This yet another totally biased blog entry. What further complicates matters is that I have contemporary tastes. The important idea behind this blog is understanding the importance of lighting. Well designed lighting does not have to cost a fortune and is integral to the environment.
Undercounter lighting: CSL, Seagull Ambience
Think about it. Meals are prepared on counters. Placing lights on the cabinets above is a good idea.
CSL is a strip of halogen lights that is available in varying lengths.
Seagull Ambience is a low voltage cable that allows for greater flexibility. Ambience is also low voltage, so it emits a whiter light.
Pendants: Techlighting, Hudson Valley
The demand for pendants increased dramatically with larger kitchens. As previously discussed, the kitchen and formal dining area have combined to form one "great" room in most new homes. Usually, there is a type of island in the plan. Pendants(essentially small fixtures) have become the light for these areas.
Techlighting is the premier contemporary pendant company with a profusion of color and styles.
Hudson Valley is a very decent transitional to traditional line of pendants and fixtures. Hudson also manufactures some great period pieces and most of the products are under $120.
Wrought Iron: Hubbardton Forge.
Wrought iron has become increasingly popular in transitional and traditional adaptations. Hubbardton stull forges lighting by hand.
I say crystal, and the image that immediately runs through brains is your grandmas house(not that it is a bad thing) Crystal is incredibly interesting. Look at Geometrix from Schonbek.
Think of it is very updated track that is bendable and with the ability to light track heads and/or fixtures.
Bulbs: Compact Fluorescent, Krypton bulbs
The equation is simple 13 watts fluorescent equals over 50 watts incandescent.
Krypton bulbs are beautiful bulbs for chandeliers. They also use much less energy.
Traditional: Visual Comfort
VC has some great heavier traditional pieces that even I appreciate.