Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Task Lighting...Kitchens

Task is the backbone of your lighting plan. I want to qualify these posts by saying these posts are primarily for kitchens. Bath will be next week. As I have said living rooms, bedrooms and to some extent foyers do not need as much light
Case in point: You are watching television. You shut off the lights.

The most common task lights are Recessed, track and undercounter lighting.

Although spaces are inherently different, typically recessed should be 12-18 inches from the wall and spaced 3-5 feet apart depending on ceiling height. Next week, I will cover the different cans and trims in depth, if there is a request.


Track is more flexible than Recessed, because lights can be located anywhere on the length of the track. You can also hang a variety of heads and pendants as well.

Some people like the clean application of recessed. Track, on the other hand, has certainly become very interesting and distinct over the last few years....The pictures below are from our showroom

Track #1

Track #2

Lastly, undercounter lighting should be consider as it is the only way to light...counters. Typically, the lengths are 7,16,24,30 and 37 inchs. Electrify them to separate switches, and it is a nice effect when left on alone


Invariably, when I teach this to interior designers, someone will raise their hand and show me a beautiful kitchen in Boston Magazine with just recessed lights. Unfair, I will say. Photographers add their own lights before snapping that perfect shot. This misconception has actually engendered really bad lighting designs.

Utilizing just recessed will create a shadowing effect amongst people in the kitchen, and should never be the single lighting element.

We will discuss decorative AKA the fun stuff tomorrow


  1. Steve, if time permits, I would like to hear about the different cans and trims. After reading your post, I learned that my cans probably aren't positioned properly.

  2. Jo,

    I will cover cans and trims next week. What is the issue. Most times in newer housing developments, there is not enough.

    If you want to email pics, perhaps I can look at it


  3. Anonymous2:49 PM


    Should xenon undercabinet lights be positioned at the back, middle or front of cabinet bottoms (with standard-depth counters)?

    Thanks. Please keep up the great work.

  4. Hey Thanks...

    We appreciate your comments. To answer your question position your under counter lights to the back of the cabinet for two reasons:

    A. If your cabinet is not flat in any way(which is most), the fixture will not be noticeable

    B. On darker backsplashes, the light will be absorbed if placed far away(kind of opposite from common sense)

    Hope this helps and thank you again,