How to choose the lighting in the kitchen?

It's easy to overlook the importance of lighting when decorating your kitchen. You spend all that time choosing the best cabinets and appliances, then stick with the same flickering fluorescent light fixture that came with the house. Kitchen lighting and ceiling fans can do more than just light up your kitchen - they can also decorate and accentuate the best parts of your kitchen design.

Know which function of your kitchen lighting is most important

For some people, just being able to see what you're cooking may be all you need for kitchen lighting. If you tend to eat a lot in your kitchen, you may want to be able to dim the lighting to create a romantic atmosphere. If you have a large kitchen, you may want to be able to provide more lights in one area than another, so you should consider task lighting, such as pendant lights.

Choose fluorescent lighting if efficiency and the need to go long periods without changing bulbs are paramount

Insert a fluorescent bulb into the fixture and you don't have to think about it for periods of several months. To get the most out of these lights, you need to install them so that the light ricochets off the ceiling. Get the right fixture and you won't have the problem of bulbs blinding you when you turn them on. Fluorescent bulbs work best in compact kitchens and with light-colored walls.

Buy incandescent bulbs to give your kitchen a warmer, more comfortable feel

However, there are two important considerations with incandescent bulbs. Perhaps the most important is that they burn much faster than fluorescent lights. The other consideration can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on where you live. Incandescent lamps generate more heat than other types of bulbs, making them preferable for those who live in colder climates, but not so good for those who live in warmer areas.

Consider halogen lamps for large kitchens that you want to decorate with accent lighting or specific task lighting

Halogen lights, are a great choice to be placed on islands, cabinets or long countertops where you prepare food. You can use halogen bulbs in track lighting or directional fixtures. Halogen lights are also great for motion control fixtures that automatically turn on when you move to another area of the kitchen.

Use accent lighting to highlight a particular aesthetic element in your kitchen

Adding lighting above or below your cabinets is also a way to add a decorative touch, consider installing LED strip lighting in your kitchen. Directional track lighting is an easy way to project light onto a pretty picture hanging on the wall or a shiny new appliance. If you have a large kitchen, another consideration is to add some flair with chandelier lighting or a ceiling fan.

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