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Ensuring Sufficient Kitchen Lighting

kitchen-lighting-imageKitchen lighting is crucial in today‚Äôs homes.  Many homes today have kitchens that serve a number of functions, from family dining to gathering places for friends, and neglecting proper lighting can lead to a dark or unappealing space in the very room you use most often.

Before ordering any kitchen lighting, take a good, long look at the room and determine what the various lighting needs are as well as what obstacles there are that need to be overcome.  While there are a variety of kitchen lights available, you will need to find just the right ones for your particular style and size kitchen.
Outdated Kitchen Lighting
Overhead kitchen lights are often a source of dissatisfaction for homeowners.  There was a trend in the 1960's to the 1980's toward fluorescent lighting in kitchens.  Unfortunately, many of the fluorescent lighting fixtures from this era are ugly and outdated.  The harsh light can also seem cold and unappealing.  Of course, there were many reasons for using these lights.  They were economical, easy to install and took up very little ceiling room, which was an advantage for many homes with low ceilings in the kitchen.
If you have this problem, talk to a contractor or home interior specialist.  You may discover that your kitchen has a drop ceiling, giving you room to work with some solutions such as installing a tray ceiling, removing the drop ceiling tiles or using a newer, flush mount ceiling fixture that uses incandescent or halogen bulbs for a warmer look.
You may also want to consider can lights or recessed lighting in the main area of the kitchen.  Both of these can be installed to create pools of light scattered around the room, which will give a brighter, airier appearance as opposed to just one central light fixture.  If you have dark cabinets or lack natural lighting from windows, this is a great kitchen lights solution.
Kitchen Lighting for Every Function
Your kitchen can be divided into various zones depending upon how the space is used.  If you have an eat-in kitchen, you have a zone that's primarily for dining, although you may also use your table for homework, as a work desk or as a conversation area.  Sufficient overhead lighting is crucial in this area. 
A chandelier is an excellent way to add decorative charm and much needed lighting to the dining area.  Consider using a dimmer switch so that you can use low light for dining, then switch to a brighter light for studying or paying bills.
The prep area of your kitchen includes any counter space where you prepare food, your stove, and the kitchen sink.  If you have a kitchen island, this is also part of the prep area.  Two wonderful options for task lighting are pendant lights that are suspended above these areas or recessed lights to target the prep areas.  Under Cabinet Lighting, such as puck lights or small, halogen strip lights installed underneath your upper cabinets can provide additional task lighting as well.
Finally, accent kitchen lights are crucial for a warm, inviting kitchen.  If you have dark wood cabinets, dark walls or lack plenty of natural light from windows, you should consider adding small lights inside any cabinets with glass fronts.  These will lighten up the look of the room and help you avoid a gloomy feeling.  If you own decorative china pieces or some particularly attractive glassware or crystal, cabinet lighting will showcase them beautifully.  If you don't have glass fronts, you can add puck lights or a few recessed accent lights in the corners to visually push back the walls and make the room more inviting.
Take a look at your kitchen with fresh eyes, then talk to a lighting specialist who can help you choose the best kitchen lighting for your home.  The result will be a wonderful, inviting space your friends and family will love.


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