How to Choose New Kitchen Light Fixtures

Brighten your eating and cooking space with fresh lighting

By Jan Soults Walker


Good kitchen lighting lets you enjoy your surroundings, your family and guests, and the food in front of you. When it comes to practicality, well-planned lighting helps you accurately read a recipe and safely slice and dice ingredients (instead of your fingers!). When you're ready to build or remodel, follow these tips for putting your kitchen in the best light. Your goal? Distribute light in layers: ambient, task, and accent.

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Kitchen by Barbara Eberlein

Go for the Glow

For ambient—or general—lighting, one central ceiling-mounted fixture produces all-over illumination but must be augmented with task lighting to eliminate shadows. Other options for ambient lighting include using a series of recessed fixtures or positioning lighting atop cabinetry. Be judicious with recessed fixtures or the room may feel overlit—like a surgery suite.

Use caution if you're considering track lighting, says interior designer Ashley Fruits of WrightWorks, an Indianapolis remodeling company. "Track lighting can be blinding when it isn't positioned properly," she says. "No one wants to feel like they're staring into the sun."

by Barbara Eberlein

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