Your Mini Guide to Choosing Kitchen Lighting Fixtures


I remember as a young child the single fluorescent fixture that hung in the middle of the kitchen in the home I lived. At time this kitchen light was to bright when you were looking for a snack in the middle of the night. When there was cooking or baking to be done in the kitchen it was to din to read the recipes we were trying to use. Kitchen lighting has come a long way since then. 

In today’s modern kitchen there are several different types of kitchen lighting to help us accomplish what we need in the kitchen. In some of today’s modern kitchens the type of hardware and doors that are being used in the kitchen along with the correct choice of lighting the kitchen becomes a display area and adds a great look of elegance to our homes. 

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We will look at a few popular types of fixtures used in the kitchen and see what they have to offer.

Track Lighting


This is a great way to offer halogen, fluorescent, and high-low voltage lights that will help you to direct the lighting where you need. There are several different type of track lighting that can be configured in hundreds on different combinations. You can also use the existing electrical box from the light already installed in the kitchen as a starting point. A wide variety of fixtures available for track lighting will help to add to the look you are looking for as well as being placed to highlight the areas you need the light the most.

Once you select the fixture you will want to align them in a way as to not cast shadows on the work area where you will be working. 

A good example of this would be to place a fixture overhead on the left and right side of the sink. 

In this manner you will not be blocking the light from the work area the way you would if you add a single overhead fixture. You will want to do the same over other work areas such as the cutting area and over the cooktop.

Under Cabinet Lighting


Under cabinet lighting will add light where you need it most. In a lot of cabinet configurations, the upper cabinets will block the light from the areas under the top cabinets. This is the area where a lot of the small appliances such as the microwave, coffee pot, and blenders are located. This type of lighting will also help to illuminate cutting boards and cookbooks for easier reading. Under cabinet lights are available in three different bulb varieties. Fluorescent, halogen, and incandescent. Fluorescent lights will cast a cool white glow under the cabinets. These bulbs are available in several different sizes to help accommodate the lengths of your cabinets.

Halogen lights are available in strips as well as disk and puck style. These lights will cast a warm glow that is not overpowering but will provide a great light to work with. Halogen lights are almost the same ambient light as sunlight. Surface mount as well as recessed fixture are available for halogen bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are also available in a variety of fixtures that will burn smaller bulbs giving you the light you need without producing too much heat. Whichever type of under counter lighting you choose be sure to mount it to the front of the upper cabinets to light up the work area more. If they are mounted closer to the back the fixtures will light up the wall instead of the needed work area.

Recessed Lighting


Most of the recessed lighting you see in the kitchen are standard “can” fixtures with different types of bulbs. These canister lights as they are also known are basically used around the perimeter of a room. They tend to light up walls, floors, and cabinet fronts. The canisters can be installed with different types of lights sockets that can be directed anywhere you need the light. These two types of sockets are known as eyeball and wall washers. 

You can easily upgrade existing canister lights by switching the trim package. You can utilize the same canister but change the trim package to except the different types of light bulbs that suite you the best. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that the trim packages for canister lights are made to fit the same canisters of the manufacturer.

Dimmer Switches


Dimmer switches can be a great addition to any lighting package. There are times when you will not need the kitchen light to be fully bright. If you are cooking, reading recipes, or cutting and chopping you will need the light over your work area. Perhaps you will want to enjoy a nice dinner you can then turn the dimmer down to help create that special atmosphere. 

A dimmer switch will allow you to have general lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting from the same lights in your kitchen. Dimmer switches will add an extra touch of versatility to your kitchen lighting.

Bulb Options


We have many more bulb options today than we have had in the past. In the past our main choices of bulbs were incandescent or fluorescent. They were good for lighting but there were a couple of things that were disadvantages of these bulbs. The incandescent bulbs were bright and put off plenty of light but they also but of a lot of heat. Fluorescent lighting gave us a different type of lighting but at times the bulbs took a few minutes to get started. 

With today’s bulb choices such as CFL’s, LED’s and halogen bulbs we have a brighter and truer colors in light offerings today. Not only do these bulbs offer great lighting they also help us to cut energy cost and save money. 

When you are ready to upgrade the lighting in your home be sure do your research and take a look here for your lighting needs,


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