Awful kitchen lights! any ideas

Mark No-Comment
5 November 2017
In the middle of my kitchen is a large recessed fluorescent light fitting, it's set in a big hole in the ceiling roughly 29cm by 165cm and contains a 58w T8 fluorescent lamp behind a translucent panel (and moth trap). It's probably cut 20 cm deep into the ceiling.

I'm sure this was the height of fashion in 1964 - but now it's just a not very bright, not very attractive source of light. I want to replace it. LED might be nice!

But, here's the issue, if I take the fitting out I'll have a big ugly hole in my ceiling and it won't be easy to fill the gap and hide it. Anyway, I'll still need lighting.

So, does anybody know of a source of recessed light fittings that might fit?

Here's a couple of photos of the ugly brute (on and off) with the translucent panel removed.



Comments (4)

  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    Luckily for you recessed ceiling lights are now back in, in a big way, but by using LED strips. Put and edge all around the bottom to hide the LED strips and away you go. Slightly more technical than that, but you might just get the idea. You would have to remove the fittings from where the tube goes in to the little sockets at either end, make good, but not that big a job.

  • Sonia
    If you didn’t want to keep the recess, then a decent plasterer can easily board and plaster it for you. My stepson is a plasterer and we had a hole in a bedroom ceiling after a leak and he boarded and plastered it for us, and by the time we’d decorated you’d never have known it was there. However, I do like those recess lighting ideas above!
  • PRO
    Amanda Clothier

    I'm not sure it is such a large recess that you would get a way with making a feature of it as mentioned above. A dropped ceiling with LED would be more appropriate, but that is likely to cost more than simply having the fluorescent taken out an the hole boarded and plastered.

    There are large LED panel fittings for sale on Bay, but the max. size of these seems to be 30 x 120, which is too small to fill or cover your gap. If you are looking for an inexpensive solution, then you (or a handy local electrician) could try making your own light fitting on a dropped panel to cover it over - something that fits the scale and proportion of the room better than that recess does! (it's not clear how the recess is positioned in relation to the other structures in the room, but here's a couple of ideas...)

    It's probable, though, that you are relying on this one source of light too much. Even if you have a very bright light on your kitchen ceiling there will still be shadows cast that will stop you from being able to see when you're using your work surfaces, unless you have strategically placed LED downlighter recessed in the ceiling. Perhaps you could think about fitting some LED strips under your wall cabinets to provide some bright task lighting over your worktops. IKEA has a great solution for this and if you do it you'll find you don't need to worry about the quality of light from above quite so much, which then broadens the range of single pendant fittings you could look at using. The strips also provide great mood lighting when the kitchen is not being used :)

  • Mark No-Comment
    Thanks for the ideas.

    I'm not going to make the hole any bigger. I suspect it would damage the structural integrity of the floor above. As it is the recess has few if any features I'd want to put on display - it's an inverted trench with a fluorescent light in it!

    Plastering over the hole won't solve the central lighting issue. I think if I wanted fitted lights in the ceiling space I'd find electrical safety / fire regulations would eliminate most options without a lot of expensive work.

    I know the standard LED panels are 60cm, and have seen the narrow 120cm fittings - still not long enough to fill the gap though. It may be the answer is to surface mount one or maybe two 120 cm units over the cut out, and conceal any gaps.

    However any surface mounted options will have to permit cupboard doors to open - that shouldn't be a problem, but it's a consideration that may rule out some options..