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Old 07-02-2009, 08:56 PM   #1
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Kitchen potlights: plan before or after cabinets?


I've been debating on putting pot lights in my kitchen. I am getting new cabinets so right now it's bare walls (still need to patch/paint everywhere including ceiling).

Would now be a good time to plan/install the pot lights? OR should I wait till the cabinets are in, so I can place the pot lights according to the cabinets, and not according to the walls? What order is this normally done in? I would guess I should wait till the cabinets are in, so I can align/center them according to the cabinets/counters.

On the other hand, plugging holes and doing electrical from the attic can make a mess, a mess that is best done when no new stuff is around.

I may go the lazy way and put a track light or even a huge neon tube light. Neon tubes will produce a more equal light so it may even be better.

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Old 07-02-2009, 09:08 PM   #2
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Kitchen potlights: plan before or after cabinets?


I think you already answered your own question. Do it beforehand so that you don't have to tear out cabinets to run the wire and cause a mess. Measure twice cut once.

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Old 07-02-2009, 09:32 PM   #3
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Kitchen potlights: plan before or after cabinets?


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Originally Posted by jaros bros. View Post
I think you already answered your own question. Do it beforehand so that you don't have to tear out cabinets to run the wire and cause a mess. Measure twice cut once.
Only thing with that is I don't know exactly where the cabinets go, I have a general idea, but not enough so I can align the lights properly. Do I just setup a perimeter around the area and follow that? ex: 1 light ever 2 feet, 3 feet from the wall. (or something like that)
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:08 PM   #4
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Kitchen potlights: plan before or after cabinets?


I put my kitchen recessed lights in 2 years ago & my kitchen remodel is at least another year away
I went about 12" out from the wall cabinets
2 on one side, 2 on the other side of the room - 30" apart
3 more will be added over a new peninsula counter/cabinet that will be open to the new sunroom

Our lighting sucked in the Kitchen - 320w of light in all the wrong places
Now we have about 80w & much better light setup
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:17 PM   #5
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Kitchen potlights: plan before or after cabinets?


Definitely lay out the cabinets on the floor. The base units in black marker and the uppers in red marker. Label the stove, dishwasher, sink, etc, Draw the D.W. door open to see the clearance to the island. Can lights, 4" put a cone shaped beam down, draw it on floor. Overlap the beams as per ceiling height, for spacing. Layout disposal switch and all switches to see convenience. I mark all switches and recpts. on the floor in front of them to find in the wall after someone covered one with wallboard. Same with can lights. Be safe, G
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:13 PM   #6
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Kitchen potlights: plan before or after cabinets?


The lights at the counters should be above the edge of the counter. You don't want shadows from your body when standing there, and you want to illuminate the inside of the upper cabinets. Lights under the upper cabinets will provide for task lighting on the work surface.

Don't worry if you don't get the layout perfect in planning, do the best you can - and add lights after you get the kitchen into service.

One thing someone suggested on the forum when I did my kitchen remodel was regarding the island. I was trying to decide on two or three pendants for a 7' island - the suggestion was to go with two and a can light in-between. The pendants switched and dimmed separately from all the can lights. This worked out great. The pendants are the jewelry lighting and the can provides for the fill in work lighting.

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