Traditionally kitchen lighting fixtures have been fitted in the kitchen in ways that reflect basic functional lighting needs, often using unadorned housings with straight fluorescent tubes, sometimes even without covers. They are cheap to run and do the job for the most part. However, kitchens and are sometimes integrated with dining rooms which call for much different lighting arrangements.
Typical kitchen planners assume that most people do not occupy their kitchens for long durations, and therefore design kitchen lighting to meet basic illumination needs at low costs. Fluorescent tubes that consume very little power and last for years serve that purpose very well. The same reasoning holds for installing fluorescent lighting in public buildings to which space planners have subjected their occupants for decades. A little history reveals that during World War II fluorescent lights were developed as an efficient, but temporary lighting solution, which was assumed to be discontinued when the war ended.
The best placement of kitchen lighting fixtures is anywhere away from the food preparation and work areas, which usually means they are mounted high in the ceiling. Kitchens generate quite a bit of dirt and grease and for that reason lighting would not want to be wall mounted nearby busy areas nor would it be appropriate to place free standing lamps with cords in order to avoid accidents while carrying food and breakables.
When kitchens are combined or somewhat integrated with dining rooms separate lighting solutions should be employed. The type of lighting used will depend on how close the dining room table is to the kitchen and how the rooms are shaped. It is still a good idea to light the kitchen area from the ceiling and fluorescents certainly do the job.
Some light for the eating area can come from the kitchen but it normally needs its own sources even when the areas are very close together. Lighting for the dining area can be provided overhead by hanging pendant lights or via wall-mounted track light fixtures. The preferred quality and illumination levels of dining room lighting are much different from the kitchen when trying to create a more intimate, relaxing experience for dining.
Your choices for buying kitchen lighting fixtures include many local lighting and hardware outlets and receiving lighting shipments from online stores. While many online shopping opportunities often provide great items at lower cost, in this case buying locally lets you take advantage of bargains that retailers sometimes have who are trying to reduce their inventories, and find used fixtures that are salvaged from building tear downs. Certainly it is a good idea to use the Internet to quickly browse various online lighting catalogs to narrow down your selection of kitchen lighting fixtures.