Repair & Maintenance

Kitchen lighting ideas

By Jean Sanders
Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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The kitchen is the center of most homes today and it requires lighting that is flexible and versatile.
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Helpful kitchen lighting ideas

In addition to food preparation, the kitchen often serves as the kids' study room, family dining room, and informal office space. Kitchen lighting today needs much more that just one fixture in the middle of the room. Here are some kitchen lighting ideas that will, perhaps, help you in making your decision.

the lighting design for any kitchen will depend of the shape and size of the room, as well as the tasks that will be completed there. Most kitchens will need some combination of accent, general, and task lighting. Remember that different lights have their own function, from providing ambience to making chopping easier and safer.

Therefore, your first step is to figure out what you want your lights to accomplish. In general lights are either functional or decorative. Functional lights make it possible for you to find things in cabinets and drawers, move around the space safely, and complete tasks. Some common kitchen functional lighting fixtures include fluorescents, recessed lights, and low voltage lighting. One of the best kitchen lighting ideas is recessed lights, which are particularly effective over the sink and stove to provide even task lighting.

Decorative fixtures such as pendants will provide adequate light for a family eating area, especially if it is complemented by task lighting in other areas of the room. You may also want to consider a decorative fixture with more than one bulb to provide the needed light over an island. Some of the most popular finishes in decorative kitchen lighting fixtures include wrought iron, colored glass, pewter, and satin nickel.

No matter how many good kitchen lighting ideas are presented to you, it is important to light your entire kitchen, no matter what style of fixtures you choose. One area that it is important to light is the space above and below your kitchen cabinets. These lights provide accents on your ceiling as well as task and accent lighting for your countertops. Some of the common fixture types for this application include miniature track lights and strips of low voltage lighting. Halogen fixtures have gained popularity due to their ability to be dimmed and the quality of the light they produce.

One of the new trends in kitchen design is the kitchen office space, which comes with its own lighting requirements. Whether used for paying bills, choosing recipes, or working on the compute, these spaces need to be well lit. You need to take care, however, to light only the space used to work on paperwork, not the computer screen. Some good options for this area include halogen under cabinet lights and desk lamps.

Pendant, also known as hanging, light fixtures, are an effective source of both task and ambient light. These hanging, shaded light fixtures come in a wide variety of styles, from the more nostalgic tiffany to a more modern halogen. These decorative fixtures can also be found in many whimsical designs, as well as traditional murano glass. While these fixtures had fallen out of favor for a while they are making a comeback, especially in modern kitchen design.

One thing all pendant lights have in common is that they are a single armed fixture, as the multi armed fixtures are more correctly referred to as chandeliers. These flexible fixtures can be found in many different locations in homes, from providing efficient task lighting in kitchens and dining rooms to warmth ambient light in foyers or living rooms.

Many designers like the effect of pendant light fixtures particularly in kitchens as they serve to provide a vertical break from the horizontal lines of countertops and cabinets. Another reason pendants work well in kitchens is that they can provide focused task lighting with a decorative flair. They work especially well over dining areas, islands, and work spaces.

When a pendant lighting fixture has a diameter of less than 6 inches it is known as a mini pendant. Mini pendants are commonly found over kitchen islands, usually in groups of two or three. While some mini pendant lighting fixtures use incandescent bulbs, most will use halogen bulbs. Truly, one of the better kitchen lighting ideas. There are a variety of options when hanging mini pendant light fixtures, with some hung individually and others suspended from a rail, track, or cable lighting system. Islands can provide a great outlet for adding a decorative fixture or fixtures to the room. There are a multitude of pendants to choose from that can really enhance the room. It is probably one of the most commented on aspects of a kitchen lighting plan when the homeowner sees the finished product. Simply installing 2 or 3 pendants in line over an island can be stunning.

One of the better kitchen lighting ideas to consider is the task lighting. In a kitchen this is the light directly over the counters, stove and sink. Having one or two small recessed lights on a separate switch over the sink is both attractive and useful. The stove these days is almost always lit from a fan hood or microwave but if it is not, it should be addressed. The way the counters are illuminated is with under cabinet lighting. This can be in the form of simple fluorescent fixtures on an economical level. A very nice effect is to use low voltage linear track. These can be dimmed and provide very good light to the counters. There are also xenon fixtures and halogen fixtures.

After you have your general lighting and task lighting covered, the last thing to consider is any accent lighting. On some kitchens where there is a space above the cabinets, lighting on top of the cabinets can look spectacular. Tray ceilings with crown molding can also benefit greatly from this type of lighting. Using either a low voltage type track or rope light, you can add that extra touch that makes your kitchen unique.

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