Lights are an important part of the kitchen, but sticking tube lighting overhead that bathes the room in glaring white is not good way to go. For one thing, if you have granite countertops with a glossy finish, the glare is hard on the eyes and makes it difficult to work. It also does not bring out the best in your kitchen countertops. Since you do most of your work on them, you want it to have the proper lighting.
If you are thinking about a kitchen remodel, it is a good time to include lighting in the design. However, you do not have to wait for anything major to improve your lighting situation over your kitchen countertops, Here are some cool lighting options for your kitchen and kitchen countertops.
Under cabinet lighting
The best type of lighting for your kitchen countertops are under cabinet lighting. These are primarily task lights, and they provide illumination where and when you need it. They are also great for banishing dark areas and highlighting the beauty of your cabinets and kitchen countertops.
Under cabinet lights are easy enough to install because you can run wires under the cabinets or inside the box so they are out of sight. The trick is choosing the rights ones. Fortunately, you do not have to settle for the T12 fluorescent bulbs that were all that was available in the 80s. Now you have many more options.
One of these is the T4 fluorescent tubes. They are similar to the T12 in that they are both tubes and they are fluorescent. However, the T4 has a smaller diameter and slimmer base, so they look more streamlined. They do not have that annoying hum, and comes in cool white.
T4 fluorescent tubes last longer and use up much less energy than the T12. It is available in 6W, 10W, 12W and 20W variants.
If you would much rather not much around with wires, you might want to consider battery-operated puck lights. These are round light fixtures that resemble a hockey puck, hence the name. Some models require electrical wiring, so that is an option for you. Puck lights used xenon bulbs back in the day, but newer ones use cooler LED lights.
Speaking of LED, you can now get them in strips, rope and tape that can illuminate under the cabinets in incredibly creative ways. They are very thin and burn cool, so they are ideal for under cabinet lighting. You can easily install them on your own if you choose something you can simply plug into a regular wall socket. These are flexible, so it is easy to go around corners. If plug and play LED lighting is not available, most hardware stores will attach a plug for you.
The best thing about LED lights is they are very bright, but require very little power. A 3W LED light gives off the equivalent of a 30W fluorescent bulb.
Another great lighting option for your kitchen countertops are drop or pendant lights. These are particularly useful for areas with no cabinets, such as the kitchen islands. These are also primarily task lights, and suspended by a cord or tubing from the ceiling.
They come in many beautiful designs and styles to suit any kitchen, so you can bring them down to a comfortable level from the work surface and make a design statement as well. Many chic homes use drop lighting to increase the function and esthetic of the room.
A possible issue with pendant lights is placement. You obviously cannot put any cabinets where you put them, and you also must make sure no one bumps into them. The best places for drop lighting is over a bar, kitchen islands, cook tops, and any countertop separating the kitchen from other rooms in the home.
While under cabinet and drop lighting are specifically designed for kitchen cabinets, these tend to leave the rest of the kitchen in shadow. Ceiling lights provide general lighting for the kitchen when needed.
In most cases, ceiling lights are surface lights, because these provide the most illumination over a larger area. They are also easy to install, as they only require a small hole in the ceiling for running a wire from the source.
The wattage and number of lights you need will depend on the size of your kitchen. If you have a small kitchen, one central light should be enough. If you have a larger kitchen, you may need to place several lights strategically. The only problem is when your kitchen has a low ceiling, in which case you may want to consider recessed lighting.
As you can probably imagine, recessed lighting goes inside something, such as in the ceiling of the under part of a cabinet to illuminate the countertops. These are a little more complicated than other lighting options because it has housing that requires some overhead space. You cannot put them along the hoists or bearers of the ceiling. If you are putting in the ceiling and it gives out to the attic, you need to choose airtight and insulation compatible recessed lights.
You will need to create some holes in the ceiling or other surface you are installing them to fit. These can be quite large, ranging from 2 to 6 inches in diameter. Some fixtures such as eyeball lights protrude slightly, while others are flush to the surface, showing only the inner baffle and trim. In most cases, you will want a professional to install them. The best time to put them in is during a kitchen remodel.
Recessed lights are a great option for kitchens with low ceiling and low-hanging wall cabinets. They provide spot lighting where you need it, so you can use them to highlight design features in your kitchen.
Lighting is an essential part of your kitchen, just like your kitchen countertops. When they work together, your kitchen becomes an efficient and pleasant space to get work done.
You now know your options when it comes to countertop lighting. The next step is to make sure you have the best kitchen countertops. Visit the KNC Granite showroom in Lanham, Maryland to check out their inventory granite and marble slabs. We are the most reliable countertop specialist in the cities of Baltimore, Annapolis, Bethesda, Rockville, Washington DC, Alexandria VA, and Arlington VA.
We are experts at fabricating and installing kitchen counters or bathroom vanities. Also we specialize in kitchen remodeling and bathroom upgrade projects, delivering on time and on budget.
KNC Granite also has a large collection of quartz countertops from the top brands in the business, including Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and DuPont Zodiaq, all of which come with manufacturer warranties.
Give us a call or email us for your free in-home consultation and quote.