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Creating the Right Amount of Lighting in Your Kitchen

Jul 10, 2008
Lighting in a kitchen can have a dramatic affect on the functionality and appearance of your kitchen. Lighting is something that should go hand-in-hand with kitchen design and layout planning. Lighting can mean the difference between having a warm and inviting kitchen, or a dark and gloomy one.

In today's market, homeowners are looking for kitchens that are light and airy, and that are open to the outdoors. With that in mind, natural light is an important element of a new kitchen as well as focused task lighting. Below are some lighting ideas to help brighten up your kitchen.

Natural Lighting- Windows, skylights, and french doors are the easiest way to bring add natural lighting to your kitchen. Adding windows and skylights are going to make your kitchen feel much bigger and give you the need light for working in your kitchen during the day. Adding sliding doors or French Doors (where possible) are another easy way to bring in natural light and give the feeling of more space. By having them open up onto a patio or deck is a great way to extend the living space as well.

Undermounted Task Lighting- A great way to add task lighting without having it take away from the look of the kitchen, is to add undermounted task lighting. By adding low profile halogen lights under your kitchen cabinets, you can focus the task lighting to where you are going to need it the most without affecting the look of your kitchen with large task lights.

Track Lighting- Track lighting is another great way to get focused task lighting that can be adjustable. With some of the new styles in track lighting, you can not only get focused pools of light for working and dining areas, but they can also be a stylish architectural feature that can be adjustable. They also allow you to rearrange decor and still be able to highlight specific items or objects.

Recessed Lighting- Recessed lighting is probably one of the most common lighting elements. The problem with most recessed lighting is that it directs lighting onto very specific areas and will sometimes be blocked when you are trying to work. In most cases, a combination of recessed lighting and task lighting is what is needed.

By using a combination of natural light, task lighting, and track or recessing lighting, you can design a kitchen that will be both functional and stylish at the same time. If your budget permits, it is often times recommended to consult a lighting consultant to ensure proper lighting before installing any permanent fixtures.
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