'L' for Lighting Kitchen

Kitchen Lighting?

I’m still trying to figure out what to do for the lighting in the kitchen. There will be two halogen bulbs in the range hood over the stove, and we’ll have a light over the sink. There are also two windows and a door, so we get lots of natural light during the day, but at night it’s a little dark. Right now, there is one fixture, smack-dab in the middle of the ceiling, and it has three compact flourescent bulbs in it.

I love the Clemson pendant from Restoration Hardware (left), and I also like the Jefferson schoolhouse fixture from Rejuvenation (right), but in polished nickel.

I’m also quite fond of the Milk-glass spotlight track lighting from Pottery Barn. Normally, I’m not a track lighting fan, but it could be a great solution for our kitchen because we have a somewhat awkward layout and we’d be able shine the light towards different areas.

I wonder if those little spotlights will be bright enough though. They don’t take regular bulbs, but instead bulbs that are “40-watt maximum, type G-9, 120 volts”. Will that be bright enough to light the kitchen?

OK. I think the Clemson pendant will hang down too far in our kitchen – we need a flush mount or semi-flush mount. The Jefferson light only has 1 socket, and I want at least two light bulbs in the fixture. The PB track light? I don’t know if the lighting will be adequate. Help?!

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  • Sarah
    March 23, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    I really like that Restoration Hardware pendant! I also wanted to pop in and unlurk, it’s really great to see your progress/style. Makes me excited to buy our first home in the next year or so.

  • Allison
    March 23, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    spotlights tend to create nasty shadows when you try to use them for ambient lighting.

  • Nicole
    March 24, 2007 at 8:23 am

    Thanks, that’s good to know. I think the spotlights use halogen bulbs, so they may not be the best choice for lighting the whole kitchen then.

  • dennis
    March 24, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    I have a very oddly shaped kitchen also, and struggled with one big dome light which worked, but not well, and then track lights, finally opted for 5 recessed can lights, we have pretty low ceilings so it helped with that, is much brighter and no shadows.

  • Amy
    March 25, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Hi Nicole,

    I’d look for a reasonably bright central light fixture (no more than 120 watts), and then focus on adding more light sources, especially under-cabinet lighting or other task lighting. (If you’re standing at the counter, the ceiling light will be behind you so you will cast a shadow on your own work. That’s why you need additional task lighting.) Shoot for at least three light sources in your kitchen. More light sources with lower wattage is better than one really bright light (think of all those awful fluorescent light boxes and how miserable it is to stand under them). You would be getting 120 watts from the PB track light, but the previous poster is right, you will probably get some bad shadows from that.

  • Porcelain
    March 27, 2007 at 10:25 am

    I love the restoration hardware one. I was just at an open house over the weekend and they had it in the bathroom. So maybe you could use it elsewhere in your home, if you love it.

    I’d say you’ll need a variety of lighting for your kitchen. Task lighting perhaps mounted under the cabinets. Overhead lighting. Mood lighting.

  • Emily-Jane
    March 27, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Rejuvenation fixtures are fabulous, but I think Portland’s other repro retro light fixture store, Schoolhouse Electric, really does the schoolhouse style better. I’d recommend the Newberry (with a 4″ fitter, http://www.schoolhouseelectric.com/fixtures-detail.asp?FixtureID=9), which I have in my bathroom and really love.

  • Nicole H
    April 27, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    We just got the pottery barn track light for the kitchen in silver with the silver spotlight and I think they work really well. We have them on a dimmer and you can face them towards your different work spaces (stove, sink and chopping). We also installed under cabinet fixtures at the same time but I always forget about them because I’m not used to turning them on.

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    […] The ceiling in the kitchen is 7’10″ high. The light that’s in the room now has three fluorescent bulbs, hangs down 10″, and has a 15″ diameter. It’s the right size and has the right light output, but I never did like it all that much. Now that the kitchen has been updated a bit, I want to replace the semi-flush mount fixture with something prettier, but not lose too much light or headroom. Argh, I feel like I’ve been here before. […]