Home Design: Lighting and Granite Countertops

Tips To Light Up Your Granite Countertops

When you spend money on beautiful granite countertops, you want to ensure they’re a highlighted feature in your kitchen. Especially if you have cabinets, floors, or walls with dark color tones, countertops can start to blend in to the background of your kitchen at night.

Lighting is the key to make your granite countertops a focal point. However, ceiling light fixtures don’t do the trick, because the shadows from your cabinetry tend to capture the illumination. If you really want to display your granite countertops in their best light, you should install under cabinet lighting. Here are a few basic tips to help you select the right type of under cabinet fixture for your kitchen.

Watch the Gloss: While granite countertops are incredibly picturesque, you have to remember that they do create a mirrored effect. When you incorporate under cabinet lights, you want to see the light spilling onto your countertops – not the actual light fixture reflected in its mirror image. Make sure you choose a light fixture that has a lens over the light bulb. That will minimize reflections.

Consider Pools:  There are essentially two types of under cabinet light fixtures when it comes to light distribution: puck and linear. Puck lights are small and circular, and they create multiple “pools” of light on the granite countertop. You usually install one puck light for every six to ten inches of space. Linear lights, by contrast, are thin, long light fixtures that are designed to extend the length of each cabinet. They result in more even light distribution. Decide whether you like the even, subtle look of linear light fixtures or the dramatic, spotlighting effect of puck light fixtures.

Handle the Heat: Be conscious of heat output when you’re looking at the different light sources under cabinet lighting is available in. Halogen gives off a great deal of heat, so it’s not a good option if you want to leave fresh produce out on your countertops, or store food in the cabinets directly above. Xenon is comparable to halogen in terms of appearance, but it doesn’t give off quite as much heat. If you’d prefer a light fixture that has minimal heat output, look for LED or fluorescent under cabinet lights.

Emily Widle is a blogger for Pegasus Lighting, an online retailer that offers a wide selection of unique lighting products for homes and businesses. Find xenon, fluorescent, and LED under cabinet lights on their website

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