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Kitchen Lighting Ideas: Four Ways to Gain Extra Lighting

by Susanne Clemenz

Your kitchen is the workhorse room of your home. It's exhausting, and sometimes unsafe, working there with inadequate lighting on your task areas. If task lighting is fine, how about some lighting for ambiance when you're in the dining room with guests. Consider these kitchen lighting ideas:

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Lighting That Won't Break the Bank

  1. Cabinet tops: Hide fluorescent tubes behind crown molding, or put a wood strip halfway back from cabinet tops to hid fluorescent tubes. Drill a hole through a cabinet near a backsplash outlet, and wire the tubes into the outlet with a switch.
  2. Pantry and lower cabinets: Stick-on LED lights use AA batteries. They're low profile, high output, and available at your hardware or building supply store. Touch it to turn it off and on, and it also automatically turns off after an hour.
  3. Toe space rope lights: These long, flexible PVC resin tubes have a 1/2-watt micro-bulb every inch. They can last over 300,000 hours. They are often used in glass-door cabinets, but how about tucking them under your toe space? They provide subtle kitchen lighting outlining cabinets. No more stubbed toes during your 2 a.m. refrigerator raid. Run wiring through a lower cabinet to an outlet.
  4. Sink light: Install a board up top between the overhead cabinets flanking your sink. Paint or stain it to match the cabinets. Hang a decorative pendant light from the board, run the wiring (you guessed it) across the board and down through a cabinet to a switchable outlet.

These bright ideas, and a lighting department trip, can help you analyze how to make your kitchen more user-friendly.


About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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