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The kitchen is the heart of every home. As the place family members come together to eat and enjoy one another’s company, it’s no wonder kitchen renovations are one of the leading home upgrades done by homeowners today. Whether your renovation plans are intended to increase your home’s resale value, or simply to improve the ergonomics and appearance of your kitchen, don’t start your kitchen’s electrical renovation without considering these four incredible upgrades.
Even the largest kitchen space can seem dwarfed by a lack of lighting. If you’ve recently enlarged your kitchen, adding accent lighting in frequently used spaces such as over the stove, in major walkways, or over the kitchen table will bring a sense of warmth and openness to your home. Because of their high lumen output, affordability, and efficiency, recessed downlights are an excellent option for heavily travelled walkways and task-oriented areas such as the stove and countertops. Use 6” recessed down lights with reflectors for walkway areas, and 3-4” directional recessed down lights as an accent light over the stove and counter tops.
On average, there are over 3 billion USB ports are shipped each year. In fact, it’s very likely that the device you are reading this on requires some sort of USB connection to charge. With USB cables becoming just as common as traditional electrical plugs, it’s no wonder USB data wiring has been suspected to become a staple of kitchen electrical systems over the next few years. Although it is unclear whether adding USB outlets to your kitchen’s electrical system will increase home value, the ability to plug in your phone, iPod, or other electrical device without an adapter will be extremely useful for many years to come.
Although your kitchen’s lighting should be some of the brightest in your home, the ability to turn reduce light output can come in handy when you’ve had a long day, or are planning a romantic dinner for two. Wall dimmers can be paired with multiple bulb types, including LED and CFL; keep in mind, however, that a bulb must be dimmable in order to pair it with a dimmable wall switch.
In 2014, the NEC declared that all residential outlets being replaced, installed, or renovated will be equipped with a GFCI outlet. GFCI outlets (officially known as ground fault circuit interrupters) are electrical safety devices used to prevent electrical fires from occurring due to tripping breakers or dysfunctional outlets. By updating your electrical outlets to GFCI circuits, you will dramatically improve the electrical safety of your home, which (depending on the housing market in your area) can increase the value of your home.
Whether you’re currently updating your home for personal pleasure, or to make it more presentable on the housing market, each of these electrical upgrades will improve your kitchen’s appearance, safety, and utility in their own way. Remember, however, that it is illegal (and not to mention unsafe) to perform your own electrical work in Australia. When the time comes to get started on any of these projects, contact your local licensed electrician to have the project completed safely