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Light Up Your Kitchen

 

Lighting is an important aspect in the kitchen, especially for tasks that require closeup or precise work

Is your kitchen in need of a brighter focus? Perhaps you feel like you're working in the dark when daylight hours have passed. If so, then it may be time to update your kitchen lighting scheme.

Sometimes it is simply a matter of installing a new fixture. Perhaps you no longer like the glow of incandescent bulbs. You may also have counter space or areas around appliances that could use a little more illumination.

As with any room, the kitchen can benefit from general, task, and accent lighting. In many cases, ceiling track lights will do double duty as general and accent lighting, especially when equipped with a dimmer switch. However, for task lighting, the fixtures need to be mounted closer to the work at hand, such as where cutting boards are used and for washing dishes.

The overhead lighting in a kitchen should be bright enough to provide access to inside cabinets and for general purpose cooking and cleaning. If you have deeply recessed cabinetry that is dark in color, however, you might benefit from touch-pad lights or easy to-install mini-lights.

Soffits are great places to include recessed task lighting. A sink area is perfect for a two-canister track light. For assistance with counter lighting, a fluorescent bar underneath a cabinet should do the job. Be sure to mount it as close to the front of the cabinet as possible or you may have glare instead of focused lighting.

The combination of lighting types will certainly round out the lighting in your kitchen, giving you an overall balance for all cooking duties.

If you need illumination over a bar or island, consider implementing a simple chandelier-style overhead light. These are available in modern multiples that attach to a track from the ceiling and are bright enough to expand your workspace.

The latest in fluorescent design is a great option for the kitchen. The light is white and bright and the bulbs are energy efficient and heat-free. Incandescents may add heat and a yellowish cast, while halogen bulbs emit more heat and are fragile. Halogen bulbs require special sockets so don't make that purchase unless you're sure the light fixture is suitable.

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