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View Full Version : Another Pot light question, this time spacing

evanryan
Feb 16th, 2011, 08:23 AM
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

everylittlecent
Feb 16th, 2011, 08:30 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.

rocking23nf
Feb 16th, 2011, 12:40 PM
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.

Feb 16th, 2011, 03:48 PM
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

hobbes778
Feb 16th, 2011, 03:59 PM
For a more visual plan....
http://www.potlight.ca/shapes/

Good gallery there too.

will888
Feb 16th, 2011, 10:54 PM
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.

audit13
Feb 17th, 2011, 12:18 AM
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.

Feb 18th, 2011, 05:59 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

Bambaataa
Feb 18th, 2011, 06:38 PM
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....

Fr0sty
Feb 18th, 2011, 07:45 PM
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.

ChrisT
Feb 18th, 2011, 08:12 PM
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.

evanryan
Feb 18th, 2011, 10:30 PM
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

ChrisT
Feb 18th, 2011, 10:39 PM
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.

ChrisT
Feb 18th, 2011, 10:59 PM
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.

tail_duck
Feb 24th, 2011, 07:27 PM
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 :)

Drew_W
Feb 24th, 2011, 11:25 PM
It depends if you want to light the room, or wash the walls so you nicely light up artwork, or both.

coolspot
Feb 25th, 2011, 10:18 AM
Just don't go overboard with the pot lights. For most people, I think 4 - 6 lights is sufficient in each room.

tail_duck
Feb 25th, 2011, 12:23 PM
Just don't go overboard with the pot lights. For most people, I think 4 - 6 lights is sufficient in each room.

The first sentance is excellent advice. The second sentance is terrible advice. You do an estimate based on the size of the room and its shape, not 'an average of sufficiency'. There are many factors, including in ceiling overhead ductwork, pipes, electrical, cross-bracing in the joists, etc... a LOT of stuff could get in the way.

This is why you measure measure measure. This is of course, for the DIY'er. For those having a pro do it, they have enough experience to tell you about light dispersion, etc.

mihaimont
Feb 15th, 2012, 11:17 AM
I'm renovating a room (11'x11') in the basement. Before 2 pot light par38 with fluorescent bulbs were enough but now I wold like to change to par20/gu10 pot lights. How many do I need?
Thanks, M

CF77
Feb 15th, 2012, 11:34 AM
If you use 30 degree flood ..you can use Trig from high school to calculate the max distance and light coverage, intensity overlaps etc depends on the height of the ceiling.. and how far down from the working surface.

hard to find 40 degree flood lamp and most 30 degree are less than spec'ed.