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Cabinet Lighting Spotlight

by Jessica Santina

What's the least expensive way to significantly update the look, efficiency, and energy efficiency of your kitchen?

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The answer is lighting, one of the most underrated elements of your kitchen. If you think one centered, ceiling-mounted fixture is enough, we're about to give you a light bulb moment.

Your Cabinet Lighting Options

Well-placed cabinet lighting can better illuminate a workspace, make it easier to find stored items, accentuate decorative features, evoke a mood, act as a nightlight, and save you money. Here are your options:

  • Under-cabinet lighting: Under-cabinet lighting is among the easiest to install, and offers the greatest impact. You can select rope lights, puck lights, linear lighting strips, or recessed lights under your cabinets. Rope lights and lighting strips are the easiest and most versatile, while puck lights are for focusing directed lights on small spaces. Recessed lights are permanently installed into cabinets, making them unobtrusive.
  • Overhead lighting: Effective placement of overhead lighting is key. You want to make sure you're lighting transition areas (like hallways or doorways), and lighting work areas without casting odd shadows on your tasks. The most popular choices are pendant or track lighting. TIP: To eliminate glare, hang pendant lights on either side of work spaces, as opposed to directly above them.

More Cabinet Lighting Tips

Lighting comprises 15 percent of your monthly energy bill. So make sure you choose efficient fixtures--especially because roughly 46 percent of home buyers say that energy efficiency is "very important" when considering a home purchase.

ENERGY STAR under-cabinet lights only use about one-fourth the energy of halogen and incandescent bulbs. Recessed lights can be used as both accent and task lighting, but not all fixtures accept ENERGY STAR-rated bulbs, so be cautious.

Explore this site for design ideas!

About the Author

Jessica Santina is a freelance writer and editor with 11 years' experience in media, marketing, and publishing, and 8 years' experience as a college writing instructor.

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