Bright Ideas for Lighting Up Your Kitchen

by Carmen Corbin on November 27, 2011

As we enter the holiday season, more and more light displays are popping up in front yards all over town.  This time of year, the outside of our homes are often more illuminated than the inside, especially when it comes to the kitchen.  We struggle to read our cookbooks while baking Christmas cookies, cast human shadows over our countertop food prep areas, and glance woefully upward at the one lonely light fixture in the middle of the kitchen ceiling.  It’s time to brighten things up!

You don’t have to take on an entire kitchen remodeling project to improve your kitchen lighting.  Most updates can easily be done by an electrician or home improvement contractor, and some you can even do yourself.

Divide and Conquer

Don’t think of kitchen lighting as a “one light” solution.  Even in a small kitchen, you need lighting in a few key areas for the best results.  Try a few fluorescent light tubes under your upper cabinets to brighten up countertops and food prep areas.  Most types are easy to install, and some simply plug into a nearby outlet.  Recessed lighting across different parts of the ceiling is nice for overall lighting, but you’ll probably still need a dedicated light source over your sink (and your stove if it doesn’t have a range hood light). 

Islands and Eating Areas

For an immediate impact over a kitchen island or a countertop eating area, consider installing a small group of hanging pendant lights.  If space allows, hang three separate fixtures in a row, or choose a single light with multiple lamps.  There are a lot of fun designs to match any kitchen décor, from traditional to contemporary.  Be sure to have them installed high enough so that your line of sight isn’t impeded, and also where heads won’t be accidentally bumped.

If your kitchen includes an eat-in dining area, have your kitchen remodeling contractor install a dimmer switch so you can adjust the amount of light over the table – great for setting the mood for a romantic dinner or special occasion.

Don’t forget the accent lights!  Many upper cabinets have plenty of space on top for home décor and other treasured objects.  Why not have some small uplights put in to showcase your colorful glassware collection?  Accent lighting may not be essential, but it certainly adds a welcoming ambience to your kitchen and home.

For more ideas on illuminating your kitchen and dining areas, call or visit your local home improvement contractor.

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