Modern kitchens are becoming increasingly more multi-functional. While they mostly cater to cooking and eating, they have also become areas for entertainment, relaxing, office, or homework. Hence, there is just so much you can do in the kitchen.
To better perform its functions, the kitchen should be provided with adequate lighting. Other than setting the mode for different activities, lighting can also hide flaws or create illusions. With clever lighting, you can make your kitchen appear larger or conceal structural imperfections. To better understand how kitchen lighting works, here are some basic things you need to know.
How to plan your kitchen lighting
The best time to plan your kitchen lighting is right at the beginning. Within your kitchen layout, decide where you will place the lighting fixtures. Think of the activities that will take place in each area and whether they will need plenty of illuminations.
The kitchen sink, the space above it, and other food preparation zones will require task lighting. On the other hand, accent lighting will be perfect for the dining area. Counters and bars for small chitchats over a bottle of beer or a glass of wine can be equipped with dim or soft lighting.
Also consider the amount of lighting to be installed in each area. A large lighting fixture such as a chandelier can be installed in the middle of the dining area while the counters and sink may require more lighting units and with more brightness. Study carefully the layout and size of your kitchen so you can determine what type and how much lighting is to be installed in specific spots.
How to control your lighting
Simple on/off switches should be carefully planned out as well. You should be able to switch the lights on as you enter the kitchen, and switch them off as you are leaving. If you want a more controlled manipulation of your lighting, dimmer switches will be great options.
With dimmer switches, you can easily create a soft, ambient glow to your kitchen space. Similarly, smart lighting can do the job brilliantly. With a touch button on your smart phone, tablet, or computer, you can adjust the colour, brightness, and intensity of lighting in the kitchen. You can even pre-set light settings for more convenience.
Know the different kinds of lighting
Different types of lighting have different function and purpose. For the major working areas where the brightest light is needed, such as the sink and worktops, task lighting is the correct type.
Under-cupboard lighting should be able to illuminate properly the activities under it. Hence, make sure you position the task lighting as close to the front edge of the cabinet as possible. If not, you will be illuminating the back of the worktop only. For your task lighting, you can employ small, compact fluorescents or LED lights on the underside of the cupboards or on the intended space.
If you want to create a moody vibe in your kitchen, a mood lighting will do the job. Start by determining first how much natural light filters into your kitchen through the windows. Take note where they face and which areas. This way, you can decide on how many dimmable wall lights you need to install in your kitchen. If possible, the lights should be controlled separately so you can create varying moods at any moment.
If you want to make a statement, feature and accent lights will be perfect. These lights create points of interest around the kitchen space, adding more drama and excitement. For example, you can line your cupboards, niches, and shelving with accent lighting using LED. Once lit, your cabinetry will look like it is floating. Colour-changing signs and in-cupboard illumination are other examples of this kind of lighting.
Another way of adding interest in your kitchen lighting is by using pendant lights. They come in different styles such as industrial, old-school, metallic, and ceramics. You can mount a single pendant light above the dining table as a statement piece, or group them together for a more brilliant tone. For a more intimate feeling, position pendant lights low over kitchen islands or countertops. Pendants can be very versatile and it is up to your creative positioning that you can create different looks and feelings.
Make the right purchases
As to the actual purchase and installation of the kitchen lighting, it is best to consult and work with professionals. We are talking about electricity here and safety is of prime importance. Consult interior designers or lighting specialists on the amount and kind of lighting you want to be mounted on the kitchen, as well as how to get the best out of them.
For safe and proper installation of lighting fixtures, hire a qualified electrician. However, most companies or contractors have all these services in their package already.