Kitchen Lighting Plan

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  January 30, 2014 — 12 Comments

I’m stuck here at the end of the month with no money left in my budget anxiously waiting for the first to roll around so I can move on to the next stage in my kitchen project! I guess if I’m being honest there is work that could be done while I wait, but caulking and painting aren’t exactly weekday projects for me. So while I make over my kitchen one weekend and one small monthly budget at a time it’s fun to dream about the possibilities.

One of the things that has always bugged me about this kitchen is the lighting. It’s flooded with blinding natural light in the morning but in the evenings the only source of light is in the middle of the room–meaning that when I’m standing at the counter whatever’s in front of me is in shadow. Super annoying. Please excuse the tupperware and toy pots and pans on the floor in this photo. It’s the price I pay for productivity.

008 (380x570)

The light fixture that hangs in the middle of the room is actually a lighted pot rack, but if we used it as such we’d be banging our heads left and right. So I’m thinking about moving it to hang over the counter a la this mediocre rendition I made using a similar light fixture I found online.

light moved

Moving it would not only allow us to actually use it as a pot rack but would also provide some much needed task lighting over the area where I do most of my food prep. The area above the kitchen is accessible via the attic so I think that it would only cost maybe $100 for an electrician to drop a new light box over there. Then I could install an additional fixture in the center of the room. I’m having a hard time imagining what sort of light might go there. Most of the kitchens in my inspiration pictures have recessed lighting, but I don’t think that’s the right choice for us. And since we don’t plan on staying in this house forever I want to choose something that’s likely to appeal to future buyers (but is not totally out of place in our 90 year old home). I also really want it to have two or more lights since the whole point is to brighten things up. I had to take a couple of fixtures off my list when I realized they could only support one bulb each. Anything with a fabric shade is out as is anything that looks like it would be extremely difficult to clean (I’m looking at you, crystal chandelier). And I’m not spending more than $100. Despite all those limitations, there are still thousands of lighting options out there and it’s overwhelming.

I really like this one, but it only takes one 60-watt bulb. I guess maybe with the three bulbs from the original light still in the kitchen it wouldn’t be such a big deal if the main light wasn’t as bright?

World Imports Luray 1-Light Oil-Rubbed Bronze Semi-Flush Mount (570x570)

World Imports Luray 1-Light Oil-Rubbed Bronze Semi-Flush Mount

If I can’t get a vintage style pendant like the one above, then I may choose something like this. Does it appear crooked in the photo to anyone else? It supports four 60-watt bulbs so I’m pretty sure the kitchen would be lit up like an operating room.

allen + roth 15.75-in W Polished Chrome Ceiling Flush Mount (570x570)

allen + roth 15-3/4-in W Polished Chrome Ceiling Flush Mount

In the rest of the house I am all about using lamps for soft, understated lighting but after nearly four years of preparing food in my own shadow I am convinced of the importance of task lighting in the kitchen. But if I’ve got three bulbs hanging over the food prep area, how many do I need in the center of the room? Seven total bulbs seems excessive, but a single-bulb light might not be enough. It’s a good thing I’ve got some time to think about it!

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap

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12 responses to Kitchen Lighting Plan

  1. Seven light bulbs might seem excessive, but in a kitchen, the more light the better. I worked for many years in a kitchen with very little light. When we moved, I made sure to have additional lighting installed, and now, you can probably see my kitchen from the moon! And, I have never had any regret.

  2. We just put these http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20219390/ in. No matter WHAT you have going on for lighting in your kitchen, under cabinet lighting in my opinion is hands down the most useful. These are plug in, so you don’t have to worry about hardwiring!

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap January 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Interesting! I hadn’t thought of doing under cabinet lights. I’m not positive it would work on our kitchen but it’s something to consider for sure!

  3. We have 3-4 of those schoolhouse-type, flush-mount lights in our house and I really like them. Easy to install and they look nice.

    And we’ve also had better luck finding them cheaper on Amazon than at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap January 30, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      We have one at the top of our stairs and I LOVE it. It was a nightmare to install but I think that’s due to our old house quirks and not the light itself. I wish I could find one with more bulbs!

  4. No matter what fixture you choose, keep in mind how tedious it might be to clean it.
    Kitchen fixtures can get a little icky to clean. I’d opt for something that isn’t going to be too big of a pain and still gives you the light you need.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap January 30, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      Haha Lisa, that was actually one of the things I mentioned that I was keeping in mind. No fabric shades or crystal chandeliers for me!

  5. Marie@normaleverydaylife January 31, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I second the suggestion for under cabinet lights. You can even use a couple of small lamps if you don’t want to install anything!

  6. With whatever you select, those reveal light bulbs might help too!

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