Kitchen Lighting

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Lighting is a very important kitchen element for both practical and design-oriented reasons. Different types of light are employed based on varied needs and wants of the homeowners. Of course, the simplest and the most loved source of light is natural – the sun. Well-placed windows, glass doors and skylights harness this favored source as it brings life to the kitchen. A man-made source of background illumination is ambient lighting. It can be created by a number of contributing sources: overhead fixtures, decorative sconces, pendant lights, and others. Task lighting is, on the other hand, addresses work-specific lighting needs and is a key to a well-designed kitchen. If you have ever tried to cook under dim lights or fixtures that throw misdirected shadows and hot spots, you know how important this localized type of lighting is. Under cabinets lights, recessed lights and desk lamps are examples of this work-oriented source of light. Finally, accent lighting is used aesthetically to highlight decorative objects or specific points in the room. Often dimmable, these lights help set the kitchen’s mood and are the artist’s most creative strokes of lighting that finish the overall style of the space. Light together with its sources is a decorative detail that aesthetically renders style to the kitchen. Consider endless options from chandeliers to wire strung halogens, shaded lamps to ornate sconces.

So, the lighting in the kitchen does more than brighten the room’s working surfaces. Without it the room won’t be pleasant and efficient. Basically all you need to do is to maximize natural light by adding new windows or enlarging existing ones or provide artificial light of two kinds – general illumination and task lighting for special areas. For countertop work areas, under-cabinet lighting is the most effective; and whether it takes the form of fluorescent strips, miniature track lights, or a low-voltage linear system.

Under-cabinet strips or recessed lights are often used to illuminate the sink; downlights are effective for lighting cooking areas, too, and some range hoods feature built-in lighting for the cooktop.

Because of the built-in nature of the kitchen and its furnishings, lighting is most often a fixed decorative element. Overhead mounts, spots, recessed lighting, and fixtures are permanently installed to coordinate t steadfast cabinetry and task area. However, there is a number of ways to add flexibility to the room’s lighting. Dimmers can be attached to a fixture facilitating the adjustment of its light intensity. Small table lamps and accent lights are also effective ways to illuminate a kitchen with adjustable light. Even a distinctive, decorative sconce or up-lights in potted plants can change the character of a room as they throw shapes and shadows on its ceiling surface.

2013 Cost vs. Value Report

Selected 2013 Cost vs. Value Report Statistics - Average Nationwide Return on Investment:

  • Deck addition – 77.3%
  • Major kitchen remodel – 59.7%
  • Bathroom remodel – 58.3%
  • New roof – 56.7%
  • Basement Remodel – 70.3%

Source: 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 2013).