kouklitsa159

Potlight and light fixture layout help: new build

Joanna
August 4, 2019

I’ve indicated where I would want pot lights (dots) and where I would want a light fixture (x’s). Does this seem ok? I later added 1 light at the entrance to the house from the garage and 2 in the centerish on the garage.

Comments (21)

  • damiarain

    For the kitchen: you'll want the pot lights positioned slightly overlapping the counters, where they're drawn right now, when you're working at the counters, your head will cast a shadow onto your work space (under cabinet lighting can help mitigate that, but why intro shadows in the first place?)


    For the entry - looks like it's also a laundry room? I would want more light in that space - easier to answer "is that a stain or a shadow?" when you have good task lighting.


    In the hall bath, I think there's a light fixture over the vanity? Bit hard to tell with the colors in the picture... I might think about a potlight in the aisle between the vanity and shower


    In the master bath: same comment PLUS what are your ceiling heights? There's some regulations about having fixtures hanging over bathtubs - they need to be a certain height above (like, so you can't accidentally hit it while standing in the tub)


    Are you planning any sconce-y lighting on either side of your bed or going with table lamps?


  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    What size and type recessed light are you planning to use. That will affect the number, spacing and location of the fixtures. The living room lighting looks excessive. I've done it that way with 3" recessed fixtures with half on a different dimmer switch.

    IMO a light in the center of a bedroom ceiling is typical of a rental apartment not a private residence. Consider something that allows you to comfortably read or watch TV in bed.

    The wall lights over a vanity should be a pair far enough apart to light your face evenly.

    The cut-off angle of recessed lights make them inappropriate in a walk-in closet but if you like them, they need to be the code prescribed minimum distance from clothing.

    Avoid any fluorescent lighting.

    Don't let your electrician pick out the fixtures.

  • rrah

    Pot lights in closets won't give off enough light as they tend to shine down directly. You want a light fixture that will "spread" the light to all corners of the closet. I'd also rethink the pot lights in the Great Room. I would center one in front of each of what I assume are cabinets and the fireplace and then a matching one out in the room. I'd move the two closest to the dining room and foyer closer to those rooms. That space there will really function like a hall and will need lighting.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Well...the way to design a lighting and controls plan is to go to each room and determine the activities which will take place and the location/type of lighting which will best illuminate that activity.


    For example, reading in bed with a light fixture either wall mounted on each side of the head of the bed, or table lamps on each side of the bed. A single, ceiling-mounted fixture in the center of a bedroom ceiling is a 1930s scheme which is no longer legal. Or should be.


    Controls are designed and located in the same manner.


    Fluorescent lighting is a good solution for garages, large closets and under the upper kitchen cabinets. Some codes may mandate them. I agree with RES about the undesirability of fluorescents in major public spaces.

  • Joanna

    To answer a few questions. Lots of great insights above but I would love to hear some more.

    The ceiling height of the entire home is 9’.
    I’ve seen hanging lights above bathtubs quite a bit here for new builds hopefully it’s still possible.
    The size of the pot lights are 4” LEDs
    There will be under mount cabinet lighting in the kitchen.

  • Joanna

    I also have not planned for sconces on either side of the bed as it’s not something I particularly like. I prefer table lamps.

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    The lowest part of a chandelier must be at least 8 ft above the rim of a bathtub for a distance of 3 ft horizontally from the tub so a 9 ft ceiling would not be high enough. That's been the NEC requirement for at least 15 years.

  • Joanna

    That’s so interesting to hear. I wonder how new builds I’ve seen lately have gotten away with lights over the bathtub?
    The photo attached is our bathroom. The tub would go under that window.

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    The way electricians avoid the NEC requirement for a pendant free zone above a tub is to install a surface mounted ceiling fixture and the homeowner replaces it with a chandelier after getting the C of O.

    But would you really want to hang a chandelier in a small bathtub alcove in front of a window? It seems to dumbs down the historical concept of a chandelier as a central focus of a room.


    Or you could design the room around the chandelier.






    .

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    OMG...such a travesty

    Shield your eyes and look away!

  • Joanna

    New lighting layout. Thoughts? I’m trying to figure out how to get the pot lights closer to the counters but I’m not sure how to balance it all out.....

  • cpartist

    In the kitchen pot lights should be on the inner edge of the counters so when you lean over you don't cast a shadow.

    You don't need a light in front of the stove since your vent hood should have lights but you definitely need lights on either side of the stove.

    You also don't need a light in front of the fridge since the fridge has lights in it.

    You do however need lights on either side of the fridge over the inner edge of the counters.

    And especially with your darker cabinets, I'd add more lights over the perimeter cabinets.

    You also need a pot light in front of the pantry.

    Do you really want and need so many lights in the living room and leading from the kitchen to the living room? I would think one hanging light, plus four pots and some lamps in the living room should be more than enough. And for more ambient light some sconces too.

    Right now the ceiling looks like it will look like an upstairs runway with all those pot lights.

    I found I wanted 4 pots in my master for those times when I needed to do some clothing folding, or other activities. I have 4 pots with a ceiling fan with a light and of course lights on either side of our bed.

    In your master, I'd consider a pot over each vanity over the sink along with your wall hung lights.

    Note that according to code, the hanging light over the bathtub must be a minimum of 8' from the top edge of the tub to the bottom edge of the light fixture.

    I would also put either a pot light or a hanging light in the hall bathroom.

    Won't your kids need more than one ceiling light for doing homework in their bedroom, etc?

  • Joanna

    cpartist I assumed the pot lights would have to go in a certain pattern around the areas.... Im trying to find diagrams online but I'm not coming up with much.


    For the living room I found online that the pot lights should be at least 4 feet apart from each other. That's how I came up with that design but Im thinking maybe we bring it down to 6. The 8 does look excessive. No lamps in the living room as we have a 2.5 year old who is sure to cause some kind of havoc in there running around.


    In the master I thought about pot lights but we didn't have them in our previous home and never thought we needed them. I tend to do laundry in the living room watching a show to make the awful task a bit more manageable.


    Master bath I changed to two lights on either side of the mirror so that the light goes towards the face not over. Maybe 2 pots towards the centre of the room?


    For the tub I'll have to find something that meets code for sure.


    The guest bath is quite small. Just 8 x 8, Im not sure it really needs more than a vanity light in there...


    One ceiling light in the bedrooms works just fine for sure. The windows in that room are 60" x 60" plus if more light is needed for when my son is older I think a desk lamp will be more than ok. We are only allotted 30 pot lights indoor and out. We have a few planned for the outside but that's for another post.


    We are doing a walk through of the space today at 6 with the builder. I've got a list of questions for him to talk about.

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    The spacing of recessed lights depends on the use of the room and the type, size, and kind of lamp (bulb). There are no useful rules of thumb for a living room light spacing and very little useful lighting information on the internet except from manufacturers like Lightolier. Until you identify the actual recessed light you pan to use, no one can give you useful advice.

    The only thing preventing you from properly locating the lights above the kitchen counters is the pattern of the ceiling joists which you need to measure and draw or mark the location in the field.

    You don't need to light all of the kitchen floor. Always light task surfaces first, then walls, then open areas if really needed. Unfortunately, many homeowners and electricians do it in the reverse order.

    When a light is placed above a range and the hood is stainless steel, no light will reach the range when you are using it and there will be a bright reflection on the ceiling characteristic of an amateur design.

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    A large renovation & addition in 2014.




  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    Kitchen renovation 2017

    3" LED Lightolier Lytecaster L3 series recessed fixtures






    The prices are 2 years old with my discount.

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    Tight fit. L3 housing and adjustable trim made it possible.



  • cpartist

    I assumed the pot lights would have to go in a certain pattern around the areas.... Im trying to find diagrams online but I'm not coming up with much.

    No one is looking up at your ceiling to see if your pot lights follow a particular pattern. No one will notice that. However they will absolutely notice if there isn't sufficient lighting where they need it. Lights need to go where they're needed and not where they "look pretty".

    For the living room I found online that the pot lights should be at least 4 feet apart from each other. That's how I came up with that design but Im thinking maybe we bring it down to 6. The 8 does look excessive. No lamps in the living room as we have a 2.5 year old who is sure to cause some kind of havoc in there running around.

    How big is the living room? Mine is 17'10" x 21'4" (if I recall correctly) and I have 4 pot lights and a single ceiling chandelier. In the plan I just did for you, I brought it down to 6 but even that seems excessive. I also added two wall sconces on either side of your fireplace.

    As for lamps, do you have any floor outlets? I hope so because they are a big help. I have a dog so I don't keep my lamps on the tables plugged in but when I have guests or want more light for reading, etc, I then plug the lights into the floor outlets right by the table.

    In the master I thought about pot lights but we didn't have them in our previous home and never thought we needed them. I tend to do laundry in the living room watching a show to make the awful task a bit more manageable.

    I never used to need extra lights in the bedroom either, but as I get older, I'm very thankful I put in four pot lights in my bedroom.
    Master bath I changed to two lights on either side of the mirror so that the light goes towards the face not over. Maybe 2 pots towards the centre of the room?

    This is also where you need more, not less lighting. I show on the plan I did for you, one each over the sinks which along with the ones on either side of the mirror help to completely even out the light when doing makeup, etc.
    For the tub I'll have to find something that meets code for sure.

    Simple solution and in reality will look better. You have a large bath but no center light in your bath. Move the chandelier to the middle and just use a pot light over the tub.
    The guest bath is quite small. Just 8 x 8, Im not sure it really needs more than a vanity light in there...

    I think my guest bath is even smaller. Trust me, you need a light overhead. A vanity light will not light the area by the toilet, etc.
    One ceiling light in the bedrooms works just fine for sure. The windows in that room are 60" x 60" plus if more light is needed for when my son is older I think a desk lamp will be more than ok. We are only allotted 30 pot lights indoor and out. We have a few planned for the outside but that's for another post.

    Windows don't help with lighting at night. How much do additional pots cost? I believe in my custom build they were only $150 each. Lighting is one of the more important items along with windows, insulation, etc. Don't skimp on good lighting.
    Here is your plan with where I'd put the lights.

    In the mudroom, I switched it to one hanging light but added pot lights so there are no dark spots.

    In the kitchen I added a pot light over your sink (Trust me you will thank me for that one! LOL) and showed where in the kitchen you actually need pot lights. Note how they're just inside the edge of the counters?

    I rearranged the lights for your living room and gave you six but also added a sconce on either side of the fireplace.

    You really don't need all those pot lights surrounding the outer edges of the kitchen/living/dining/entryway.

    In the bedrooms, I did add 4 pot lights. Even if you decide to not do them in the kids bedrooms (I don't them one in my guest bedroom) you definitely should consider doing them in your bedroom because as I mentioned, as we age, we tend to need more light, not less.

    I added a hall pendant so there are no dark spots as you walk down the hallway.

    As noted, I moved the chandelier to the center of the bathroom and put a pot light over the tub.

    I also added the lights on the ceiling over the vanities.

    And added the overhead light in the kid's bathroom.

    Once you get the placement of the lighting, the next big thing is which ones you want on dimmers. LOL. Or on low voltage. Good luck!

  • cpartist

    BTW: regarding the kitchen lights over the counters, when I say on the edge, I do mean the inside edge. You don't want them too far back because you don't want them lighting the upper cabinets, but too far toward the edge and you'll cast a shadow.

  • cd7733

    I love having 4 can lights and a central fan with light kit in the bedrooms!


    What are your bedroom sizes?


    Our old master bedroom was 14'x18', only had 4 can lights, and I wished the fan had a light kit. The kids rooms were 12'x14' with the same set up as the master. Almost enough light but not quite enough and heavily relied on lamps to supplement light.


    If you could only swing a central light with 2 can lights for each room, I would highly encourage that!


    Our current master is 13'x15' with a central fan/light and 2 can lights on either side along the 15' length. It's perfect!! Our new build design has that same set up in the kids 13'x11' rooms, too.


    Also, choose can lights with a white interior not black. Our old house had a few with black trim colors and they are terrible. https://www.lbclighting.com/blog/2016/07/recessed-lighting-trims/

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    Choose the fixtures you want before an electrician installs 6" Halo A-lamp white reflector cone downlights that would deserve to be described as "potlights".

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268