to not make them stand out or make the ceiling look busy. nothing like being flexible use 5 or 6 inch cans because they are cheaper than 4 inch and the bulbs are cheaper and brighter. with a trim and a led bulb made by Cree they are the best and from what i hear they make other companys bulbs. if you do it with reg sockets in the can you can change the bulb fairly cheap. if a retro kit is installed sometimes depending on the brand can be more expensive than a bulb. i put in Cree when i can so not to have call backs. home d sells them. i have sylvania in mine right now for about 6 years now and still going. i paid 1.97 a bulb so wasn't worried about failure.
 
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shortys7777

Burning Hunk
Nov 15, 2017
228
Smithfield, RI
Fbelec. I plan on using 5 or 6 inch cans. Should I install them 18 inches off the upper cabinets which would be 30 off the actual wall if the uppers are 12 inches? That seems logical for lighting when cooking over over any counter. I am going to post a picture of the layout we pick shortly. Waiting to get it back. I would like to install these before I demo and have the new cabinets as its something I can just do one a night or on a weekend when I am upgrading the wiring for outlets. As to the insulation, why couldn't I surround the can with it? When people add them to existing construction there's already insulation where the can is pushed into the cut out. no?
 

shortys7777

Burning Hunk
Nov 15, 2017
228
Smithfield, RI
So after doing some research I came across low profile LED lights. They seem completely sealed and have a gasket to seal the air gap. I would be able to leave the insulation above as is since they are 1 inch thick. I have 4 old can lights in my dining area. I may buy some and replace those to see how I like the light. They are 800 lumens each.
 

AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
820
Vancouver Island
I installed sixty of these when we did our reno. There are 17 in the kitchen/dining/sitting area alone.

P_20200214_191047.jpg P_20200214_191115.jpg P_20200214_191123.jpg
CRI over 80, 3000k temperature, 730 lumens in a 4 inch light. The best part is they're only 1/2'' thick so even if your layout lands on a truss or joist, they still fit. The six inch version is 900 lm.

 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,677
Massachusetts
shortys7777 if you install so that the edge of the light is about a inch from the upper cabinet then the light will shine down in front of you when using the counter. doing it this way eliminates the need for under cabinet lighting and the lighting will be brighter on the counter top than under cabinet lighting. as to the wafer lighting albergsteve is using i have started to use these also. they are very nice. i have been using the brand lithonia. so far no call backs to replace them. i started using them in showers about 3 years ago because lighting a shower has always been dim if you do it to code. especially in darker tile showers. now i'm just putting them in everywhere and as said they go anywhere even under a joist. i even installed one that lithonia makes that has 5 settings for the color of the light output. everybody's taste is different. i like the 3000k color it projects farther that the 4000k and 5000k blueish light. the eye works better with that color because of a little bit of red used to make it. as far as pulling out a can and replacing it with a wafer light i don't think it will be that easy. i believe they both are different sizes. when you cut a hole for the wafer light it is best to cut a smaller hole then inlarge it as needed there is not much room for error.

frank
 

shortys7777

Burning Hunk
Nov 15, 2017
228
Smithfield, RI
I installed sixty of these when we did our reno. There are 17 in the kitchen/dining/sitting area alone.

View attachment 257085 View attachment 257084 View attachment 257083
CRI over 80, 3000k temperature, 730 lumens in a 4 inch light. The best part is they're only 1/2'' thick so even if your layout lands on a truss or joist, they still fit.
The six inch version is 900 lm

Bingo. That's exactly what I was looking at. I think I want 6in but not positive. Do you like the 4 inch? How far did you space them? They have 3,4, and 5k temp. I have the 5k in my sconce lights by the mantle and 3k in my dining area.
 

mcdougy

Feeling the Heat
Apr 15, 2014
322
ontario
1581772129640313802888.jpg

These are from Costco, with an at the till govt rebate a 2pack was 8.99. Regular price is 24.99 for a 2 pack. Good deal/Best deal going. I'm 2 years in with no issues and put in over 80 in my new house build. Inside and damp rated.
 

mcdougy

Feeling the Heat
Apr 15, 2014
322
ontario
15817724699991399677611.jpg

The Costco lights are 1.5" thick. I put 8 in my kitchen that is 14' wide x 16' long. They are centred between base units and island on 6' centres. We have under cabinet lighting that we never use as these are lots bright enough and no bothersome shadows. 3 lights are in each side of island centred in walkway and 2 centred on sink countertop as we have no uppers at sink. Sink lights on separate switch and often we don't turn them on either. All pots are on dimmers. Also a side note,,,,,many led pots won't dim as a incandescent light will. They don't go as low. We have our kitchen lights set to 1/2 and lots of light for us.
 

AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
820
Vancouver Island
Bingo. That's exactly what I was looking at. I think I want 6in but not positive. Do you like the 4 inch? How far did you space them? They have 3,4, and 5k temp. I have the 5k in my sconce lights by the mantle and 3k in my dining area.
The 4'' at 730 lm's are plenty bright. The 6'' ones in the Lotus lights are 900, I think you would have to put them on dimmers, unless you had 9 or 10 foot ceilings. Your ceiling is at 90'' so the 4'' should work well, and they're a bit less intrusive that the 6''. I personally like the 3000k light, you might get away with 4000, but the 5000k units would be unnaturally blue and the 2700 too red.
These are spaced 15'' to center off the wall and about 30'' in between. If I'm standing in any of the work zones, there is lighting on either side of me and I'm never in shadow. I would still place under cabinet lighting to eliminate shadows in that area. If you have upper cabinets, placing the ''can'' just in front of the cabinet creates shadow on the back half of the counter, and if you place the fixture at the edge of the counter you will be standing/working in your own shadow.
P_20200215_091928.jpg P_20200215_091731.jpg
 

shortys7777

Burning Hunk
Nov 15, 2017
228
Smithfield, RI
Thanks for the information guys. I (the wife) are almost ready to completely agree on a cabinet/island set up. I am starting to shop around for some lights. There are so many options that seem almost identical but prices vary.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,117
Northern Maine
Thanks for the information guys. I (the wife) are almost ready to completely agree on a cabinet/island set up. I am starting to shop around for some lights. There are so many options that seem almost identical but prices vary.
1000 bulbs dot com has some decent prices and many options.