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The kitchen has always had a vitality all its own. With so much of our lives being spent there, it should be a safe, inviting, and bright place. Most are, but if you have one that’s poorly lit, it can make chores more difficult and your mood dim. A simple lighting upgrade may be in order.

Flip the lights on at night and note the shadow areas. Do the same during the day because even natural light may not compensate for a lack of sufficient artificial lighting. Choose where you want to add or update fixtures.

Lighting can serve three purposes. Ambient light is the overhead type that floods the room. Task light, is just what it sounds like; brightening the work areas. And accent light showcases whatever you want it to. Using all three forms can create a pleasing, layered lighting effect.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the traditional incandescent light bulb is getting harder and harder to find, but it’s still used in many ceiling and sconce fixtures emitting a soft, somewhat yellow ambient light. Halogen, xenon, and fluorescent bulbs have been used in under-cabinet lighting, giving off a bright white task light; but they’re rapidly losing favor because of their lack of energy efficiency. It’s the LED that is rapidly rising in popularity and found in fixtures of all shapes and sizes from ceiling to floor, especially as an accent light.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the traditional incandescent light bulb is getting harder and harder to find, but it’s still used in many ceiling and sconce fixtures emitting a soft, somewhat yellow ambient light.

Halogen, xenon, and fluorescent bulbs have been used in under-cabinet lighting, giving off a bright white task light; but they’re rapidly losing favor because of their lack of energy efficiency. It’s the LED that is rapidly rising in popularity and found in fixtures of all shapes and sizes from ceiling to floor, especially as an accent light.

Choosing the type and style of fixtures is the really fun part of upgrading. You’ll find recessed, flush, and drop down lighting available for the ceiling in numerous modern and classic designs. On the underside of cabinets, LED loaded pucks, rope lights, and strips can be installed. Various styles are designed to be hard-wired, plugged-in, or battery-operated.

If you follow trends, note that the chandelier has made a comeback and now hangs in kitchens as well as dining rooms. Pendants are still very popular, but they’re not limited to a straight line display anymore. Today, they’re being bundled in clusters and staggered in height. All types of fixtures are featuring natural materials such as wood being blended with sophisticated materials like metal for a new, chic look. And accent lighting is a real “thing” with LEDs available for use inside, outside, above, and below the cabinets.

If you follow trends, note that the chandelier has made a comeback and now hangs in kitchens as well as dining rooms. Pendants are still very popular, but they’re not limited to a straight line display anymore. Today, they’re being bundled in clusters and staggered in height. All types of fixtures are featuring natural materials such as wood being blended with sophisticated materials like metal for a new, chic look.

And accent lighting is a real “thing” with LEDs available for use inside, outside, above, and below the cabinets.

Have some fun as you brighten your kitchen, and your mood, by installing a few new, dynamic lighting fixtures.