Kitchen lighting is more than just there to help you see what you are doing, it can have a great impact on the functionality and mood or atmosphere if the room. Gone are the days when a simple fluorescent tube light was all you needed on the ceiling to light the room effectively.
Kitchens have become increasingly multi-functional rooms, which means more planning has to go into lighting choices to ensure all the possible uses are accommodated for.
Lighting can be used in ingenious ways to cover what would otherwise be considered problem like compensating for insufficient natural light, disguising poorly conceived or awkwardly shaped furnishings or structural features and by making small kitchens appear and feel larger and more spacious.
If you are currently either redecorating, renovating or just looking to change up the lighting in your kitchen, you’ve come to the right place. In the following post we are going to present some handy tips and suggestions that will ensure you make the most sensible and best kitchen lighting choices for your home.
Planning Kitchen Lighting – Where it All Begins
Ask any expert and they will all say the same thing – lighting installation should be at the very planning stages of your kitchen. That way you can make sure you incorporate the best solutions that work with the rest of your plans, rather than it becoming something of an afterthought that you have to work round everything else.
Closely look at your plans and consider the kinds of activities that will be happening in each part of your kitchen. For some areas, just above the hob, the kitchen sink and all food prep zones will need task lighting. While other parts, such as where you are going to dine in the kitchen, if your plans allow for it, will need accent and mood lighting. You also need to think about whether or not your kitchen is going to have a communal feel – where you will be chatting to friends or family members wile cooking.
Browse and research thoroughly through the kinds of kitchen lighting available and give consideration to the layout and size of your kitchen, as well as the amount of natural light it benefits from.
Accent, Feature & Under Cabinet Lighting
Some of the most popular type of lighting that can be incorporated into your kitchen is accent or feature lighting which helps to create focal points for the eyes, as well as adding to the room’s complete light level when it is used in combination with ambient lighting. Most people opt to install LED under cabinet lighting when adding accent lighting as it adds the most impact regardless of the size or design of your kitchen.
You can even have lights built into the central island or a specific set of units to give a number of gentle beams of light over the floor to give the cabinets a float-y feel, while using some LEDs around the underside of the island countertop rim can make it feel even more inviting.
How To Control Your Kitchen Lights
Rather than opting for the simple on and off switches for controlling your kitchen lighting, particularly if you are going to have a number of different light sources, it is recommended that you install a more flexible system. While dimmers will obviously offer some versatility and greater control over your lighting, you may want to push things even further and opt for an intelligent lighting system that you can use to create your own preset lighting arrangements.
These can be used to establish different lighting patterns to invoke different moods and atmospheres depending on what you are using your kitchen for at that precise time.
There are even, in much the same way as many things nowadays, systems that can be controlled via your computer, tablet or even smartphone. These systems give you the ability to adjust everything from the type of light beam to the brightness and colour.
Getting The Best Fit
If you are purchasing lighting from a store, whether its online or bricks and mortar, you should always hire a fully qualified and experienced electrician to ensure your lighting is installed correctly and safely. For the best results possible though you should also consider seeking the advice and help of either a lighting designer or interior designer who have comprehensive and extensive knowledge about what is available and how use various fittings and fixtures in the best way.
You will even find that most big lighting brands can offer professional lighting design services alongside their products and installation services.
Useful Task Lighting – Don’t Work in The Dark!
Task lighting is generally the brighter lights in a kitchen that are used to illuminate places where work is carried out such as the sink, cooker and countertops. Under cabinet lighting is one of the most popular forms of task lighting for areas such as the cooker and countertops. It is crucial that they are placed as close to the front edge underneath the cabinets as possible or they will only light up the back of the countertops.
You will find that there are various different types to choose from, including small and compact fluorescents and under-cupboard downlighter LEDs that can be recessed so far in they are barely noticeable. LED strip lighting is another great option and easy to install.
Consider Additional Mood Lighting
When it comes to mood lighting, you need to give consideration to the amount of natural light that floods into your kitchen. Note the number of windows you have too and which direction they are facing. If your kitchen is used almost as another living room and is multi-functional, it may be a good idea to invest in ambient lighting options such as eyeball lights and wall lights that can be dimmable, alongside more decorative options such as feature or shelf lighting.
Simple but elegantly ingenious rise and fall lighting fixtures can be used to provide the right illumination for a romantic meal for two when it is pulled down; while providing comfortable lighting for everyday activities and family meals when it is pushed back up. As highlighted further up the page, you can now have lighting systems that allow you to control each lighting fixture separately – this is the best option for creating moods.