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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some help from the pro's. I'm in the process of gutting my kitchen, and I need to know how far off the the wall you guys typically install the recessed cans. My upper cabinets are going to the ceiling and are 13" deep and with the crown installed the will be 16" off the wall. The bases will have a standard 25" counter top. I'm thinking 24" off the wall to the center of a 6" can? Is that pretty standard? Thanks
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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How far between the ceiling and the top of the uppers?
 

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Head Grunt
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That measurement isnt bad, you will shine light on part of the countertop, the floor and into any drawers that may be open. But, for me this depends on the size of the kitchen itself. If the kitchen is wide then why put the lights so close to the cabinets and leave the center of the room dark? This is why we have under cabinet lighting. Another concern to watch with cabinets this high is the clearance for your trim, the last home i did with cabinets flush to ceiling only left me about 1/32ths of clearance between the cabinet door and the trim which was quite thin to begin with. If you have a narrow kitchen you may be able to bring the can in closer too for more light on the countertop and to light up the cabinet doors.
 

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ampman
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no plans -- why start a project without plans
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
no plans -- why start a project without plans
Of course I have plans, I'm a cabinet maker not an electrician, I made plans for the cabinets.

The room is 11' x 15' with a 90" ceiling height, so I think if they are too far off the wall they will be too close to the middle of the room.

The upper cabinets end 6" below the ceiling, then there is a small soffit, and finally the crown tight to the ceiling, so there should be no interference between the doors and light trims.
 

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I'd also need to know what lamps you are using (PAR30s, MR16, BR65, flood or spot) and what trims your planning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
25" from the wall to the inside of the light. This will bring the shadow line of the upper cabinets to the back of the counter at the wall. Based on an 8' ceiling.
Thanks. I'm probably going to end up putting them 23" off the wall to the center. I have a ceiling joist on one wall that runs the length of the kitchen at 27" off the wall, so my choice is either 23" or 31".

480sparky, I am using a licenced electrician to do the job. I'm not sure what type of bulb or fixture he will use. I just figured since it's now 11:45 at night and I want to do some prep work for the lights tommorrow morning that I would ask here instead of calling him, he probably would not be too happy if I called.:laughing:
 

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Carpe Diem
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The joists determine a lot of the placement but we like to have either 3" or 4" close to the uppers so they shine down on the counters. We'll do 5" or 6" as general lighting then.

I hate having just general recessed. When you stand in front of the counters, you are casting a shadow onto the counter if the light is only behind you.

 

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huntington beach, ca.
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A typical Kitchen for me, ussually involves about 9-12 flourescent can lights, 2 pendants and under counters.

Ideally new kitchens have an island, so I try to keep my lighting centered on the walkways, which is ussually around 3' + off the wall. I never install my lighting the way that picture is, they installed the lighting for practicle purpose, I like cosmetic appearance more.
 

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I would never try to light a countertop with recessed cans in the ceiling. Use those to light the floor. Use under-cab lights for the c'top.
 
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Marc,

As a couple others have mentioned _ undercabinet lightning! That is the biggest regret I have had people mention after their kitchen is done, they were sorry they didn't spend the extra $$ for undercabinet lights. Since it is still early enough in your project, consider having the electrician prewire for them, even if you don't install them right away. I don't believe you will be sorry, they make such a great inprovment in not only the countertop lighting, but the overall look of the kitchen.

One thing to remember, if your going to have granite counter tops, the granite acts just like a mirror, you will be able to see the undercabinet lights reflected in the granite, so you probably don't want cheap florescents or rope lighting. I did one once and they used rope lighting and strung it all over the bottom of the upper cabinets. The reflected view of the lights looked like an aerial view of the LA highway system at night. The halogen or quartz strips don't look bad at all.

If you really want to showcase it, have the electrician put a few switch controlled plugs over the upper cabinets for accent lighting, that way you can simply plug in accent lights over the cabinets. My wife loves hers, she uses white rope lights most of the time, at Halloween she changes to orange, and Christmas it is usually red or blue depending on how she decorates. Really makes a heck of an impression on people that see it, so much so I have had people want to add them (undercabinet as well as overcabinet) to their kitchen. Doesn't do much for me, but keeps my electrician happy.
 

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I'm thinking 24" off the wall to the center of a 6" can? Is that pretty standard? Thanks
20 to 24 is standard. You want the light shining right down on the workspace.

Watch out for crown moulding and deep cabinets (corner/oven/refer)

If your cabinets go all the way to the ceiling with no crown, the doors may come awfully close to the trim rings. I have missed them by 1/16" with some Ikea cabinets.

If the kitchen is wide then why put the lights so close to the cabinets and leave the center of the room dark?
Because you need the light on the work space.

I would never try to light a countertop with recessed cans in the ceiling. Use those to light the floor. Use under-cab lights for the c'top.
I would never try to light a countertop with UC lights. UC lights alone are not nearly enough. If you need more light in the center of a bigger kitchen, add more cans.



they installed the lighting for practicle purpose, I like cosmetic appearance more.

:jester:
 

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huntington beach, ca.
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20 to 24 is standard. You want the light shining right down on the workspace.

Watch out for crown moulding and deep cabinets (corner/oven/refer)

If your cabinets go all the way to the ceiling with no crown, the doors may come awfully close to the trim rings. I have missed them by 1/16" with some Ikea cabinets.



Because you need the light on the work space.



I would never try to light a countertop with UC lights. UC lights alone are not nearly enough. If you need more light in the center of a bigger kitchen, add more cans.






:jester:

I guess I shouldn't of used those words cosmetically, We are getting the same basic overall lighting with less fixtures and more appeasing to the eye. We don't place cans over counters and we use flourescant cans, with a frosted glass trim.

The t-5 undercounters work great, not sure what you are buying?
 

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I have been using Counter Attacks halogen/zenon. They throw a lot of light but it is coming from 10" out from the wall, 20" above the top and I am working at about 20" from the wall.

There are 2 schools of thought on lighting design.

Some of my customers seem to think they will look up at the ceiling. For them, I will line everything up as proportionally as I can. For those who ask me to do what's best, I will put the light where it's needed. In an ideal world, the two methods will coincide.
 

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huntington beach, ca.
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I have been using Counter Attacks halogen/zenon. They throw a lot of light but it is coming from 10" out from the wall, 20" above the top and I am working at about 20" from the wall.

There are 2 schools of thought on lighting design.

Some of my customers seem to think they will look up at the ceiling. For them, I will line everything up as proportionally as I can. For those who ask me to do what's best, I will put the light where it's needed. In an ideal world, the two methods will coincide.
Basic google image search, seems 2 methods 50/50 on the kitchen lighting designs. I've seen some bad kitchen can lighting job's, the ones that have 4" cans every 1' ceiling space, is comical.
 

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ampman
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Of course I have plans, I'm a cabinet maker not an electrician, I made plans for the cabinets.

The room is 11' x 15' with a 90" ceiling height, so I think if they are too far off the wall they will be too close to the middle of the room.

The upper cabinets end 6" below the ceiling, then there is a small soffit, and finally the crown tight to the ceiling, so there should be no interference between the doors and light trims.
sorry did not read your trade thought you were the g.c.
 

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When you are redoing a kitchen it is a great time to upgrade the electrical - in most cases you need to add outlets to meet code anyway. I usually get people to upgrade their panel before the remodel so extra legs can be easily added. This is the easiest time to make runs for under-cabinet lighting.

For kitchen lighting in particular you want 3 sets of lights, one for the room, one for task areas like the sink and island, and one for under the cabinets.

Ceiling lighting is going to create shadow areas wherever people stand as they will block the light. Think "task" lighting just like a shop where you have separate lights over work benches and power tools. Kitchens work the same. I always put the lights on Lutron dimmers which work for standard lights and for low voltage lights on transformers.

Many women want a fancy light fixture for the center of the kitchen or over an island or bar counter and yet focused lighting over the sink or cutting areas and having these controlled separately is the best way to go and relatively inexpensive. At the end of the job they will love the lighting and thank you.

Any doubts look in any kitchen remodel magazine and see how the lighting was done - and you will find 3 zones at a minimum. For recessed lighting I use the Hole Pro adjustable hole cutter (works great for sheetrock, plaster, and evenT&G ceilings) and for cabinet lighting I like the Progress modular xenon lights where multiple modules can be strung off a single transformer making it easy to customize for different length cabinets.
 
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