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Designing Ed: Kitchen Lighting Elements

Of all the rooms in a home, we expect our kitchens to be the brightest.  Kitchen lighting has evolved from fluorescent fixtures behind textured panels, that turn a dingy yellow as they age, to bright LED lights that can be controlled to dim down or brighten up as needed.  Not only have our bulbs and fixtures changed, but also the locations where we place our lighting.  A well-designed kitchen will have overhead, task and decorative lighting features.

Overhead light is used for both general and specific task illumination.  Recessed can lighting is the most common type of overhead lighting.  6” round lights are being replaced by 4” round or square lights.  LED lighting is taking the place of incandescent and fluorescent bulbs in tones from cool white to warm yellow. Generally, the warmer light works well with beige and yellow paint colors and the cooler light is used for the grey and blue hues.

Decorative lighting in today’s modern design uses oversized pendants for a focal point that delights our senses.  Miniature pendants and pendants hung in groups or varying heights can add drama to the lighting plan.  Track lighting can be bent to accommodate any shape and can be interspersed with pendants lights, combining task and decorative lighting on the same power source.

Under cabinet lighting is a particularly useful type of task lighting that can be dimmed down at night.  Dimmable lights create variety and change the mood of our homes so that we can change a bright task-oriented light to a soft warm glow.

Above cabinet lighting is often used in homes with high ceilings, where the wall above the upper cabinets can be illuminated to create drama or highlight artistic features and accessories.  Often created by using rope lighting, we have evolved from plastic tubes filled with miniature white bulbs, to thin multi color “peel and stick” strips that are easy to apply.  Strip lighting can be used in a variety of places including backlighting TV’s, highlighting glass shelving or downlighting under countertop seating areas.

Let us help to light up your world with great kitchen design and planning.

Courtesy of HB Marble/Granite

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