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Another Pot light question, this time spacing

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  • Feb 15th, 2012 10:34 am
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Newbie
Jul 7, 2008
95 posts
Halifax, NS

Another Pot light question, this time spacing

Hi
I have read through a lot of the pot light questions, but am looking for an answer on spacing.

We are going to be putting pot lights in our kitchen and just wonder how far apart they should be spaced, and how far out from the walls.

Another question, which I know is personal prefrence, but for those who have lights, do you wish that you had put in more, or
that they were placed differently.

Reason for asking is we have had a electrion come out and he will install were you want them, he made a few suggestions but I wold like
to hear from other peoples experience.

Thanks
19 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 28, 2009
1237 posts
251 upvotes
Ottawa
maybe go with 2 parallel lines. lets say you want to install 4 lights in one row . lights 1 and 4 should be equal distance from their respective end walls. the other 2 in the middle should be equal distance from lights 1 & 4. . the code is that you could have 1200W per circuit and typical pot lights at 50W each.

all pot lights have a clip that extends to grab the lights in the ceiling. on some these clips can be adjusted with screws. I got the screw in type at HD and its so much better.
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
7105 posts
651 upvotes
the potlight itself will tell how many can be daisy chained together, everyone i have installed has it writen on the side of the potlight.

our living room is around 16x16 or maybe even 18x18, and 4 potlights was perfect, we put them on a dimmer.
Deal Addict
Nov 30, 2003
1602 posts
192 upvotes
I generally go by the rule of min 4' and max 6' apart for a standard 8' ceiling - reason is that by the time the light reaches the floor, the circles from the lights will touch/merge.. any further apart and you will have 'dark spots'.. this is completely dependent on your ceiling height and the type of lighting you are trying to accomplish

Distance from the wall then depends on what you are trying to put light on, if it's in a room as accent lighting where you wish to accent pictures on the wall etc. then 2-2.5' from the wall (again for an 8' ceiling) - This allows the light to strike the wall at an appropriate height, too far and it won't hit the wall until near the floor if at all, too close and you will be lighting up the entire wall from close to the ceiling and will look odd

If you are mainly just adding light to the room, and want to focus the light on the main central floor space, then get the dimensions of the room, figure out how many lights you need based on the appropriate spacing, use some math and measure out starting from the center of the room (I probably didn't explain this all too well)

Here's a good site that I used initially - http://www.forteelectric.com/Howtolayoutcans.html
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 12, 2009
10429 posts
1582 upvotes
Toronto
My kitchen is 18 x 12. I have 10 pot lights in total. They are located in "task light" fashion. There are two over the centre island, one on each side of the stove over top of the counter, one over top of the sink, finally a cluster of 5 over the eating area. The arrangement looks very nice.

In terms of the lighting, it is a bit of overkill. I can turn on just the two over the centre island and produce almost enough light for virtually the entire kitchen.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 24, 2003
11053 posts
669 upvotes
Toronto
Another important question to ask yourself is the type of bulbs that will be used and whether the bulbs will be flush with the ceiling or recessed into the ceiling.

I have potlights that use mr-16 bulbs that are slightly recessed. The housing also allows me to re-aim the lights if I don't want them firing straight down.
Deal Addict
Nov 30, 2003
1602 posts
192 upvotes
hobbes778 wrote:
Feb 16th, 2011 2:59 pm
For a more visual plan....
http://www.potlight.ca/shapes/

Good gallery there too.

I like that site!

Good for helping you come up with lighting patterns, too bad they don't help on giving measured locations for the lights
Jr. Member
Sep 23, 2009
150 posts
4 upvotes
everylittlecent wrote:
Feb 16th, 2011 7:30 am
maybe go with 2 parallel lines. lets say you want to install 4 lights in one row . lights 1 and 4 should be equal distance from their respective end walls. the other 2 in the middle should be equal distance from lights 1 & 4. . the code is that you could have 1200W per circuit and typical pot lights at 50W each.

all pot lights have a clip that extends to grab the lights in the ceiling. on some these clips can be adjusted with screws. I got the screw in type at HD and its so much better.

Depending on the dimensions of the room, you may not be able to get it all (perfectly) evenly spaced. If your mark lands dead on a joist, you will have to shift slightly. Measure 100 times cut once. not that it cannot be fixed if you make a mistake, its just going to be a pain in the butt to fix....
Member
Oct 25, 2008
304 posts
26 upvotes
Montreal
I just put some in my basement, 2 rooms aprox 10x20. I have 6 lights per room - kind of wish I had gone with 8, but not so much so that I would actually go through the effort of putting more in. I went for corners and walls, and of course an even pattern.
A buddy of mine placed some too far away from the walls and the lights are relatively useless.
Member
Aug 10, 2010
378 posts
19 upvotes
OTTAWA
The kitchen is a task area and so is different then any other room in the house when it comes to pots. Probably you will have hanging lights over an island, don't require pots, a light hanging over the sink, don't need a pot so the room size is essential in advising the number of pots. But, without that info I would agree that 4 to 6' is a good guide. Also, keep in mind how close the pots installed are to an upper cabinet when the door of it is left open. Women close doors, men don't (for the most part) and it is amazing the kind of heat that comes off a pot if the cabinet door is open and directly under the light. Enough to burn the top of the wooden door. Pots are great but you have to include task lighting in a kitchen, so include undercounted lighting as well in your design.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 7, 2008
95 posts
Halifax, NS
Thanks everyone for your responses, suggestions and web sites.
Its been a great learning experience.

Just a bit more information on our kitchen, its about 13 ft wide 10 long. We do have an island in the middle.
Cupboards along both sides and at one end, off to the other side is our eating area.

Over the island we do have a hanging light and puck lights under cabinets, thats it.
The eating area has a hanging light as well, so as you can see we are lacking in lights, expecially at night.

Were thinking of doing the potlights, 3 on each side on island with a separate dimmer switch.
This way frigde, oven on one side would hace light, sink counter on other side.
It was recommend that the lights not be to far out from the wall as not to cast a shadow if you stood in front of the light,some where about
22 inches from wall.

thanks again to everyone
Member
Aug 10, 2010
378 posts
19 upvotes
OTTAWA
I would suggest no more then 6 pots for that size kitchen.
Pucks are not the greatest for undercounted task lighting but they add something extra at least.
Member
Aug 10, 2010
378 posts
19 upvotes
OTTAWA
Also adding that your 22" from wall rec sounds right. Past your upper cabinets (but close the cupboard doors :)
As a woman WORKING in the kitchen, I would still say regular MR 16 pots do not give the same light as the old fashioned (and really UGLY) flouresent lights of old, the pots that do give brighter light are expensive and though I wish they were in my kitchen (instead of the front entrance) I'll add this is a guy thing. The Electrical Contractor I'm married to loves his lights, cooking.. not so much. I'll try to post photo's of the two types in my house and which I would rather have in the kitchen/work area.
Sr. Member
Mar 22, 2009
992 posts
12 upvotes
As an installer of over 80 potlights in the last year alone, I think I have enough experience to say that potlight.ca/shapes is FANTASTIC. I used a minimum of 3', max of 4' apart.

As a guideline, in a hallway (narrow), I would simply centre the lights. In a construction world of measure twice cut once, potlights are more like measure 15 times, cut once. Only b/c if you have a room with 8 pots going in, it may be wise to map out the outer pots first before your first cut JUST so you ensure you're not hitting any surprises once your hole is cut.

Ask me anything (almost) about the process of install. I'll do my best to help. I did only GU10s in my house (over 40 lights). Changed the look of the entire house in one swift blow. What a difference (and peace) maker. I've fallen in love with the house, if that's possible :)
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