Kitchen Task Lighting Solutions for Renters

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You've brainstormed about how to achieve the best lighting for your office. You've definitely put thought into choosing the lighting setup in your bedroom. Heck, you've probably even invested some time into your outside lights. So why is it that you still only have that one fluorescent overhead light in the kitchen? It's time to get busy and consider your kitchen's lighting system, making sure you've got one important type of lighting covered: Task lighting.
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Whether you've spent a fortune on top-of-the-line appliances or spent tons of time making your vintage gear look brand new, you want to show off your kitchen in the best light, right? So why is it that kitchen lighting plans often get ignored?

Even if you're renting, you can take some of the ideas you've used in the living room and bedroom and put them to use in the kitchen. Start by making sure you've filled the roles of these two important lights:

1. Start With Ambient Lighting
This is what you've probably already got going in your kitchen, whether it's recessed can lights, a fluorescent fixture or some track lighting. You just need one big, bright fixture to light the entire room. But don't stop there.


2. Add Some Task Lighting
Just like you have task lighting at your desk, you need the same kind of focused light in the kitchen when you're preparing food.

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Under-Cabinet Lights The most popular task lighting fixtures? Under-cabinet lights. Get some custom-installed (if you have a really forgiving landlord), or just head to IKEA for some cheap retro-fits; like the INREDA Cabinet lighting ($14.99), GRUNDTAL Spotlights ($24.99 /3 pack), LACK Clamp bookcase lighting ($29.99 /2 pack) or INREDA LED spotlights ($44.99/4 pack).

Counter-Top Lamps
Of course if you (or your landlord) are not cool with mounting lights to your cabinets, you could always try the same task lighting you have in your office: a lamp. We've seen more and more lamps on kitchen counter tops lately (check out the pic above from Carla's Grand Ave. Home). Just make sure you wrangle those wires like you do at your desk—it's more of a hazard in the wet kitchen than in the office.



(Top image: Flickr member ilovebutter licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, and designer based in Atlanta, and editor of lifestyle blog Formal Fringe. She loves her fiance, her dog Bacon, and collecting beer koozies when she travels.

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