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how to choose kitchen lighting

i need overhead light for 11x14 kitchen. also need under counter lighting.

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Posted 2013-04-29T22:05:59+0000  by ward750il ward750il

Howdy Ward750il,


Welcome to the Home Depot Community and thank you for a question that many people ask at the store. I asked a few kitchen designers about your question and this is what we cam up with.


There’s no such thing as a one light fixture that will illuminate under cabinets, provides light over the island and gives cabinets a glow. Some fixtures will multi-task their lighting duties, but in order to choose wisely, the first step is to understand the four types of lighting in a kitchen.


Task lighting illuminates work spaces, such as countertops where you are prepping food or inside a pantry closet so you can see what goods are stocked on those shelves.


Accent lighting adds depth and dimension to the environment. Examples include recessed adjustable fixtures and track lights.


Decorative lighting is to add interest to a space. Examples include chandeliers and candlestick-type wall sconces.


Ambient lighting fills the room and bounces off the ceiling. You’ll get this effect from pendant-hung indirect fixtures, opaque wall sconces and torchieres.


No single layer of light can stand alone. If you only use ambient light, the people will look great because shadows are softened.  Like in the kitchen, the pendant lights are decorative, but they throw light up on the ceiling so they are an ambient light source as well.


Are you still with me?...well, here are some more ideas that will help you through the process.


Fixtures are being more oversized and a layout for three larger pendants or one large pendant over an island.


Translucent light  provide a glow.Lighting under or over cabinets give you a showroom look. Remember there is also LED, Halogen, Flourescent, and Incandescent.


Here is a "how to" guide for recessed lighting:


Step One
Step One

Option A:

Cut the hole. Lightly mark all light locations. Use a stud finder to make sure they do not overlap a joist. Or, drill a hole and poke a bent wire up into it to make sure the hole is entirely between joists. Use the template provided with the light to draw a circle on the ceiling. Draw and cut each hole precisely. If it is even a little too big, the can may not clamp tightly. Wearing safety glasses, cut the line lightly with a utility knife; then cut along the inside of the knife line with a drywall saw. Take care not to snag any wires that may be in the ceiling cavity.

Step Two
Step Two

Option B:

Use a Hole-Cutting Saw. This tool saves time and cuts holes precisely. You don't have to draw the outline of the hole on the ceiling; just mark the center point. Check to see that you will not run into a joist. Check that the lights fit snugly without having to be forced into place. Note: This tool is costly (the saw and the arbor are sold separately), but it's worth the price if you have more than six holes to cut through plaster. A less-expensive tool (inset) is available for cutting through drywall only.

Step Three
Step Three

Rough-In the Wiring

Run cable from a power source to a switch box and then to the first hole, allowing at least 16 inches of extra cable to make wiring easy. Work carefully, and use a drill with a long bit to avoid cutting additional access holes that will need patching later.

Step Four
Step Four

Wire the Light

Open the light's junction box. Usually, there's a plate that pops off. Run cable into the box, and clamp it. Strip insulation, and make wire splices-black to black, white to white, and ground to ground. Fold the wires into the box, and replace the cover.

Step Five
Step Five

Mount the Light

Most remodel cans have four clips that clamp the can to the ceiling by pushing down on the top of the drywall or plaster. Pull the clips in so they do not protrude outside the can. Slip the can's box into the hole; then push the can body up into the hole until its flange is tight to the ceiling. With your thumb or a screwdriver, push each clip up and outward until it clicks and clamps the fixture.

Step Six
Step Six

Add the Trim

Most trims are mounted with coil springs or squeezable rod springs (as shown). If you have coil springs, hook each spring to its assigned hole inside the can (if it is not already there). Pull out each spring, and hook it to the trim; then carefully guide the trim into position. If you have rod springs, squeeze and insert both ends of each spring into their assigned holes. Push the trim up.


Well now that you have the "how to" , you can turn that into a "did that".


Happy Lighting,

Posted 2013-05-06T21:53:34+0000  by Dave_HD_OC
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