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Help! I don't think I like my new recessed lights! What to do?

15 years ago

So yesterday my recessed LED lights were installed and I don't think I like them. Let me say that there is a chance that I *might* still like them once the kitchen is completed. I realize it's difficult to really tell how things will end up looking. So far my cabinets are installed, but mostly the doors aren't on them. The base cabinets and range are covered up to protect them. The countertop that will be granite is currently only plywood subtop. The wood floors aren't in yet. The undercab lights aren't in yet either. But still, I'm worried.

I really really really wanted to like these lights. I love the idea that they're super energy-efficient. Dimmable. No mercury. High CRI. Aside from the price, I loved everything about them. (They cost about $90 each including trim, but excluding housing). I did have a few concerns about them -- I was worried that the 6'' cans would look too big in my little kitchen with 8' ceilings, and I was worried that they wouldn't give enough light. I figured that we are also getting undercabinet lights, so that shouldn't be a problem.

So you can imagine my surprise when the lights were turned on and, to me, it was too bright! Bright like McDonalds :( So I tried turning them down with the dimmer switch. At their most dim (which I think is 25%), the amount of light is ok. It's the amount of light I would've imagined at 100%. So there's no way to dim them lower for ambience. I would just always keep them on at 25%. Which kind of defeats the purpose of being dimmable. Worse still, when dimmed they make a buzzing sound. It's not loud, but I hear it. I also detect a slight flickering. It must be very quick, because I can't see it when I'm looking at the light. But I sense it when I'm just in the room. Maybe I'm discovering that I have superhuman perception, but I doubt it :)

So my concern about not having enough light was way off. I also don't mind the 6'' housing. It looks ok. It's possible that now I just have too many of these lights for my space. Also I imagine they would look better if I had higher ceilings. But then I still don't like the way they dim.

So now what do I do? What are my options? I *think* I could return the LED lights for a refund. They are installed in standard 6'' remodel housing.

Here is a drawing of my lighting placement ...

And here are photos of the room at 100% ...

And here are photos of the room with lights dimmed to the max ...

I think that actually the pictures look better to me than in real-life. I am noticing a greenish hue though. The paint color is actually a warm beige color that's not at all green.

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