Top Tips For Lighting Your Kitchen

Top Tips For Lighting Your Kitchen

Creating the best lighting design for your kitchen is like cooking a great meal. You have to have the right recipe and the proper ingredients.

To make sure you cook up the best lighting scheme for your kitchen, use a lighting professional. “There are many ways to light a kitchen, some better than others,” says Monty Gilbertson, CLC, manager and buyer for Lighting Design by Wettsteins in Lacrosse, Wis. “That’s why you need a lighting specialist -- to help with location, style, and whether or not to add dimmers. There are a lot of things an expert can bring to the party and make any room in the house more livable.”

The biggest mistake is not having a good mix of lighting that meets your needs. “When you talk to someone who doesn’t really know what’s new in the business, you may end up with only recessed can lighting,” says Barry Levett, owner and president of House of Lights in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. “Recessed lighting is great for creating a blanket of light, but not for bringing light specifically to where you need it.”

When visiting a lighting showroom, be prepared. Bring a picture of your kitchen, if possible or at least know your kitchen dimensions. How tall is the ceiling? Where are the doors? How much space is there between the cabinets and the ceiling? How much space is there between the cabinets and the countertop?

If you are building a new kitchen, bring in a layout. “With new construction, we sometimes hear “This isn’t exactly how the kitchen will be but it’s close.” says Gilbertson. “But we need to know where everything will be -- cabinets. It’s critical to where you put the lights.”

If you are planning to update an existing kitchen, tell the lighting expert how much deconstruction you want to do. “If you are tearing the ceiling out, that is important to know because then we can add recessed lighting,” says Gilbertson. “If you don’t want to destroy the ceiling, then we have to go a different way with mounting installations.”

Consider asking the lighting professionals to make a house call. “Sometimes it’s easier when you see the physical space,” says Gilbertson.

Once you have the plan in place, use the same color bulbs throughout the kitchen so that the tone of the floor, counters and cabinets will all be the same intensity.

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