Tips for installing task lighting in your kitchen
Task lighting usually refers to localized lighting in a specific area, either on an office desk, in the actual work area of a workshop or under a cabinet in a kitchen. While illuminance is an important factor, improving contrast is just as crucial when installing task lighting. In addition to being able to brighten up your cooking and preparing area, it might be useful when installing kitchen laminate flooring as well. Brightening up the work area for installing the laminate flooring in the kitchen should make the whole process easier, and therein lies the usefulness of task lighting. Once your clients have followed these tips to installing the lights, they will find themselves no longer straining their eyes to see clearly during kitchen projects big or small.
Certain areas in the kitchen require more light to focus on when working, and recessed lighting is a great way to focus light throughout the kitchen. The most important spots include countertops, stoves and sink areas, but feel free to help your client determine where they work the most and where they need the most illumination.
With task lighting, however, usually the most in-demand areas are under your kitchen cabinets. Undercabinet lighting is readily and easily available at most home centers and lighting stores. According to ThisOldHouse.com, undercabinet fixtures are usually low-profile, making it easy to conceal them in the shallow recess on the bottom of upper cabinets. This allows for easy installation and an inconspicuous look.
When determining the type of lighting your client wants for his or her undercabinet lighting, remind them to consider the different bulb types. According to Consumer Reports, fluorescent bulbs are energy efficient and cost-effective, but most don't accurately show colors like reds and oranges and can change the look of your foods or countertops. Meanwhile, halogen and xenon bulbs display colors more accurately and can be dimmed. However, both use significantly more electricity and can burn intensely hot, posing a safety risk especially against wood cabinets. Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are the most energy efficient but are also the priciest.
Furthermore, since contrast is such an important aspect of task lighting, choose a type of bulb that fits with the counter material. Strip fixtures with a frosted lens can minimize the glare on dark materials such as black quartz or granite. Finding the right balance of task lighting between illumination and contrast could really brighten up your client's kitchen.