An electric green lightbulb.

Kitchen Remodeling for Dummies has released a list of the top lighting manufacturers. After analyzing available research from various investigative organizations this list was compiled. The following top lighting manufacturers have been given high marks for energy conservation, long lasting products, and environmental friendliness. 

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A dark kitchen lit with under the cabinet kitchen lighting

Ambiance and Function: Installing Under Cabinet Lighting

Under cabinet lighting is an excellent and attractive way to illuminate countertops and other work surfaces where cabinets are mounted overhead. These lights solve the problem of the shadows created by the cabinets, plus they provide beautiful ambiance even when you’re not using the countertops.

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Recessed lighting in a kitchen

Can It! Installing Recessed Lighting

Recessed or canned lights are ones that are actually installed in the ceiling, unlike track lighting, which is installed on the ceiling. Recessed lights are able to perform many of the same function as track lights, provided you buy units that allow you to swivel and adjust the direction of the bulb’s light stream or that have moveable baffles to focus or direct the light stream. The biggest drawback to installing canned lights is the actual installation, especially when you don’t have plans to remove or tear into the ceiling. These units can retrofit into an existing ceiling, but it’s a project that’s best left to an electrician.

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A kitchen with track lights

Getting on Track with Track Lighting

I love track lighting because of its versatility. You can use it as ambient light and you can direct individual fixtures to be used as either accent or task lights. Plus, track lighting is easy to install.

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The Importance of Ceiling Fans

February 29, 2012
A fancy ceiling fan

Circulating in Style: Adding a Ceiling Fan

Keeping air moving in the kitchen, even when you’re not cooking, adds to the overall comfort of the room. A good way to move the air with little disruption is by using a ceiling fan. In fact, most units are so quiet when they’re running that you won’t even know they’re there. Most kitchen ceilings are at least 8 feet high, so overhead clearance won’t be a problem. If your ceiling is vaulted (sloped), you can still install a ceiling fan using extension rods and a pivoting connector or knuckle where the fan is attached at the ceiling. Be sure to follow your fan’s installation instructions for a solid and wobble-free installation.

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A Star light ceiling fixture

Hanging the new fixture

You need to consult and follow the installation instructions included with the new fixture. Here I walk you through the basic steps that work for all ceiling fixture installations:

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A well-lit kitchen with ceiling lights

Installing a Bright New Ceiling Fixture

This task is one of the easiest to perform and is perfect for folks who are uncomfortable working with electrical stuff because, in most situations, the wiring is very straightforward. Things can get a little tricky if you have a single fixture that can be operated with two or three different switches, only because you have more than the two wires to the light fixture in the electrical box. However, if you examine the existing light’s connections and either sketch them out or take an instant picture, you should be able to handle those scenarios, too.

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A spacious kitchen with a lot of natural light

Letting the Light Shine In: Natural Lighting Options

Like interior light fixtures, your kitchen windows are important sources of light. This section gets you thinking about the benefits of new energy-efficient windows, and it also tells you how to make your existing windows aesthetically pleasing with a fresh coat of paint and blinds if new windows aren’t in your budget.

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A kitchen with several lighting options

Deciding whether you need major changes

Most kitchen lights are powered on a single 15-amp circuit. This takes care of the ceiling fixture (remember, you often only need one) and the one or two other lights in the kitchen. If you plan to add lights for the countertops, over the stove, and maybe even some in-cabinet lights, consider running an additional lighting circuit to the kitchen. Adding a new circuit and getting it to the specific lights can be tricky, especially if the wall and ceiling surfaces are finished. To be honest, calling in an electrician is best. Besides pulling the cable for the new circuit, the electrician can help make the best decisions about which lights should go on which circuit.

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A wooden ceiling fan

Choosing a ceiling fan

Ceiling fans come in a wide range of sizes that are defined by the blade size. You can find fans in sizes from 24 inches wide to units up to 54 inches wide.

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