Creating a well planned, innovative lighting scheme can give your kitchen the wow factor you have been looking for! Whilst most kitchens are now being used in a multifunctional way, it is essential to think about the individual functions of each area so that you can control the ambience in accordance to the activity and time of day to cater for dining, relaxing, homework and entertaining.
Creative kitchen lighting can work wonders giving the impression of increased size or divert attention from areas that you may not want to emphasise, not to mention improving poor natural light.
The Plan – It’s always best to plan your new lighting scheme at the stage your bespoke kitchen designer has finalised plans. Consider the activities that will occur in each space such. Food preparation and areas like the kitchen sink will require task lighting whereas the dining areas and perhaps the kitchen island, where people sit with a glass of wine being entertained, will need softer lighting.
Take a look at the variety of lighting and budget available, assess the size and function required in the kitchen in each area and how much natural light there is, you can then chose the perfect ambiance in each area of the kitchen.
In addition to the standard on/off switch, consider dimmer switches to create subtle lighting. The latest intelligence light systems come at a premium but enable you to preset lighting via your smartphone or tablet adjusting colour, brightness and beam so they can be an investment saving energy and providing additional security in the long run.
You may consider consulting a specialist lighting designer to assist but at the minimum, always consult an electrician to ensure safe and well fitting lighting.
Different types of Kitchen Lighting
Once you have defined your kitchen lighting scheme you need to look at each area and decide what function will best fit the categories of lighting:-
Task Lighting – used to illuminate areas requiring the brightest light in the main working areas such as countertops, the sink and cooker. These can be fitted under the cupboard, in cooker hoods, and in the ceiling. Choose from LED lights which are great to recess into the bottom of an overhead unit, ceiling lights fitted flush for a modern look or directional spots to focus in a particular area.
Mood Lighting – To assess the impact of mood lighting you need to look at the natural light source from the windows and doors in the kitchen. If the kitchen is multifunctional consider ambient illumination such as dimmable wall lights and eyeball lights as well as feature lighting.
Lighting above a table which can be moved up and down offers flexibility.
Always ensure lights are capable of being controlled separately in order to create different moods. High ceilings can be illuminated from the tops of kitchen cabinets to reduce the number of downlights. For total chill out zones try wall light washers.
Feature, fun and accent lighting – This sort of lighting not only adds to the overall light level when combined with ambient lighting such as a pendant but can add an element of fun and point of interest. Light boxes, capable of changing colour and wording are ever popular and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Accent lighting may consist of lighting on shelving or in cabinet lights. Lights can be built into a plinth to shed light onto the floor or run an LED strip under the rim of an island worktop to invite you to sit at the bar stools.
Pendant lighting – A number of pendant lights of a feature piece above an island or dining table with help create a focal point. Chose from industrial, on-trend copper of simple stylish ceramic or glass. Hang pendants low over a kitchen table to create a cosy area or high over kitchen islands. Lights over an island can also function to soften the line between the kitchen and dining area. Adding a dimmer switch to the pendant will bring the ultimate in flexibility, bright light when working in this area or soft light for socialising.
Natural Light – The best light of all, and it’s free! If you are planning an extension or replacing existing doors and windows always consider incorporating into your plans as much natural light as possible to flood your space with natural daylight. It will bounce off your work surfaces creating a bright functional area, putting a smile on your face every day!