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LED Lighting for Kitchens and Bathrooms

Flat or low profile lighting fixtures can redefine a space by providing excellent lighting without interfering with the ceiling or sightline. These flush-mount fixtures can be particularly useful in large rooms, rooms with low ceilings, kitchens, bathrooms, or tight spaces. It is sounding more and more like “FLAT Is Where It Is At”


About a year ago, my wife wanted me to replace a blown fluorescent bulb in our kitchen. Our kitchen is nice and although the fluorescent fixtures weren’t bad, but… the fixtures weren’t great either. My original thought was just to replace the bulb. At my favorite hardware store, University Ace, one of the sales associates introduced me to an energy-efficient solution. I tried the LED tube bulbs designed to fit in the old fluorescent fixture. When I installed the new bulbs I determined that my fluorescent ballast was also bad. To replace the ballast made little sense because we did not like the fluorescent fixtures already in the kitchen. In looking at options, I knew that I did not want to repaint the kitchen ceiling to install new lighting. In my search, I discovered that there were better options – the low-profile 2×4 LED panel lights. The new fixtures covered the same amount of space as the old fluorescent lighting fixtures, and because of the low profile, seemed to disappear from view. We love the clean, shadowless light for food preparation. And, I love that this light uses less energy.

Doing a little research for this blog, I discovered that I could have benefited from a little more information. There are at least five factors that I should have considered:

Energy Efficiency – These panels could reduce usage by 80%.

Lumens Rating – Replacing a 60 Watt Bulb is equivalent to 800 lumens.

Life Span of the Panel – 50,000 hours can be up to 45 years.

Dimmable – All panels do not have this capability.

Color – Bright white, soft, cool white, etc. 


Although the LED panel lighting is great, I am most excited about recessed/can lighting with LED 4 inch flat panels. Each 4-inch disk produces 500 Lumens the equivalent to a 50-watt bulb. I first learned of this option from my son-in-law. He and my daughter just completed their new home on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Recessed lights or can lights are prominent in the large family room lighting plan. They were introduced to LED recessed/can lighting in their efforts to be energy efficient and manage construction costs.

Properly installed recessed/can lighting provides an even wash of light throughout larger rooms. In smaller rooms, such as bathrooms, recessed lighting makes the room feel larger because there is nothing to visually interrupt the sightline from the ceiling. 

As with LED panel lighting, it is important to consider color and lumens. LED lights can be bright, so the ability to dim is important. The spacing and location of recessed lighting are critical in the overall lighting design. There are at least Five Things to Know about LED Recessed Lighting/Can Lighting)

Bill McCown and Corrie Kent work as a team for Kent McCown Group with Coldwell Banker Alliance. They cover properties in both Auburn and Opelika, Alabama. | @kentmccowngroup

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