Shop Products
Houzz Logo Print
lightingken

Pendant lighting vs recessed

lightingken
15 years ago

Pendant lightng vs recessed lighting is in my opinion a question of whether one desires a clean unobtrusive look as compared to adding additional decorative elements to the area.

Kitchens are the primary areas that these fixtures have been utilized in with increasing numbers over the last ten years or so. Recessed lightng is great if we want a clean, source of good lighting that is not to attract attention to itself.

Pendant lighting has many advantages with one simply being maintainance, Pendants hang down to a heighth that is much more simple to change bulbs and I am sure that those with high vaulted ceilings dread having to replace bulbs. The other benefit is choice, some companys offer mix and match selections. They may have ten styles of glass with four different frame colors to choose from. The selection is great so you just have to do your homework.

A typical kitchen will have two pendants over a standard six foot island and a matching piece over the sink. For those with large areas, it is all right to have recessed with pendants in the afore mentioned areas, also many pendants will come in series that will allow a matching chandelier over the kitchen table.

I have never had a customer that regretted going with the pendants, so if you are on the fence, make the leap you will be glad you did.

If you should have any questions, post them here and I will do my best to answer them

ken

Comments (4)

  • lmalm53
    15 years ago

    Hi Ken,

    I have a 19 year old kitchen with a custom wood light box over the island. The light box has fluorescent fixtures in it and while it matches my kitchen cabinets it is outdated and needs to come down. I am leaning toward the "clean, unobtrusive look" and thinking about putting recessed can lights up instead.

    I currently have recessed lighting around the perimeter of the kitchen over my cabinet areas. My old recessed lighting is standard 60W max R-30 fixtures with a black surround insert in the can. Has recessed lighting changed enough over 20 years to update all my existing lights when I put new in over the island area? Do I need to keep all recessed lighting the same type and size? Are there xenon recessed fixtures available?

    I am looking to put all my lights on dimmer switches also. Will be upgrading and moving current light switches and outlets, plus plan on adding new under cabinet lighting after the basic remodel is done. Thinking about Xenon linear track lighting for under cabinet. (Seagull and Kichler are brands I am looking at now).

    What do you think are lighting considerations I should keep in mind for this area? Any suggestions for the ceiling lighting over the island? Any info is appreciated!

  • lightingken
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Hello
    I agree that the soffit should come down, just keep in mind that there will be a bit of drywall repair to consider. The unit probably has 4-40W fl tubes in there, so there will be a noticable loss of overall light as compared to anything else that will go in its place, but the updated look will be worth it and you will still have the lighting that is required for the area.
    Two relatively inexpensive things that you could do that will have a large and noticable impact is replace all of the bulbs in the recessed with halogen PAR30 (typicaly used) and replace the black trim kits with white ones, this is going to make a huuuge difference, guranteed.
    You have to replace them with the same manuf that made the fixture you have in the ceiling. Pull down the old trim and find the sticker in the can housing that should state the brand (Halo, Juno?)
    Inas far as the replacement fixture over the island, recessed of course is a natural option, but as i stated before, give a look at pendants, there are many that are very affordable and there is bound to be a style that you take a liking to. If you stay recessed a pair of 5 or 6" cans over this island will suffice.
    Uncercab lighting is another option that will make the kitchen look like a million bucks, they light up the backsplash and countertop and reflect the light, making the area look much larger and inviting, if someone uses granite the light actually penetrates the stones surface and makes it look 3 dimesional, very interesting effect.
    In terms of the light itself, you want to try to stay with a brand that is known for their quality, inexpensive undercab lighting systems will fail much quicker, and when i say fail I mean that the transformers have a poor life span and the bulb sockets deteriorate because of the high concentration of heat which is inherint to xenon or halogen light bulbs. Which one do I prefer?, Zenon systems burn a little cooler but they are more expemsive to replace (bulbs) and sometimes they are harder to find than the halogen bulbs.
    The brand of fixtures that you are refering to in your post is a good brand and should do the job well. Just stay clear of the small round hockey puck sized fixtures that you find in the mass merchants, these are just plain junk and will stop functioning in a short period of time. Go ahead and price a few systems out there, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for.
    I will help peope justify what they spend in the kitchen by reminding them that it is the kitchen that everyone in the household spends the most time in on a daily basis and not that $3000 couch that they wont let the kids sit on, am I right?.
    I hope this has helped you in your decision making processes and good luck on the project.
    ken

  • lmalm53
    15 years ago

    Thanks so much Ken! Great advice and things for me to think about. I purchased Halogen PAR 30s today and you are right, they really do brighten up the kitchen alot. I don't have white trim kits yet but the improvement is still very noticeable. I did observe that the halogens I purchased have a fairly crisp, cool white light compared to the more warm incandescents I was using. I am hoping to keep the kitchen lighting in the warmer tones like 2700-3000K since I will be switching to earth tones and natural stone in the remodel. Want to stay away from the "cool blue light" look.

    I will have to look into pendant lights over the island, but our ceiling is just 9ft high. All of my family is 6ft tall and taller. I stand at the island cooktop and look out across to the eating area and TV and don't want to have my line of sight obstructed if possible. I don't think we could hang a pendant with more than a 2ft drop in order to avoid it getting in our way.

    I agree with you completely that you get what you pay for and I don't want to settle for low end lighting. I know that lighting can make all the difference in the impact a room can have. I would like to get a really nice under cabinet system which is dependable and provides the full spectrum of both task lighting and mood lighting through use of dimmers.

    We start the kitchen demolition tomorrow... so I hope to do more research on the lighting options. Thanks so much for your input. Do you have any concerns about using Halogen vs Xenon for under cabinet lighting when it comes to the heat generated? I have noted that the heat is much more noticeable in the strip type fixtures no matter whether it is halogen or xenon, than it is in the linear track systems which use the smaller bulbs. I have not seen Halogen linear systems in operation so don't know how they compare to Xenon for heat generation.

  • lightingken
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Hello
    I really havent had heat generation much of an actual issue. Just keep in mind that any fixture with a UL rating has tested to operate mounted undercabinets safely.
    good luck
    ken