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Fitting kitchen downlighting - LED or Xenon & How Many?

Postby claws » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:39 pm

Hello all,

I'm currently planning my kitchen renovation - it's a very dated 1960's fit currently which includes polystyrene ceiling tiles, and flourecent lighting on 2 circuits.

I'm thinking about what the best options are for the new lighting plans - at the moment I'm thinking that several downlights placed at regular intervals around the ceiling will give the best result. The room has limited natural light so I need plenty of electical lighting.

I'm considering 2 options - 1. LED lighting which looks like it would give a cold but slightly different look, 2. Low voltage Xenon lights, or maybe a mix of the 2.

I have a couple of questions I hope someone may have some comments to share with me on...

1 - Is there any guidance as to how many lights you should plan to fit for a good level of general light in a room? (The room is 18' x 12')

2 - Does anyone have any experience of the newer style LED lighting such as these - many sites which sell 'bright LED' lights claim they are sufficient to replace traditional bulbs, but I have not seen any in action.

Google ""

I'm thinking of going half and half (LED / Xenon) to get a mix of warmer / cold lighting, having 1 circuit on a dimmer, and the LED's on std. on / off circuit.

If anyone has any comments, advice, or experience of what works well or badly please let me know.

Thanks in advance
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Postby ericmark » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:24 am

I think the likely hood of a useful reply is small. With all lighting so much depends on the colour of things in the room. Discharge lighting under what ever name. Florescent, Cold Cathode, Xenon, metal halide, all give loads of light for watts used so one should be able to compare with original as same sort of lighting.

However many of the spots I have seen have been disappointing and I would be wary. The discharge seem better than LED but the latter is getting better. Not sure on extra low voltage as most discharge lamps need 80v plus to run so seems daft to transform down to then transform up again.

You did say Low Voltage maybe you really meant Low voltage (50 - 1000vac) although most people mean extra low voltage when they say low voltage!

I have tried to light too many rooms to offer advice as found out to my cost the old fluorescent is hard to beat and although I may go for folded tubes like in the 2D units in nice flush fittings I think I would still use fluorescent as main lighting. To add other lighting to look good yes but not to get light from.

Because of the delay in starting I would aim for at least one HF unit or other instant start type of light.

The 5 inch sunken lamps seem to work quite well but the 3 inch seem useless to me but both are classed as spot lights.

The fluorescent variants are available in different colour temperatures often referred to as warm, cool etc. But I think the Xenon covers an extended spectrum with inferred and ultraviolet and I would question if too much exposure would be a good thing?
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Postby moggy1968 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:54 pm

you can get warm tone LED. aim to space at approx 1.5M intervals, they do need denser coverage than other downlighters. they are very directional so aim to place them where you actually want the light.
my supplier let me try some in his shop by wiring them onto a plug and there was a massive difference betwen different manufacturers in both luminesance, cost and colour temperature.
I think ideally you need a lighting specialist where you can actually see the bulbs being used.
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Postby ChrisM » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:02 pm

Hi there, just like to say this is one of the biggest problems i come across thru out my working week. Im fully qualified electrician. Lets first start off of what type of fitting would be best. Most people think straight away cheapest light fitting what looks the best. I Would recommend looking on Google "" and go for the fireguard range. As now due to the new building regulations it is the responsibility of the installer to provide a fire barrier over of any made wholes with the fire guard range will provide this. Another point I would not go LED these dont give off enough suitable light for a kitchen. Id Recommend using (JC2070) which is a Low Energy downlight come in all sorts of colors to suit your needs. Also if you want a dimmer on these you will need to ask for dimmable low energy lamps. Also the low energy lamps come in 2 sets of colours warm white or cool white the warm white is a more of a tint of yellow cool white is very light blue the sort of light color a LED downlight would give off. Id stay Well away from LV Down-lights the transformers you get for them dont last very long this mean u have to take the downlighter down from the ceiling. the heat from the LV Down-lights is very hot this effects the cut plaster and makes it very weak. The legs from the Downlight will chip away and u will be left with a nasty mark. With the lights all you will have to do is take a simple clip off and swop the lamp. Also for a kitchen you want to try and bring the lights off the wall around the work top 650mm this will ensure no shadow is casted on the work top when u are busy working in the kitchen.

At then end of the day its person preference but this is what i would recommend. if u want if u contact me i can draw u a plan out of some ideas for down-lights positions if u have a kitchen plan this would be better . Also these will have to suit the joists above so not always going to be perfect.
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