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Mar 20, 2013
Make the Most of Downlights in Kitchen, Dining Areas
Kitchen Work Area
The beauty of downlights is that they offer both general and task lighting.
Let’s take the work area of your kitchen, for instance.
Downlights focused on your counter tops will highlight cabinets and make it easy to see what’s behind the doors. These recessed lights also illuminate your counter tops, which is perfect for food preparation.
To install, evenly space fixtures along the length of the counter, directing light at the edge of the countertop.
Center fixtures over cabinet doors or door jambs to provide the best design and most pleasing look. Many people prefer an additional fixture over the sink to provide extra illumination for cleaning tasks.
Bulb choice includes floods for general light and spot lights for areas where more illumination is desired, such as over the sink.
Separating controls over the sink allows you to choose how much light you want in that zone. Dimmer switches will allow you to create a warm ambiance when the tasks are complete and it’s time to relax and enjoy your efforts.
Downlights can be used to complement the light from a chandelier. If you have a rectangular or oval table, center a downlight over each end, on either side of the chandelier.
Should your table be round or square, use four lights making a cross with the chandelier in the center. This lighting design allows the chandelier to be more decorative, dimming it for greater beauty and warmth.
The downlights provide the additional illumination needed for dining and conversation.
To install two downlights, center the recessed fixtures on the chandelier’s mounting plate, spaced two feet from center in a straight line over the table.
If four lights are desired, each one will be 24″ from the chandelier’s center mounting, at 90-degree angles, forming a cross. In this case, floodlights work best to produce a softer light over the entire table.
Lighting the Buffet and China Cabinet
If you have a buffet in your dining area, recessed fixtures can also be centered above the piece of furniture. Two or three lights can be used depending on the buffet’s length.
These downlights provide great lighting for decorative pieces or for displaying food during a meal. Additional recessed lighting can be directed at a hutch or china cabinet to show off your collection.
Dimmer switches on these fixtures will add to the ambiance, offering some general lighting benefits to supplement the functional ones.
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