Five Ways to Light Up Your KitchenBy
Your kitchen is the hardest working room in your home. Lighting for the kitchen should be more than utilitarian. Consider general, task and accent lighting when developing a lighting plan. This kitchen illustrates five ways to get the most functional and stylish illumination.
- Recessed lighting: This type of lighting is used for general illumination. Plan the placement of these lights for the best overall effect. Avoid using too many recessed cans which can give a ceiling the “Swiss cheese” effect.
- Task lighting is the most important lighting and most often overlooked. While recessed cans can provide the general lighting, task lighting focuses on the work areas. One of the newest (and my favorite) way to light the countertop surfaces is with undercabinet LED fixtures. Range hood lights are also a form of task lighting.
- Pendants can provide task lighting as well as adding a decorative element. Use multiple pendants if illuminating a large work surface, like this island.
- Chandeliers serve as task, decorative and general lighting. Adding a dimmer switch will improve its multi-tasking. Dimming a chandelier and adding candlelight creates a soft ambiance for dining.
- Interior cabinet accent lighting can add drama and pizzazz to a kitchen. It is often used to highlight decorative items displayed within the cabinets. When used alone at night, it adds a soft gentle illumination to the space.
Lighting fixture selection can require a lot of research. The lighting industry is constantly changing with the enactment of United States Lighting Energy Policy. This policy aims to phase out some incandescent light bulbs for general lighting in favor of more energy-efficient lighting alternatives. We are seeing the increased use of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). The up and coming leader in energy efficient lighting and lighting quality is the Light Emitting Diode (LED). The advantages of using LED’s are its efficiency, long lasting properties, and low heat output.
To get the most out of your kitchen illumination, consult a design professional to assist you in working through the many choices available in today’s market. Your kitchen lighting should be considered an important investment in the function, aesthetics and value of your home.
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