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Understanding Kitchen Lighting Options

Every room needs good lighting, but kitchen lighting seems especially important. Not only do most families spend a great deal of time in the kitchen, bad kitchen lighting can lead to injury or even, heaven forbid, badly prepared food. Those of us who need all the help we can get in the kitchen might want to pay particular attention to kitchen light fixtures--you just never know what's going to help.

Thinking about kitchen light fixtures, you probably need more than a bare light bulb stuck in the middle of the ceiling. When you start digging around you'll find that you've got all sort of different kitchen lighting options, including general lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Then you'll find that within each of these categories, you have thousands and thousands of different options for design and color and placement. Where to start?

Before you buy any kitchen light fixtures, start with an overall plan for general kitchen lighting. The other lighting tasks will enhance your ability to get things done and make the space more attractive, but if your kitchen still resembles a shadowy cave after you install general kitchen lighting, you'd better start from scratch.

Hopefully you have a window or patio door to help keep the room illuminated during the daytime hours. General kitchen lighting should brighten the space overall and ensure that you can function easily and safely. Let's explore the three main options for kitchen light fixtures:

Kitchen lighting Option 1: Recessed Lighting

Increasingly popular in recent years, recessed lighting--or canned lighting--increases the feeling of spaciousness in your kitchen. Installation of recessed lighting, in particular, requires advanced skills. Unless you are experienced with electrical wiring, make sure to hire a contracted or licensed electrician for this job.

Benefits of recessed lighting:

• Clean and modern appearance
• Out of the way
• Evenly distributed lighting

Kitchen lighting Option 2: Fluorescent Lighting

Sometimes referred to as cloud lighting, fluorescent box lighting has improved significantly from its ugly, washed-out past. Today's fluorescent lighting includes warmer tones and more attractive options for style and design.

Benefits of fluorescent kitchen lighting:

• Quiet
• Cost-effective
• Fairly simple to install

Kitchen lighting Option 3: Pendant Lighting

Available in a wide array of sizes, styles, and colors, pendant kitchen lighting fixtures hang straight down from the ceiling to light your kitchen space. They can provide general kitchen lighting while drawing attention to a specific portion of your kitchen décor such as an island.

Benefits of pendant lighting:

• Decorative and attractive
• Easy focal point
• Fairly simple to install

Before deciding on any one kitchen lighting solution, consider the layout of your room carefully and think about getting in touch with a contractor or electrician for advice. Choosing the right kitchen lighting strategy now--whether that means including one of these choices or a mixture of all three--can enhance the enjoyment of your kitchen for many years to come.