The kitchen is primarily a work area, but it is also a gathering place for family and friends. Lighting that is comfortable as well as functional is required.
Undercabinet/undershelf fixtures offer both task and accent lighting. Under kitchen cabinets, they light a countertop. In a display cabinet, they show off prized possessions. They’re used in a workshop or anywhere you need lighting right at hand. They include slim, energy-efficient fluorescents, miniature track lighting, and strips of low-voltage mini-lights.
Pendants can provide both task and general lighting. Equipped with shades or globes to avoid glare, they are suspended from the ceiling over dinette tables, game tables, kitchen counters, or other work areas. When used over end or night tables, they free up the space occupied by table lamps. The use of a dimmer control gives you the flexibility to vary the light to suit the occasion.
A The Sink and Range
At the sink and range, an individual recessed downlight, equipped with an energy-efficient compact fluorescent tube, will provide you with adequate task lighting when installed in the ceiling or in soffits over these two busy work areas.
Dinettes, Nooks, and Island Counters
Dinettes, nooks, and island counters can be lighted with decorative pendants. When used with a dimmer control, these ceiling-hung fixtures will provide you with adequate task lighting for homework, hobbies, or family business and allow you to lower the light for dining or entertaining.
A large ceiling fixture, equipped with energy-efficient fluorescent tubes will supply plenty of well-diffused general lighting, but it may leave you working in your own shadow at the sink, range, and countertops. These areas need supplemental task lighting. For example, two track lights over the sink will give you the illumination you need for washing dishes and scouring for pots and pans.
Kitchen cabinets can be accentuated by placing low-voltage mini-lights over, under, or inside cabinets.
Soffits and other concealed locations can also be treated effectively with this type of lighting. These inconspicuous strips of miniature incandescent bulbs will highlight your cabinetry, while adding a warm, comfortable atmosphere to your kitchen.
Undercabinet lighting is ideal for countertops. Mount as close to the front of the cabinets as possible to avoid glare reflecting off work surfaces. Choose energy-efficient fluorescent fixtures (they generally range from 12 to 48 inches long) that cover at least two-thirds the length of the counter.