Kitchen & Bath - Buying Guides

Buying guide: Kitchen lighting

By
Martha Uniacke Breen

Combining ambient lighting with the right supplemental lighting improves your kitchen's function and its look.

Lighting is important in any room in your home, but particularly in the kitchen. Whether you're trying to create ambience and atmosphere or need bright task lighting to help you work more efficiently, lighting plays an important role in both the style and serviceability of your kitchen. Here are some of your options:

Ambient lighting: Overall illumination
Cost: $50 to $200 per fixture

Track
- Aimable, adjustable fixtures on ceiling tracks.
- Clean, contemporary look.
- Not suited to traditional styles of homes.

Pot or pin
- Lights that are grouped and recessed in the ceiling.
- Halogen provides the most even illumination.

Puck
- Sit on the ceiling; cast light farther than pot and pin.
- Great for small or low-ceiling rooms.
- Also used as under-cabinet task lighting.

Global
- Ceiling-mounted, often a half-globe or round; casts light in all directions.
- Doesn't have the spotlight effect of some pot, pin and puck lights; perfect for large kitchens.

Supplemental: Task and accent lighting
Total cost: $100 to $400

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