This is a strictly West Coast Q & A.
Eichlers are contemporary California homes built by Joseph Eichler back in the 50's, 60's and 70's.
I have helped design kitchens and baths in many Eichlers over the years, and there are some unique issues about their construction that present interesting challenges.
1. They are built on slab floors with radiant heat built into the slab in the form of piping which carries hot water from a boiler.
2. The design is open plan, with beams and posts to support the structural load (which is the roof).
3. As Tiana mentions in her question below; the roofs are tongue in groove wood, with no room for insulation. The roof is made waterproof with tar and gravel on top of the T&G planking.
4. The electrical actually runs on top of the roof in conduit. Lighting is mostly ceiling mounted ball glass pendants.
Just saw your blog while noodling around trying to find recessed lighting using very shallow cans. We have an Eichler home in Lucas Valley (outskirts of San Rafael) and were wondering whether we could possibly put in recessed lighting in conjunction with a new foam roof.
This is usually not an option because the roofs are just tongue and grove ceiling boards over the exposed beams, then tar paper, old tar and gravel roof, then foam. But we have 2 inches of rigid board foam in between the tar paper and the tar and gravel on top.
Soooo, when we pour another 1.5 inches of foam for a new roof, we should have approximately 3 inches to work with being then flush with the surface about to receive the new roof.
Is there any recessed lighting which could be used in such a way? -- and ok to use with a sealed in application like that (conduit wired over the roof and permanently
I was hoping with all these new low heat LED lights, someone would come up with one-- perhaps one more commonly used in cabinets. LEDs are quite bright so the lights could possibly be smaller than normal and still give plenty of light at counter level.
Any ideas? If you have a solution, there are lots of Eichler owners all over the Bay Area who would love your input!
You would likely make a good kitchen designer Tiana. Our profession is consumed with getting the most out of every inch we are given. ;-D
Getting back to your question: In fact LED recessed fixtures are just a big as the old incandescent fixtures above the ceiling line.
It's true that the lights themselves are tiny, even when ganged together to form a downlight. But they generate a great deal of heat, in spite of your misconception. So a lot of room is taken up by the attached heat sink.
This is a Cree LR6. 3/4ths of the light is the heat sink. See the little fins on the sides? They help dissipate the heat. This fits inside a typical recessed fixture that takes up even more height. Then there is the wiring on top of that.
The only ways that I can think of that you could mount recessed lights in your Eichler ceilings would be two:
1. Apply sheetrock to the bottom of your ceilings beams. That would provide enough clearance to recess the fixtures.
2. Build insulated boxes, big enough to provide the prescribed air space around the fixtures, on your roof at the point of each fixture.
I'm afraid either solution would compromise your Eichler home to the point of making it not an Eichler any more.
The only other solution I can offer is to refer you to my favorite lighting designer, Randy Whitehead. I assure you, if there is a solution I have not presented that solves your problem, Randy knows it.
Please let us know if Randy has an answer for all those other Eichler owners out there because I'm sure that this post will draw them like flies.
Good luck Tiana,
Kitschy Kitchens is a blog where I critique the worst of the worst in kitchens. Poor design, an assault on the eyes, wrong colors, wrong materials; they all can be found there. Take an amusing detour to discover what you DON'T want in a kitchen.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
This is a strictly West Coast Q & A.