Kitchen Lighting Ideas
for a Small Budget
Here are inexpensive kitchen lighting ideas to make your kitchen sparkle!
Dull, dimly lit kitchens aren't a happy place to be.
I know for a
fact the effect light has on the psyche - I moved to sunny Florida from
the Northeast to get out of the cold AND the long, dark, dreary winters.
Updated kitchen lighting and a fresh coat of white paint on the ceiling might be all the makeover magic your kitchen needs!
Afraid of electricity?
of the cost of any hard-wired lighting is the electrician. If you're
scared to death of electricity, call a licensed electrician for an
estimate first. Fixing your failures will cost more than doing the job
from the git-go.
To do electrical hook-ups yourself...
- Turn off the power at the source - the breaker box - and tape a DO NOT
TOUCH note to the box. This prevents someone from flipping on the juice
while you're working.
- Buy a voltage
sensor/tester (sometimes called a "chirper" because it makes a chirping
noise when it touches a live wire). Hold the tester against all wires to
see if any are live even with the power off. Testers start about $15 at
home centers. NOTE: Check your tester by holding it against the cord of anything plugged in. If it "chirps" you know it's working.
- Once you're sure the power is off, you're not "doing electrical" - you're "doing mechanical." No worries.
- If you have wires in quantities and colors that don't match the instructions, call a pro. Electricity is no joke.
- ATTENTION MEN: read the instructions that came with the fixture.
Kitchen lighting ideas - types of light
This is the cheapest of all lighting since it's free - at least until some politician thinks to tax it!
- Remove window coverings altogether...or change to lace or sheer curtains.
- If you're replacing the kitchen door, buy a new door with glass to let in light.
Kitchen overhead lighting
are the days of fluorescent fixtures only - you can hang a chandelier
if you want! More ceiling support might be necessary for heavier
fixtures. Ask at the home center about brackets you can add between
- A central ceiling light fixture is easy to change out, and there are many great-looking, affordable ones.
- You can still buy ceiling fans with lights for about $50. Choose an easy-to-clean style since these can get icky from greasy dust.
These homeowners raised the center of their dark, wood ceiling to add
a ceiling fan - light plus extra ventilation! The white surround helps
reflect more light.
Note the recessed lighting around the raised area - this is a perfect time to add recessed, while the ceiling is "open."
One of the best kitchen lighting ideas - transform that out-dated, lighted dome ceiling!
homeowner used paint color, a hanging pendant, four fixed lights and a
rope light tucked into the cove in his kitchen makeover.
Kitchen task lighting
two basic task lights - over the sink and over the stove - are the bare
minimum. In a very small kitchen (and if you're young with good
eyesight), these may be enough.
- Install a basic range hood with the fan/light combo above the stove. Broan is a good company - their fans start around $40.
- A microwave above the stove with built-in fan and light serves three purposes in one small spot.
- Add under cabinet lighting
- no need to pay for an electrician with types that use batteries or
just plug in. I found a wireless fixture with four lights that swivel
for under $20 from
NOTE: You may need to add a strip of trim around the bottom of wall cabinets to hide under cab lights.
- Pretty pendant lights start around $30 at home centers.Over
the sink, hang pendants 30" or more from the bottom of the light to the
Over an island with an eating area, you may need to
experiment. Have someone sit while you position the light - he can tell
you when it's out of his face.
sells an inexpensive adapter to change that over-the-sink (or elsewhere)
recessed light into a hanging pendant light. Prices for the light,
adapter and shade package range from $69 and up depending on the style
you choose. NOTE: Lowe's now carries this adapter kit, too.
- Track lights are back! Aim some heads down onto your kitchen island and others to illuminate the whole room.Contemporary
styles from places like Ikea include cool curvy models for not much
money. (Ikea stores are full of great kitchen lighting ideas and other
inexpensive goodies like roll-out storage shelves.)
Kitchen accent lighting
- A table lamp
in the kitchen? Why not, if you have the room? On the counter, a shelf
or atop the microwave, this is a good light to "leave on" when you're
away or to avoid blinding overheads when you sneak in for a midnight
- How 'bout sconces? They're
not just for baths or hallways - look for inexpensive sconces online or
at stores like Target. Wireless sconces that run on batteries are
available online for around $40 and up.
- Add ambience with rope lights in glass-front cabinets.Ropes
come in incandescent or LED - the LED are more expensive but use less
energy and stay cooler. Buy ropes in pre-cut lengths or on a spool.
You'll need to add a power cord and connector.
- Rope lights under the toe-kick of base cabs - one of the classiest kitchen lighting ideas ever! (One drawback: you'll have to keep the floor spotless.)
Move Your Cabinets
How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets
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