May 11, 2016 Remodeler

Kitchen Lighting for Beauty and Function

Our experience with remodeling everything from budget minded galley kitchens to expansive kitchens that flow into adjoining rooms has shown that they all have one thing in common, the need for good lighting. Kitchen remodeling in Phoenix and its surrounding communities of Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, and Mesa will all benefit from proper placement of multiple light sources.

Remodeling your kitchen is the perfect time to take a fresh look at how you use your kitchen and your lighting needs. The first thing to consider is your general purpose lighting, depending on your kitchen layout, you may want to choose either surface mounted light fixtures or recessed lighting. Each type has its own qualities and shortcomings.

Surface mounted lighting comes in a multitude of styles to complement any style of kitchen. These include ceiling lights, chandeliers, pendant lights, track lights, cable lights and wall mounted sconces.

Recessed lights are a favorite choice for many homeowners. They are typically not designed to be a decorative feature in themselves. Their quality is in their ability to light specific areas without cluttering the ceiling. They come in several sizes, both in line voltage and low voltage varieties, the 6” size is the most economical and works for many applications. The smaller 3 & 4“sizes come at a higher price point but they tend to blend in more while highlighting other attractive features of your new kitchen.

Areas such as kitchen islands and peninsulas can benefit from recessed lighting although many times a chandelier or pendant lighting will add an element of style and drama to these special areas. Pendant lighting comes in an ever increasing number of decorative options. Depending on your application, pendant lighting works best either solo or in groups of odd numbers.

For your assorted kitchen counter work areas, you will want to consider under cabinet task lighting. These lights also come in numerous styles. Under cabinet lighting is a favorite in that it puts ample lighting on your work surfaces without the shadows that often come from overhead lighting. Depending on your choice of under cabinet lighting they can also make a nice decorative lighting effect in the evening.
As a decorative effect, lighting can be added inside of your kitchen cabinets with glass doors and shelves.

You will want to consider energy use as you choose various types of lighting. Incandescent lighting has been the norm since its introduction by Thomas Edison. The problem with incandescent light bulbs is that only a small portion of the electricity they use is converted to light. Most of the power is converted into heat. This heat is a direct waste of energy and a contributing factor to higher cooling bills.

Fluorescent bulbs are now taking over as a replacement for the common light bulb. They use only a fraction of the power that incandescent bulbs use and they create much less heat as a by-product. Your choice of fluorescent bulbs will depend on not only the wattage but on the color spectrum. Many people judge fluorescent bulbs by the cool bluish light that the early bulbs put out and how the early bulbs were slow to light. Today’s bulbs come in a variety of colors ranges that more closely resemble the incandescent lights they replace and come on quickly. Keep in mind that fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury. Because of this, they should be recycled properly and not just thrown away.

The newest choice in lighting and ultimately the replacement for all other types of lighting is the LED light. This technology has been developed for every household and kitchen application. At this time, their shortcoming is the price. Their price is dropping and as they become more mainstream this should change making them the everyday choice. LED lights use the lease amount of electricity for the amount of light given off and give off little heat. They can be dimmed and can be made to produce almost any shade of light.

Most lighting fixtures will accept a fluorescent or LED replacement light bulb. Undercabinet lights come in all varieties but cannot be adapted. Keep in mind that fluorescent lights do not work well with dimmers, if you like to dim your various kitchen lights stick with incandescent or LED lights.

Kitchen Remodeling is just one of the remodeling specialties we offer to our clients in Phoenix and the surrounding communities of Scottsdale, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, and Mesa.

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