What do you prefer for bulb choice in the kitchen: incandescent, halog

Elizabeth ReillyNovember 26, 2013
I have about 8 3 inch recessed cans. I'm looking to get the nicest light I can from them. I like the warm glow look, not the warehouse look!
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Elizabeth Reilly
I meant the post to say incandescent, halogen, or LED.
    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 9:45AM
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Beth Vu
3 weeks ago we installed recessed lighting- 4 inch halogen lights on a dimmer. they are great but we will eventually switch out the blubs for LEDs because they are brighter and give a whiter light. The halogen lights give more a yellow light but much brighter than incandescent lighting.
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 9:54AM
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I have always installed LEDs where possible. Sometimes the cost of the light (transformer etc is high, so I foresee a switch out for LED in the long term). It doesn't matter now about light colour (temperature) because the range has really improved from a few years back when everything was cold white light
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 10:35AM
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Design Details
Lighting is one of my favorite subjects and it's immensely important in residential design.
You can't go far wrong with halogen. It has the truest CRI or color rendering index of anything currently on the general market. LEDs have solved some of the color temperature problems (not the same as CRI) but only a few have integrated color temperature, CRI, and heat management issues.
For now most household LEDs aim for a color temperature of around 3000 degrees Kelvin which is cooler than the 2700 degree incandescents we are used to. (counterintuitive, I know). We are also used to a very high CRI which incandescents and halogen exceed at. Better CRI and lower color temperature for LEDs are possible but haven't become mainstream yet.
Finally, since individual LED bulbs each have a driver (or transformer) the need to shed heat out the rear of the fixture and, for that reason, should not be installed in recessed fixtures in an insulated ceiling.
LED strip lighting is great for undercabinet task lighting especially with a remote driver but LED "light bulbs" are still best where color is not an issue. The other problem with LEDs, for the moment is that most of the current models have an annoying pixilated appearance when you look at the source.
I have been waiting many years to be able to confidently recommend LEDs and we are almost there. Like plug-in cars, they work for a lot of applications but there's still room for improvement and better pricing.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 11:22AM
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@design, why do halogens sometimes have a pink or orange back light?
    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 11:26AM
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I am putting in LED's as much as possible. For clients who don't want "warm" light, we do a Neutral White with a Kelvin rating in mid to high-3000's. (check with each manufacturer, as the actual number seems to vary). If warm color light is desired then stay nearer 2500K, which seems to be the ones most often sold at big box stores. If you go into the 4000's you'll start getting a blue light. Make sure dimmer is designed to go with LED.

In just the past year the cost of bulbs has dropped and the range of fixtures has increased. More competition obviously helps reduce costs. And with a little coordination with my electrician we've been able to keep costs reasonable. Combined with the pleased clients I find it to be a worthwhile investment
    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 11:28AM
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Kevin Strader
We're finishing up our kitchen renovation now and there are three can lights left. I had CFL's in them but my wife didn't like that they took so long to warm up. I went with the CREE soft white (2700K approx.) LED's and they are instantly bright and the light is warm without being to harsh or soft. I also put LED's in the three pendant lights over the island. Another plus, besides using less energy and lasting forever is that they are much cooler than incandescent lights and even cooler than CFL's. The kitchen used to get very warm when we had all the lights on for a longer period of time.
    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 12:06PM
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Fred S
@dclostboy can you explain what you mean? Is it when you put them on a dimmer? What application are they in? PAR or MR ?
    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 12:19PM
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LEDs. i love how clean the light is.
    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 12:40PM
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Design Details
@dclostboy, maybe you're seeing a diffraction halo from the dichroic reflector in an MR lamp or diffraction from the edge of the lens in a PAR light. Fred S is likely on the money if you're using a dimmer. Color temperature, and CRI change with voltage.
    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Fred S
@ Design, I stared at a PAR for a while without any conclusion, then remembered why I recommend against MR bulbs, and that is the reason.
    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 12:27PM
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