I have been renovating homes throughout New York City with my company NYKB Kitchen & Bath for many, many years. Whether I’m meeting with a client in a small apartment in Manhattan, a brownstone in Brooklyn, or a large home in the suburbs, lighting is always one of the main topics of conversation. Personally, I am all for letting as much natural light into the home as possible. Frankly, I think there’s just something special about natural light that cannot be replicated. But we obviously can’t flood every inch of our homes with natural light especially in many New York City apartment. For these dark areas, we need to get creative and decide on the best possible lighting solutions. There are plenty of great and stylish choices for this. Here are a few:
Track lighting is one of the more common lighting types that we install at NYKB. I always consider it a safe choice for nearly any home. These lights are hung from a track that is attached to your ceiling, providing general lighting for an entire room or accent lighting for a specific area of your home that you want highlighted (i.e. an art piece). Track lighting is also a very stylish choice, with tracks and lights coming in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It’s perfect for your new, modern kitchen, but can be used in any room in your home. Best of all, track lighting can now be fitted with LED bulbs, which significantly reduces the cost of bulb replacements.
Sometimes referred to as “can lights,” recessed lights are actually embedded into your ceiling. A few years ago, installing recessed light systems would significantly reduce the height of the ceiling. But with the development of LED bulbs, our team at NYKB only needs to drop your ceiling by 2 inches at most (hardly undetected by homeowners). Recessed lights can also be embedded into your cabinets, creating a nice glow and allowing you to see what’s inside your kitchen cabinets much more easily. While LED lights come in various colors, the most popular style is the hyper white (otherwise known as “day lights”). In some homes, recessed lighting is the main source of illumination. But I also like the idea of combining it with other light sources, such as track lighting. In this case, recessed lighting might be used to provide the general lighting for the room, while the track lighting will illuminate certain areas and add to the overall ambiance. I’ve also found it to be great for eliminating unwanted shadows throughout the home.
Under-Cabinet Lighting and Over Cabinet Lighting
Mostly used under raised kitchen cabinets, under-cabinet lighting can be extremely important from a functional perspective. This is especially true if you do a lot of cooking, as the area under your kitchen cabinets can sometimes be dark, making it harder for you to work while you’re preparing your food. Over-cabinet lighting, on the other hand, is more about ambiance. It provides a warming glow, and can also be used to help highlight decorative pieces you want to keep on top of your cabinets. Technological advances such as LED light strips, and lights bulbs controlled through cell phone apps have made the installation of under cabinet lighting much easier and cost effective.
I find toe-kick lighting to be one of the coolest lighting options out there. Normally, NYKB will run it along the bottom of the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, right near the floor. This looks especially great around kitchen islands! It comes in many colors, the best of which is often the color that most closely matches the cabinets themselves. This enhances the beauty of both the cabinet and the flooring below it. It’s also a pretty nice safety feature, providing a subtle light source for those middle of the night bathroom trips.
If you’re interested in learning more about lighting choices for your home, please give NYKB Kitchen and Bath a call at (212) 242-3500. You can also click here to fill out our online contact form.