(NewsUSA) - A simple, inexpensive lighting update can completely transform your kitchen from dull to dynamite.
According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), good lighting design makes kitchens more functional, as well as more enjoyable, relaxing and suitable for entertaining.
"Good lighting is vitally important in kitchens," says Jeff Dross, corporate director for education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting. "Perhaps more work in the home is done in the kitchen area than any other room, and having improper lighting would be tantamount to candles in a warehouse or flashlights on a factory floor.
"Food preparation is a vital, though sometimes tedious, task performed virtually every day," Dross continues. "Cooking in a poorly illuminated space only increases the drudgery and the danger. Good lighting adds to the overall space, and increases the pleasure in using said space."
The very fact that kitchens are spaces where people spend a lot of time makes them valuable areas when reselling a home, as well. For this reason, many experts agree kitchen renovations are among the best ways to boost the value of your home. Along with bathrooms, kitchens are an integral part of the home to virtually everyone.
Unfortunately, when it comes time to updating kitchens with a new look, lighting does not always get the attention it deserves. According to Dross, this is to the detriment of home design.
"Lighting is as important a design element as wall coverings, flooring and countertops," says Dross. "It can make an average kitchen look great and elevate a fabulous design to perfection. Need to increase the visual size of a room without tearing down a wall? Add lighting above the cabinets and at the toe-kick space.
"The importance of good, high lumen output for task (under-cabinet) lighting cannot be over emphasized," Dross adds. "Wall-mounted cabinets create shadows on countertop work surfaces. The only way to alleviate those shadows (and the accompanying dark spots on the cutting board) is with under-cabinet lighting."
Another factor to keep in mind relates to energy usage, and by extension, your power bill. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that American consumers use electricity for lighting the kitchen more than any other room in the house. So, to save electricity costs, invest in energy-efficient lighting in the kitchen.
To see the most up-to-date fixtures and shades, and to consult with a professionally trained lighting expert, visit your local ALA-member retailer, or go online to americanlightingassoc.com.