All Is Bright

Next time you’re in a spectacular space, maybe visiting a stylish friend’s home or a beautifully designed restaurant, take a moment to notice the lighting. Chances are the furnishings, color palette, or artwork will grab your attention before the lighting. But, without a well–planned and well-executed lighting scheme, none of those design features would shine.

Particularly in the kitchen, as we have moved towards redesigning the kitchen and dining area into one great room, there is a bigger area and more objects to highlight. A well-lit kitchen begins with under cabinet lighting. With relative ease and a modest monetary investment, under cabinet lighting can have an amazing impact on a room’s style and functionality:

  • It provides task lighting on the countertop for food prep and reading recipes.
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  • As accent lighting, it illuminates and showcases countertops and backsplashes. Used in display cabinets, it showcases art and sculpture.
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  • It is an ideal source of ambient lighting –the perfect night light for late night snackers.

 


Photos: Curtesy of www.yaleappliance.com

Under Cabinet Light Comparison

Halogen CFL (Florescent)LED (Light-emitting diode)
Average Price: $1.50Average Price: $3.00Average price: $20.00 +
Lifespan: 2,250–3,500 hrs. Lifespan: 8,000 hrs.Lifespan: 25,000-50,000 hrs.
Energy Used: 30 - 75 watts per hourEnergy Used: 13 - 15 watts per hourEnergy used: 8 watts per hour
Pros: Inexpensive; produces crisp, white light. Pros: Uses less power and last longer than incandescent Pros: Energy efficient long life, low heat output.
Cons: Produce significant amounts of heat; can be dangerous in some applications. Cons: Contain mercury; takes time to fully brighten.
Most CFL bulbs sold today are non-dimmable
Cons: Higher up-front cost; not all LED lamps are dimmable.

LED Lighting

Photo : American Lighting Association

Photo : American Lighting Association

While fluorescent and halogen lighting are still being used, LED strip lights and LED tape or ribbon lights are leading in popularity because of their versatility and ease of installation. LED strip lights have a transformer built into a metal casing with covered glass. It is simple to change out an existing incandescent or fluorescent light, because the connections are the same. And, since they have a glass cover, they are easy to clean. LED tape lights come as an adhesive strip that can be shaped and even cut-to-size to tuck neatly beneath your cabinets.

Photo: WAC Lighting

Photo: WAC Lighting

Look for damp location-rated designs for an added measure of safety in the kitchen or dimmable and multi-color designs to add an ambient touch to any room. Long-lasting and using as little as 24 watts, these energy-efficient designs offer an inexpensive way to brighten your space. For a full report and to get the low-down on high efficiency LED lighting view Houzz’s article Focus on High Efficiency LED Lighting.

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