Basic Types of Kitchen Lighting

Tips on the three types of lighting most commonly found in kitchens.

1. General illumination maintains a specific light level in a room; in a kitchen such illumination may include recessed and over-cabinet lighting. Incandescent lights, which tend to be more yellow, and fluorescent lights, which are whiter, are good types of general lighting.

2. Highlighting and accenting brings the light level up to about three times the general illumination level in order to point up a specific feature, such as a decorative range hood, carved cabinet doors, etc. Toe-space lighting, a good example of this type of lighting, makes cabinets appear to float above the floor; and over-cabinet lighting makes cabinets look higher by expanding the space above them.

3. Task lighting provides illumination for specific tasks, such as cooking, reading, etc. It can be located on the wall above the work area or under the cabinets above the area.

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