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Kitchen Lighting

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Sonya, Sep 5, 2013.

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  1. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Our house was built in 1980 and has the lovely recessed area in the kitchen with four fluorescent tube lights in it. They have been cranky for the last 6-7 months. Sometimes they work for awhile and then they go "grey" or don't come on at all.

    We talked about doing a whole new kitchen lighting project this summer, but uh.. it's September and it will be dark again soon in Seattle.

    Has anyone does this kind of project themselves and have any advice? At this point my husband just wants to put in new fluorescent fixtures to replace the old ones. I've got a bit of hope we can do better than that, but the idea of a whole new lighting design makes me want to go back to bed until the sun comes out again next spring. :)
     
  2. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    Can't say much about lighting without seeing the work spaces. Lighting is a project you can often do yourself if you're comfortable with wiring. We kept our four-tube fluorescent fixture when we remodeled and added drop lights over the new workspace. It did involve some crawling in the rafters.

    Have you ever replaced the ballast? That might do it.
     
  3. sweetcanadian

    sweetcanadian High-Roller

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    I would put in pot lights with a dimmer switch. We have pot lights and they are so easy, but no dimmer which is annoying. Or you can get lights on a track that are easy to put up. Just go to your local do it center, they should be able to help you
     
  4. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    we have pot lights with a dimmer and basically never use it. it's a kitchen you want it bright.
     
  5. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    My kitchen has pot lights my husband made me install. We NEVER use them. I hate them so much. (we designed & built the house ourselves- took us a year - the first year of our marriage....Nothing teaches you to communicate effectively like a project like that)

    Most people want different kinds of light in a kitchen - task lighting and ambient lighting (low or bright). We have pendant lights I use for the bright ambient lighting, and halogens under the cabinets that can be used as task lighting or, when the pendants are off, for "mood" lighting (low ambient). The pot lights were supposed to be for additional brightness, but I don't need them and as mentioned before, I HATE THEM. Have I made my feelings clear? :wink2:

    (HGTV says 4 kinds - task, ambient, accent, and decorative: http://www.hgtv.com/kitchens/shedding-light-on-kitchen-lighting/index.html)

    Anyhoo, DIYnet.com is your friend:peace: (or PM me with specific questions -my husband moderates a DIY board :ssst:) I've replaced lighting myself when it was just swapping out fixtures and reconnecting wires, but not when it involved sawing into the ceiling drywall....
     
  6. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    Our house is from the late 40's and had a kitchen upgrade sometime in the mid 80's. We're too cheap to do anything major to it. But, we upgraded the lighting and flooring. The lighting in here was so inadequate. Because the ceiling is some kind of pine planking, we had to be careful how we did it. So my husband added some hanging pendant lights that come out of the original holes from their old crappy lighting but with the chain length, we can put it where we want it. They're on a dimmer. They didn't have an oven hood so we put that in, there's a light in there. And then we put some lights under the cupboards. It's not bright like a nice new kitchen but it's pretty good.

    I'd say go wander around a lighting store or the lighting section of a big hardware store with an open mind. You can probably upgrade the lighting in your kitchen pretty easy and cheap without it being a major project. My husband is handy but I don't think you have to be handy to do what you have in mind.
     
  7. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 Low-Roller

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    If the fixtures are original they have 3 or 4 foot T12 lamps that are most likely cool white. You didn't mention but most recessed kitchen lighting like you have has a prismatic lenses to hide the fixtures. Your best bet is to stay with flourescent lighting but to upgrade to a T8 lamp. It will require new ballast's and new sockets but you will have a lamp that puts out more light and a higher CRI
    than the old T12's. You can reuse the old fixture channel since both lamps are the same length just different diameters. FYI CRI stands for Color Rendering Index which is a number between 0 and 100. The old T12's CW's have a CRI of 60 whereas the better T8's are around 85. The higher the number the better.
    Let me know if you have any questions.
    Mark
     
  8. sweetcanadian

    sweetcanadian High-Roller

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    not always, i know personally sometimes i want less light, especially if i just have something in the oven or have a headache or what not. Enough to see but not super bright
     
  9. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Thanks for the input.

    I like the idea of a dimmer switch because I'm not a morning person. I usually make the first round of coffee in the dark, with filtered light from the living room. I've been looking at what other people have when I'm in their homes. I like the switch with the little lever on the side to adjust the brightness. But I don't believe that would work if we stuck with fluorescent lights.

    HH, I was looking at a bunch of DIY websites about it and saw that four kinds of lighting thing. That's what made me post this. The idea of adding all that is overwhelming when I look at my fall schedule. I may PM you as I figure out what we're going to do.

    Kobra, I stopped at the big home repair depot yesterday and the guy told me I have the T12s and suggested the T8's for the cheapest/easiest fix. He said it sounded like our ballasts were failing (is that a thing?). I know that Dan looked at them once and told me the ballasts were not replaceable. I wish I was smarter about this kind of thing, but my brain shuts down when I have too many choices. :haha:

    We've got a big rainy weekend here, so hopefully we can spend some time with a tape measure and the ladder and figure out what to do.
     
  10. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 Low-Roller

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    The ballast is what regulates the voltage to start the fluorescent tubes. All strip fixtures have a replaceable ballast. The white cover under the lamps will remove exposing the ballast. Switching to T8's would be the cheapest option and is pretty simple to do. Let me know if you have any questions.
    Thanks
    Mark
     
  11. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Thanks, Mark!
     
  12. JWBlue

    JWBlue VIP Whale

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