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Old 08-05-2008, 03:00 PM   #1
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Replacing fluorescent with recessed..thoughts


Im thinking of replacing a fluorescent light with recessed lights in my kitchen. The ceilings are relatively low (7ft) so Im wondering how this will look.
Right now the fluorescent light is in a cut out area in the ceiling, it is (8ft), there are several areas that are shadowed.
What I would like to do is have the fixture removed and the cut out area made level with the rest of the ceiling and add several recessed lights. Any one done something similar? Any suggestions?
Many thanks!

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Old 08-05-2008, 04:27 PM   #2
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Replacing fluorescent with recessed..thoughts


Since you already have the circuit there, it shouldn't be a bad idea. You can use remodel can housings and install them in 4" or 6" diameter holes, depending on the can size. The hardest part is fishing the wire to where you want it, but with the void your flourescent fixture is in, you might be able to use that to your advantage.

If you have shadows with a flourescent, don't expect better results with cans in the same location. You need pretty even fixture distribution around the room to adequately light it and minimize shadows.

If the ceiling is insulated, be sure to use insulation contact rated cans.

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Old 08-05-2008, 04:47 PM   #3
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Replacing fluorescent with recessed..thoughts


Very good advise above.

With a 7' ceiling you might want to get some design help at a lighting showroom.

Spacing to mounting height ratio: for even distribution is tight on a 7' ceiling. This means more cans with closer spacing for even distribution.

Make a layout of the room take a couple of copies with you to the showroom.

Any tall people? can lamps will be very close to a six foot high head.

Think about CFL less watts, less heat, good light output.
Dimming option is expensive though....

check out other lighting options while you are there.. Above cabinets... Below cabinets..

A new lighting plan can make it look like you just got a new kitchen.

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Old 08-05-2008, 05:14 PM   #4
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Replacing fluorescent with recessed..thoughts


Depending on how many hundreds of watts of lighting you put in, spot or flood, the kitchen will be warmer.

A kilowatt of lighting would need a 3400 BTU/hr AC just to get back to the previous temps, assuming none of the lamp heat goes into the ceiling. Do you have a ceiling fan in there now?
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:30 PM   #5
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Replacing fluorescent with recessed..thoughts


Thanks for all of the information. There is no ceiling fan. The kitchen is a galley type and is approx 11ft long x 8ft wide x 7ft high.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:02 PM   #6
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Heat output is a good point. I'm 6'7" tall, and have a shaved bald head...And I can assure you that I can definately feel the heat pumped out of a can light as I stand underneath. It can be rather uncomfortable, much like a heat lamp might be.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:10 PM   #7
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Replacing fluorescent with recessed..thoughts


I didnt think about the heat output and in Texas the heat is a problem. I guess I may need to rethink the recessed lights. I'll go to the local HD and see if there is something else that will work. The recessed lights can always go into the bathrooms above the sinks I just replaced.
Thanks for saving me some time and money.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:21 PM   #8
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Replacing fluorescent with recessed..thoughts


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Heat output is a good point. I'm 6'7" tall, and have a shaved bald head...And I can assure you that I can definately feel the heat pumped out of a can light as I stand underneath. It can be rather uncomfortable, much like a heat lamp might be.
Dar, you might want to consider LEDs. The basic red Light Emitting Diode has been around for decades, and since they now finally come in blue and green you can dial up almost whatever color you want, including white. If you include yellow LEDs I think you can get any color.
And if they don't whack them too hard with current, the lifetime is 100,000 hours.

But, I'm not sure how ready these are for resi or comm'l use. The manu's might have trouble with making the kind of reliable wall-outlet-driven Current Source that these LEDs prefer.
You don't want to be the test lab for new technologies.

But, if you go with CFLs you might not have a choice of Color Temperature and this is important in making food look appetizing.
The supermarkets probably spend big bucks getting just the right light color to display their food.
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:45 PM   #9
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Replacing fluorescent with recessed..thoughts


LEDs are great for mood or accent lighting. For general or task lighting they won't work (just yet). The technology needs to be tweaked some still.
For that space, I'd suggest nothing larger than 5" or maybe even 4". Depending on the housing, you might be able to find an applicable CFL (par20). The flood or mini flood style will help overall lighting instead of a "spot" effect.
I have no idea what you or your room is capable of but without seeing and just reading the size of the room, I'd look at a few 5" down the center and then some 4" over the counters or nice under cabinet strips.
One of my peeves with recessed is when they are only placed in the center of the room. When they are and you're in front of the counter, your body creates a shadow on the counter because of the light being behind you.
In this kitchen, you'll see how we used 5" for general lighting in the center and then 4" over the counters for task. They are on different circuits. Oh yeah, under cabinet too!!!!
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:19 AM   #10
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Replacing fluorescent with recessed..thoughts


Nice kitchen, I think 4 of mine would fit in it! The ceilings are to low (7ft) to have anything that hangs, unfortunately. It looks like Im going to have to rethink making the ceiling flat and use the higher area which is a foot deeper where the 2 bulb fluorescent fixture is now.
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:22 PM   #11
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Angus, Good workmanship and design.

Darlen,

Try to locate your ceiling joist & include on you layout sketch.

You might be able to create coffers, something like what you have now.

If they are in the right places you could create some nice effects.

Was this ceiling dropped to 7'.... to cover a problem like water damaged plaster? I have seen this done a number of times. 7' kitchen ceiling is not the norm unless something is going on above. You might be able to deal with the old problem and have a lot more design freedom. Take a peek.
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:56 PM   #12
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Replacing fluorescent with recessed..thoughts


Thanks, I'll look up in the attic once we get below 100 degrees. The top row of cabinets go directly to the ceiling. The house is a zero lot line patio home, no upgrades built in late 70's or early 80's so there are a lot of things that need to be done.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:38 AM   #13
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Replacing fluorescent with recessed..thoughts


After checking several places for lighting I think Im going to have to replace the 2 bulb fluorescent light with a 4 bulb fluorescent fixture. Has anyone used the new T8 bulbs, I think that is what they were? I was told they were brighter.
I checked on track lighting but decided againts it due to the heat output of the halogen lights.

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