Adding Under Cabinet Lighting to Your Kitchen
Posted Mar 10th 2014 | By:
Having under cabinets lighting is sure to give your kitchen more of a crisp, clean look. The light provided by this style emits from areas different than the norm, brightening your kitchen in new ways and making visible parts of it that were not quite so noticeable before. It addition to the look it provides, having a new directional light source will also make finding dropped items easier as well as seeing messes sooner, enabling you to clean them up faster.
When considering under cabinet lighting, you have a couple of options for installation. One is the DIY way and the other could possibly require a professional depending on the wiring in your home. When in doubt, always call in help when it comes to electricity. Taking matters into your own, untrained hands could be dangerous to you or even fatal, so always make sure to have a professional perform an evaluation as the need arises.
Some under cabinet lighting can be done with fixtures that plug in to nearby outlets. This type of installation is easy to perform but does require strategically placed outlets to get the job done. You will also have cords running to those outlets and may have to take the time to manually turn each light on and off. While cords can be tacked up out of the way to some extent, it is very likely that they will still be visible to a point. You also may not have the outlets where you need them to complete the addition of fixtures, which requires the help of an electrician. If you do have enough outlets in all of the right places and can live with the possibility of a cord being seen or having to turn things on and off by hand, then by all means this could be the installation plan for you.
If cords and bending to turn things on and off is not up your alley, having an electrician install a switch or dimmer and add the wiring necessary to operate it something to consider. In this situation, you will be adding hard or direct wire fixtures which need a specific setup to work. While there is some expense in this option, it is convenient to have one simple on/off switch as well as wiring that is out of the line of sight and unable to detract from the dcor of your kitchen.
Once you decide in your wiring and installation method, selecting fixtures is next on the list. There are a few more things to consider when making your purchases. If you prefer to have a dimmer option, you will need a fixture with that capability, and not all fixtures will automatically offer this. LED lights, for example, are capable of a dimming effect but do not always offer it, so if you are considering LED fixtures, be sure to read up on them prior to purchase. Barring the dimmer option, LED is an energy effective option that is inexpensive to power, does not generate heat, and lasts a very long time.
Should LEDs not be your preference, there are other bulb types available to you. Each has its own set of pros and cons as well as energy ratings. Xenon lights have a long bulb life with low energy consumption and low heat output while offering a dimming option. Also available are halogens, which are not very energy efficient and are known to give off a good bit of heat, which can be a problem in an already hot kitchen. Halogens can be dimmed and are known for having a nice, warm glow, but they have a short lifespan that can make them not worth the associated price. Fluorescent lights have long bulb life, are energy efficient, and are not costly to buy. However, they can be slow to achieve full brightness and even then they do not give off the best quality of light, plus they may or may not be dimmable. If you have your heart set on fluorescent light, be sure to go the extra mile and purchase versions that put out better quality light.
Like with all things, catering to your own unique taste is the key to results that will make you happy for a long time. Whichever installation you choose, be sure to go about it safely, enlisting the help of a professional to meet your wiring needs. Once the work is done and your kitchen is awash with vibrant light, putting any added expense out of mind will be easy to do as you take in the beautiful new kitchen at your disposal.
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