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Functional And Comfortable - That's The Idea

Aug 22, 2008
All American homeowners consider their kitchen a place for preparing food, of course. But most of these homeowners also think of the kitchen as a center of activity for the home, where families gather, friends visit and where decisions are made.

With this in mind, it is quite important that serious thought be given to kitchen lighting, not only to provide enough light for reading and visiting, but also to help set the mood for a comfortable room. Putting some thought into how the lighting will work with the appliances, cabinets and colors of the kitchen is always a great idea.

The basic question to ask, of course, is "Which of the two general types of lighting will work best in a particular kitchen?" Functional lighting is relatively easy to choose. Selecting the correct locations for these functional lights is not a terribly difficult task. More though will have to go into what is commonly called "mood" lighting.

Of course, the more functional type of light is meant to help people see what they are doing, whether it is preparing food, reading recipes or visiting with friends and family. But it is this last activity that makes the correct mood lighting necessary.

Friends who have remodelled a kitchen will have great recommendations for the homeowner who is just beginning a kitchen project. They may be able to get things started in the proper direction with lights that establish a certain atmosphere in the kitchen. With only the most basic functional lighting, a kitchen will not only be uninteresting, it can also appear industrial/commercial. This is not always an ambience the homeowner should strive for.

Of course, the renovation of kitchen lighting should involve placing sufficient lighting over counters, kitchen islands and appliance workspaces. Using natural light can also be a great idea for the kitchen remodelling project. Well-placed windows or skylights can contribute to the efficiency and the atmosphere of the great kitchen. (Some even suggest using glass in the outer doors to add light to the room indirectly.)

Here is the basic idea for upgrading/remodelling kitchen lighting - Focus the lighting on three specific places in the kitchen. The most important places to direct new lighting are the sink area, the oven or cook top and the counter spaces where most of the work will take place. Some homeowners decide on lighting that is installed under the higher cabinets, in order to put good lighting directly on counters and sinks. This can be done with incandescent bulbs, fluorescent tubes or with the less common light-emitting diode (LED). All of these types should be available at hardware stores and home improvement stores. The variety may actually surprise the homeowner at first!

In recent years, more remodelling projects that involve lighting have an added factor - energy conservation. Some people use a sensor that turns lights off and on when someone enters or leaves the room (or a particular place in the room). Any experienced home improvement center staff member or remodelling expert should have great ideas that will help make kitchen lighting a successful part of the remodelling project.
About the Author
Kurt Schefken continually produces long articles on news about kitchen cabinets.com. You can discover his contributions on kitchen islands and cabinets and kitchen cabinets.com on his site.
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