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Guide to kitchen lighting
Author: Marv Shidler
Last updated: Oct. 31, 2009
Lighting plays a major role in making a kitchen a pleasant, enjoyable place to work and relax. But it is the most challenging room in the home to light successfully. Here are tips to consider when planning kitchen lighting:
Incandescent reflectorized bulbs, such as flood or spot lights, give a direct beam that is easier to control than regular incandescents. Good for recess down lights or accent lights.
Fluorescent lights use 1/5 to 1/3 the electricity of incandescents, last 20 times longer and burn brighter. New compact fluorescents are very adaptable for small spaces such as recess task lights or accent lights.
Halogen lights are brighter and longer lasting even than fluorescent's but also burn hotter. They come in very compact sizes that are ideal for accent lighting.
Ceiling mounted fluorescent's give the best indirect light.
Mount recess down lights or track lights flush with the front face of the cabinets. Also mount over sink and range areas. Use incandescent flood, or compact fluorescent bulbs.
For undercabinet lighting, mount fluorescent tube lights or halogen linear systems under the cabinets as close to the cabinet front as possible so that light is reflected off the backsplash onto the work area. Make sure the light covers at least 2/3 of the counter area.
Accent lighting such as low-voltage linear systems placed on top of the cabinets creates atmosphere and highlights display items.
Where good task lighting is necessary but undercabinet lights are impossible, hang a series of pendant halogen lights. Be sure the lights are hung to the right or left of where anyone will sit or stand.