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Undercabint Lighting
Under cabinet lighting can give counters in the kitchen and other work areas the desired light levels to perform tasks more efficiently. These fixtures should be mounted as far to the front of the space under the cabinet as possible, unless you're trying to achieve an accent effect against the rear wall. Under cabinet fixtures are relatively inexpensive for the benefits achieved and can be installed in new or existing applications.

New under cabinet fixtures generally use an energy-efficient LED light source. Fixtures using other bulb types, such as fluorescent, halogen, and xenon are also available.
Pendant Lighting
Pendant lights are particularly useful directly over work surfaces such as kitchen islands, kitchen sinks, kitchen tables, and game tables. Most of the light projects down, and directly illuminates the work surface.

Metal pendant lights direct the light down onto the table while a pendant light with a glass or translucent shade will direct light down as well as out and into the surrounding area.

Since most pendants utilize a bare bulb or have an open bottom, they can produce glare when using a high wattage bulb. Use a frosted, globe shaped bulb and a dimmer to help control this glare.

Hang a pendant style fixture so the bottom is about 30 inches above the top of the table and its size approximately 12 inches narrower than the diameter or width of the table. Since it has an open bottom, you will want to hang it lower, as mentioned above, and directly over the work surface to avoid glare from the bulb.
Recessed Lighting
Recessed fixtures are an excellent source of general lighting as well as task and accent lighting. The fixture is hidden in the ceiling so that it will provide light without attracting attention.

For general lighting, use down lights spaced evenly in groups of four or more, 6-8 feet apart. In bathrooms, use a recessed shower light over tubs and showers to provide safety when bathing or showering. In the kitchen, or other work areas, place down lights above the front edge of your counter spaced 2 feet apart. This will evenly illuminate the workspace in front of you.

Using recessed lighting to accent artwork and architectural features can create dramatic effects. Placing fixtures 6-8 inches from a wall and 12-24 inches apart can emphasize a brick or stone wall. This technique is known as "grazing."

By placing down lights in the exterior eaves of your home every 8-10 feet you can create a dramatic effect by "washing" your home with a soft light.

Take the following steps to select your recessed lighting:
  • Determine the type of housing you will need.
  • Select the proper bulb type and wattage. This is determined by what you want the light to accomplish.
  • Select the trim type to best suit your plan.

Recessed lighting, unlike track, is not flexible and cannot be easily changed. If you want to achieve a clean look, the nearly invisible recessed can and trim places more emphasis on what is being lit than the fixture itself.
Track Lighting
Track lighting is primarily used for accent or task lighting. It is meant to illuminate a specific area or object with a pool of light.

To illuminate a specific object, place the track head at a 30-60 degree angle from the horizontal plane of the object. If it is a picture with glass, do not place the light more than 2-3 feet from the wall in order to reduce glare.

Placement of track lighting down the center of a room will only cause glare in your face and shadows on your task area.

When laying out your track plan, take the following steps:
  • Measure the length of the track you will need.
  • Determine where along the track you will need power, whether at the end or somewhere in the middle.
  • Select the proper connecting units needed for your plan.
  • Select the proper bulb type and wattage needed for your plan.
  • Then select the style and quantity of track fixtures you will need.

Keep in mind that a track system is very flexible and, if necessary, you can add to it later.