At Access Fixtures, we like to test out our own products. We are a lighting company, which means that we like to mess around with different types of lighting to achieve various effects. Recently, we decided to experiment on our own kitchenette area which was in desperate need of a lighting tune-up.

Previously, we’d been using an old T8 fluorescent wrap fixture which had one failing ballast to light our entire kitchen area. The wrap used a combined total of about 64 watts. This light had to stay on constantly because switching a fluorescent light on and off weakens the ballast and shortens the life of fluorescent lamps. In any case, our old light needed to be replaced.

 

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One of our maintenance techs found a sample of a low bay LED light that was lying around the office and thought it would work well in the kitchen space. The low bay in question was an 80w, 10,400 lumen fixture with a Kelvin temperature of 5000K. We were unsure what the optics and light distribution were like prior to installation, but we sure did find out what they were once it was installed!

The installation was a disaster. The light was far too cool for an interior kitchen space, for starters. And it was so bright and so low to the ground that it created a harsh glare and shadows all over the room. 80 watts was WAY too bright for a small area with slightly higher than 7′ ceilings. We all agreed that the lighting was not only terrible for the kitchen, but would be terrible for any other indoor location with ceilings that low!

 

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A Better Idea

After only hours of having to wear sunglasses every time we went inside the kitchen, we decided to try a different approach. There were several problems that had to be addressed by whatever fixture replaced the 80w luminaire. First, we needed a fixture with a lower Kelvin temperature. Our bathroom fixture emits 4000K, so we decided to match it with that one. Second, we wanted a fixture with more diffused optics and wider beam spread that wouldn’t create harsh shadows in the room. Last, the fixture needed to be less bright than the 80w luminaire, and easily installed at a low height.

We had extra 40w 4000K flat panel fixtures lying around, so we grabbed one of them and installed it instead.

The results speak for themselves. Look at the before and after pictures to the right and see how a simple change such as optics and Kelvin can make a HUGE difference to the overall ambiance of a room!

For the purposes of our lighting experiment, we had no qualms about trying a lighting option that didn’t end up working. We also recognize that if somebody is looking to buy lighting, they want to get it right the first time.

Contact us at [email protected] for information and questions on how to light your indoor or outdoor commercial facility, or browse through our large selection of high bays, low bays, and panel lights.

 

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