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Kitchen Lighting Mistakes You Should Avoid

kitchen-overhead-and-cabinet-lightingKitchen lighting is one of those essential details that you don’t notice until it’s not done well. Too much or too little light can make working in the kitchen uncomfortable, if not entirely impossible. Many well-intended homeowners make a variety of kitchen lighting mistakes that, sometimes, put their safety at risk.

From an improperly installed kitchen lighting fixture that increases the chance of a house fire to inadequate lighting increasing the chance of accidentally cutting yourself while chopping vegetables or undercooking food for your family, there are dozens of ways that kitchen lighting contributes to the safety and well-being of your family.

You Use Too Much or Too Little Light

The first mistake that homeowners tend to make when it comes to choosing kitchen lighting fixtures is not accounting for natural light. We recommend installing a variety of lighting options on different switches and using dimmers to control light levels at different times of day and night. On a sunny afternoon, you will need much less artificial lighting than after dark. But at the same time, a cloudy or overcast day can limit natural light too. So, flexibility is key to creating the perfect balance with kitchen lighting fixtures.

  • Don’t use too many recessed lights. Choose a larger kitchen light fixture for general illumination and reserve recessed lighting for focal lighting.
  • Don’t rely on a single kitchen light fixture. Too many homeowners install a single overhead light fixture and call it a day, leaving dark spaces under cabinets and over dining tables where you need more light. Instead, start with an overhead light fixture to provide general illumination and then layer with undercabinet lighting, recessed lights, and accent lighting like pendants over an island.
  • Create balance with proportion. The size of your kitchen ultimately determines the number and size of kitchen light fixtures that will be appropriate. A small island may work with a single pendant, but most larger islands need multiple pendants. The same goes for a chandelier placed over a dining table. Keep the size of the fixture proportionate to the space.

Your Lighting Looks Cool, But Costs a Fortune

Most homeowners forget that kitchen lighting fixtures use energy. It costs money to keep the lights on. While many homeowners have made the switch to energy-efficient LED lighting, older fixtures with incandescent bulbs can cost a fortune to use. And, some kitchen light fixtures require specialty light bulbs that might cost an arm and a leg to replace. When choosing lighting fixtures, consider how frequently the bulbs will need to be replaced and how much energy the fixtures will utilize.

Often, the only cost we tend to think about is the installation. Many DIY homeowners try to install their own kitchen lighting to save a few dollars, but then negate those savings by choosing lighting solutions that are expensive to maintain. Or worse, they make a mistake during installation that causes the fixture to malfunction and potentially put their home and family at risk of a house fire.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to install professional lighting is $240 – $480 per fixture. For most kitchens, the entire project is between $1440 – $2160. The DIY approach might cut those costs in half but comes with significant risk.

Final Thoughts on Common Kitchen Lighting Mistakes

Interior lighting in the kitchen is common. You’ve probably seen well-designed kitchens that feature beautiful chandeliers and pendant lights or felt a twinge of jealousy over someone’s unobtrusive recessed lighting while putting up with your dated light fixtures. There was an entire decade when we were all guilty of putting ceiling fans in the kitchen. But it’s more common than you might think to under or overdo lighting in the kitchen. LiveWire Electrical is your trusted source for kitchen lighting that looks great and enhances your space. Give us a call and we can help you install kitchen light fixtures professionally and affordably.

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