Lighten Up Countertops

Make cutting vegetables easier and safer with lighting under the kitchen cabinet that illuminates the work at hand.

By Gene And Katie Hamilton

Lighten Up Countertops

A house rarely has enough lighting, yet good lighting is important for just about everything you do there. A kitchen needs plenty of general illumination for all the tasks performed and a single fixture in the ceiling is never enough. Consider upgrading the fixture to a large fluorescent unit that will increase the lighting, and at the same time, be energy-efficient, two features that make a family friendly home.

Older eyes need increased lighting, especially when working at a kitchen counter. Thin strips of under-cabinet lighting installed on the underside of cabinets provide an important light source for counter work. Just install one underneath a cabinet near an outlet, plug it in and chopping vegetables or reading a recipe is an easy chore. The light strip fits nicely in the shallow recess at the bottom of most cabinets. An electrician will charge $142 to install three 14-inch long surface-mounted low profile light fixtures designed to direct light where it's needed. You can buy and install them yourself for $55. We often use one as a night light in the evening to illuminate a dark kitchen.

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