Forum HomeCA-Modern ForumsGrab Bag Central › Recessed lighting in Eichlers: Taboo or Too Cool?

Recessed lighting in Eichlers: Taboo or Too Cool?

11 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: Jan 4 2004

I really would appreciate feedback from anyone and everyone who uses this chat site to sort of poll opinions about recessed lighting in Eichler homes. I have heard few criticisms on this, and because we have been doing this type of lighting retrofit more and more lately; I am very interested to know what the range of opinion is on the architectual/design perspective in the Eichler communities that pay attention to this website.
Please don't be shy, I'd like to hear from everyone, from you purists out there, to the those that believe in extreme Eichler modification.
As an individual who has spent 20 years inhabiting and 15 years+ working on Eichlers, I am able to appreciate the merits of all perspectives
of designing these unique homes. Please try to be tactful, as it is not my intention to cause any feuding.

If anyone wants more specifics on the the design, the lights are installed directly into the ceiling (tongue and groove decking) and may or may not have any visible impact on the roof (exterior), depending on the type of fixture. Any other questions, just post and I'll reply within a day or two. thanks for your interest :)

renman

Offline
Joined: Mar 20 2003

I am not quite sure how it will look. At least it should be better than an eichler I have seen where the recessed lighting was placed in drywall which was covering over the beams - those kind of things really make you want top cry out loud....

Offline
Joined: Aug 28 2003

At one point we thought about putting recessed lights in our dark kitchen but after thinking about it and talking to an electrician we decided against it. The electrician would of had to cut holes in the beams and then retrofit some more wood or metal around the lights making a patchwork--which sounded horrible to us. There may be a better way to do this but this electrician said he specialized in Eichlers.
We added 3 new hanging lights over the counter in addition to the original 3 in the middle of the kitchen. We only had to cut a trough in the roof and run 3 new wires through tiny holes in the beams and then have that part of the roof patched. It wasn't inexpensive to do this but worth it for the extra lighting it gave us.
I originally thought these extra hanging lights would look too busy but find that it works well visually. Some purists may feel this was even too much of a change, however.

Offline
Joined: Jan 4 2004

Thanks for your replies, to clear upo the final visual impact, all you see is th 4-1/2" in white or chrome or brushed nickel trim and the light itself (in other words, all the electrical conduit is under the foam or tar roof, on top of the roof decking) so it looks light a "normal" recessed lighting application. The catch is that it can only be done when the roof is being re-done. Thanks for your input :) Jon

renman

Offline
Joined: Aug 28 2003

There is a minor visual difference however because you have the pattern of the lines between the wood strips in an Eichler ceiling where as in other homes with a dry wall ceiling you have a solid color surface. I am not saying it is good or bad just something to take into consideration.

Offline
Joined: May 22 2003

When we had the kitchen redone we used under cabinet lighting to resolve the issue, works well and then we could keep the original globe lights.

The is just a small two inch cover below the cabinet to cover the actual lights.

http://63.198.179.139/kitchen/Pages/Image12.html
http://63.198.179.139/kitchen/Pages/Image11.html

Michael C

Leslie wrote:
At one point we thought about putting recessed lights in our dark kitchen but after thinking about it and talking to an electrician we decided against it. The electrician would of had to cut holes in the beams and then retrofit some more wood or metal around the lights making a patchwork--which sounded horrible to us. There may be a better way to do this but this electrician said he specialized in Eichlers.
We added 3 new hanging lights over the counter in addition to the original 3 in the middle of the kitchen. We only had to cut a trough in the roof and run 3 new wires through tiny holes in the beams and then have that part of the roof patched. It wasn't inexpensive to do this but worth it for the extra lighting it gave us.
I originally thought these extra hanging lights would look too busy but find that it works well visually. Some purists may feel this was even too much of a change, however.

Offline
Joined: Mar 20 2003

look at Pierre Koenig's Case Study Homes. He used nice can recessed lights, though not actually "recessed", they did look good.

If exposed wiring is an issue, consider low voltage, which can hide easily in the grooves of your T&G ceiling.

Another option, would be to use small, aluminum landscape lights from BK Lighting. Using the tree mount bracket, these low voltage lights can be mounted to the ceiling.

http://www.bklighting.com/products/Flood%20lighting/Nite_Star.htm

I saw these lights used on the interior and exterior ceiling of a post & beam modern house designed by architect Peter Bohlin, featured in Western Interiors magazine, two issues back. It's the Montana house. You can get back issues.

http://www.westernid.com/03/index.htm

I spoke with Bohlin and my electrician about using these lights in a retro fit and it can be done quite without much damage to your ceiling.

While this idea is not an original design element found in Eichlers, it does keep in step with modern ideals. I find then far less distracting than track lighting and less damaging and easier to install than ercesed lighting.

Offline
Joined: Aug 28 2003

Quote:
When we had the kitchen redone we used under cabinet lighting to resolve the issue, works well and then we could keep the original globe lights.

The is just a small two inch cover below the cabinet to cover the actual lights.

Michael,
As you suggested we installed undercabinet lighting in the kitchen and it made a huge difference. The new hanging lights however put more light into the multi-purpose room adjacent to the kitchen.

Offline
Joined: Apr 10 2003

Do Eichlers have that indirect lighting in any models-ie a soffit that is open at the top where the lights are, when lit they give a soft even light thruout a room like for example at the top of kitchen cabinets the space bwteen them and the ceiling. Palmer and Kriesel designed homes used it a lot and it looks cool. But I guess you have to get on a ladder occasionally and change burnt out lights and do some dusting to keep it clean.

Wishing for modern home.

Offline
Joined: Jan 4 2004

As far as I've seen, Eichler did not originally incorperate cornice-type lighting into any of the 80+ Homes that I've seen; however, there are simple methods to creating this type of effect in areas (such as on top of cabinets, entry shelf systems etc.) without having to call a contractor. One such way that many Architects are using now is rope lighting (available at home depot etc. for $20-$30) because it will last an average of 5-7 yrs. with normal use (4-6 hrs a day), it is extremely low profile, and easy to install to see if you like the effect simply by running an extension cord. If you like the effect you can have someone professionally hardwire a switched outlet. There are other lighting options that create a similiar effect that do require bulb replacement.

renman

Offline
Joined: Mar 22 2003

Hi Jon:

I am not a complete purist, but the thought of cutting into the ceiling boards, other than for the smallest of trough for running wire, would really make me nervous. As somone already indicated, asthetically it would break up the parallel lines of the boards. Also, I would worry about structurally weakening the ceiling--and it being an irreversible event - just like you cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube, you cannot have your ceiling boards back once that hole is cut.

You being in the business could comment on that, where I could really not - but it would keep me awake at night, I can say that.

I have seen two extensively remodeled Eichlers where they covered the entire ceiling with sheetrock and plaster, lowering it by the depth of the beams and creating a huge soffit throughout the house. They then installed recessed lighting. The lighting looked OK, but it no longer looked like an Eichler, being sans the beams.

My middle name should be "power outage." I just cannot get enough light. We had low-voltage halogen track installed throughout (using the smaller tracks and lights from Hampton Bay/HD), and I love it. Lots of light, while still keeping the asthetics IMHO. But that is just me -- I love the industrial look and high light output they provide, but I know others that hate tracks. Each to his own.

Cathye

Offline
Joined: Jan 4 2004

Actually, your ceiling already has many 3"-3-1/2" holes in it; every Eichler home that has any overhead light will have holes in the ceiling.
Don't lose any sleep over it, though, the method that we have designed does actually reinforce the ceiling where the fixtures are installed above the tongue and groove (or t&g) decking, below the roof membrane, in a method similiar to installing skylights (but actually stonger, because we are removing less T&G material, about 4-1/4", than you take out for skylights); and, yes, the fixture can go on the t&g planks-in between the ceiling lines. With the owner of my current projects' permission, I'll post photos everyone can have a look; I should have them up in week or so.

renman

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.