A good kitchen design always includes lighting because you can hardly work without adequate lights. However, some kitchen designs put much emphasis on task lighting, especially over kitchen countertops, when they are not necessary. The right overhead lights can provide general lighting that eliminates dark corners and still show off kitchen countertops just as well, and probably more economically. Here are three types of overhead lights to showcase kitchen countertops.
Surface lights are the most common type of overhead light in any room in the home, including kitchens. It was most popular between the 1980s and 2000, but lost some steam until 2010, when it made a comeback with energy-efficient LED varieties. Most kitchens today combine surface lights with other types of lighting.
Surface lights mount on the ceiling and are easy to install, requiring just a small hole to accommodate the wiring. Most contractors provide this wiring for new or remodeled kitchens because most people do put surface lights for kitchens, and they can do it on their own.
In most cases, surface lights go in the middle of the room, but you can put it anywhere at all. If you plan for surface lights in your design, your contractor can put it anywhere you want because it does not require any special accommodations.
The great thing about most surface lights is they cast light over a large area, so you will only need one to illuminate your kitchen adequately. Of course, this will depend on the number ad wattage of the bulbs. More bulbs and higher wattage will provide more light. That said, you want to avoid glare from a too-bright kitchen, so choose surface lights appropriate for the size of your kitchen.
Surface lights are ideal for kitchens with standard kitchen heights, not so much for kitchens with low ceilings. They also tend to make small kitchens look smaller.
Quick tip: All white kitchens reflect light very well, so you might want to choose warm white rather than daylight for your bulbs to keep the kitchen from looking too sterile,
Also called drop lights, pendant lights are actually task lights as they illuminate a specific area of the room. They make this list because they typically hang from the ceiling or other surface from height.
Pendant lights are popular in kitchens, especially those with quality kitchen countertops, because they provide light where you work without taking up any floor space. They also look great suspended from the ceiling, whichever of the many styles they come in you choose. It leads the eye down to whatever it is illuminating, usually a kitchen island, countertops, or bar, so it is important that they are equally striking.
Since pendant lights make a resounding design statement, you have to be careful with the style you choose, as this will influence the rest of the room. Some are industrial, while others are decidedly vintage.
The only problem with pendant lights is you typically have limited placement options. They need to be in areas where people are not likely to bump their heads into them by accident. Having them over a bar, kitchen island, or other type of countertops is ideal, unless you have a high ceiling, in which case put it anywhere you want.
Also called down or can lights, recessed lights are, as you have probably guessed, recessed. This means most of the fixture is inside the ceiling, with just the trimming and inner baffle showing. Some styles such as eyeball lights show a bit more, but this is usually to allow adjustments to the direction of the light. In most cases, recessed lights have a fixed direction and quite small at between 2 and 6 inches in diameter.
The real purpose of recessed lights is to provide diffuse lighting in a kitchen with a low ceiling. Since most of it is out of sight, it gives any room a sleek, modern look. The problem is you have to accommodate the housing inside the ceiling, so that means there has to be some open space above it. In most cases, that means avoiding ceiling joists and other support structures. Recessed lights are also difficult to clean
Recessed lights can be pricey as you need quite a few of them to give enough illumination. A 15x 20 foot kitchen, for example, will need at least a dozen lights. Additionally, you probably need a professional to install them, as you have to deal with several electrical lines and holes. The best time to install recessed lights is during a renovation, so it is important to include them in the design.
Good lighting is essential for an efficient and stylish kitchen, and you can achieve this with these three types of overhead lights that also showcase kitchen countertops. The best way to maximize their impact is to include them in your remodeling design so you can choose the best ones t pair with your new kitchen countertops.
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