Single Task Oriented Light Fixture For Small Kitchen?
August 14, 2019 9:24 AM   Subscribe

I need to get rid of my old ceiling fan (which is my only kitchen light fixture) and get some real task lighting hung in the same spot...any suggestions?

I live in a small, old concrete-block house. I love cooking and have a nice little kitchen with work spaces on three sides and the refrigerator on the fourth wall. The floor is an awful, drab and darkish tile. The rest of the decor is nice, with white ceramic tile counter and splash board, chrome fixtures, and hanging pans!

I can vastly improve things with new lighting and have to make my move now because I have someone who will install it for me next week. My option is limited to the location where I now have a ceiling fan with four lights installed. It is in the center of the ceiling, of course.

I am thinking of something in the nature of track lighting, where I can have the spots directed to the work areas, stove top, etc.; and not straight down on the floor. But there are so many kinds of bulbs now! Also, I want to be able to dim from the switch. It would be cool to be able to only have some of the lights on and others not, but this is not important. This website seems to have a lot of choices, but I am not partial to it and would be happy to go the a local big-box hardware or other local store. Any suggestions? Type of bulb is my biggest question, or the most confusing one, for me. Thanks!

This is task lighting for chopping vegetables, and stirring the pot so to speak.
posted by swlabr to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have a cheap, perfectly fine-looking track light in my kitchen from Home Depot or similar. 3 lights (you might want more) - 1 aimed at the stove,1 at the sink, 1 at a dark corner. The kitchen previously had 1 light over the sink, and a ceiling fan at the stairs adjacent. You should be bale to get a track that will support 4 or 5 lights: LEDs don't draw much power. Kitchens can really use tons of light. See if there's any way to get a light over the sink, which I updated. I also have under cabinet lights that are great for tasks, but that might be too much wiring.
posted by theora55 at 9:54 AM on August 14

If you have the chance to add some under cabinet lighting (task lighting), it will make a HUGE difference. If you're working at the counter, the overhead light is coming from behind you, which casts a shadow onto your countertop.

In our small-ish kitchen, we have 4 recessed can lights plus the undercabinet lights (including one that's over the sink). Our recessed lights are on a dimmer, but the only time I use the dimmer is super late at night - it's not very important. The bulbs aren't a special bulb - we've got LEDs in now, but when they were incandescent, they're just normal bulbs, maybe 90 or 120 watt. Having 4 recessed bulbs provides a good amount of overall light in our maybe 11x11 ft kitchen.

If you add a dimmer, make sure it supports LED bulbs. We had to replace the dimmer after we switched to LEDs.

Track lighting is nice, but the bulbs I have are very harsh, producing lots of shadows. They're too "direct", and don't provide lighting that fills the room. They're more like spotlights.
posted by hydra77 at 11:02 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]

We inherited the previous owner's track lighting when we moved into our current house. Awful. Bright spots in a few areas, and shade everywhere else - but you would also cast a shadow yourself on whatever place you were trying to work! That meant we had to turn on the previous owner's badly-fitted under-cabinet spotlights, which would give decent light but only until they overheated and cut out.

We've replaced the track lighting with a row of simple glass pendant lamps - three in a row hanging from a bar, each with a decent high-output LED bulb. They give really good light: strong but diffuse, with no areas of shade, and wherever you stand in the kitchen your workplace is well lit.

We haven't had to turn on the under-cabinet lights even once since we had the pendants fitted, which is a great relief!
posted by vincebowdren at 2:26 AM on August 15

« Older Mortgage - recession proofing 2019   |   getting rid of silverfish without hurting spiders? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments