When people are choosing their new kitchen, lighting is often an afterthought. As with kitchen design, there are other factors that are thought about first such as appliances, flooring, and kitchen worktops etc. leaving lighting options until the last minute.
However, lighting design in your kitchen is very important to consider as the kitchen has become the central hub of the home. As families are busier, the kitchen tends to be used as a place for catching up with each other. With socialising at home now becoming more popular too, it makes it more important to have that area well-lit and well designed. We think your kitchen should be the brightest lit space in your home.
Additionally, kitchen areas are now not just a separate room in your home. They are more commonly open plan areas that flow into your living space, so it’s critical to try and blend in the lighting with other aspects of your home too. For example, if your living room has chrome lighting you could incorporate this into your kitchen carrying the theme throughout your home. You can also make use of lighting within your kitchen to highlight and define space.
For kitchen lighting particularly there isn’t one type of lighting that you would use so it’s best to combine different types of lighting to be able to make the most of your kitchen. Lighting is not just a functional necessity, it can highlight just how beautiful your kitchen really is!
Whether large or small, every kitchen should have task lighting. There are two types of task lighting, the first is general task lighting which is to light the overall kitchen space; cabinets, sink etc. It allows you see and perform simple tasks like getting a glass of water or unloading the dishwasher. This type of lighting is mostly provided by recessed ceiling down lights or track lights and surface mounted fittings if you are not able to go into the ceiling.
The second type of task lighting is specific for lighting up your work spaces and countertops where you will be preparing food, or for use in cupboards so you can see your produce easily to ensure this is all done safely. After all you wouldn’t want to be chopping vegetables with a sharp knife in a dark area! Typical examples of this type of lighting include under the counter and cabinet lighting where you can make use of linear or surface mounted fittings.
This is really as simple as the name suggests. Lighting that provides decorative purposes and can bring a real touch of class to your kitchen or define a space within the kitchen such as a breakfast counter or kitchen island. Popular lighting options in this category include Pendants Chandeliers and Wall lamps with decorative shades. These lights often do more than one jobs, and can provide decorative and ambient lighting in your kitchen.
This is the key to setting the whole mood and feel to your kitchen and can incorporate a number of different elements. If you’re going to be using your kitchen at all times of the day, then you will need to consider lighting that will be suitable or can be controlled for both day and night settings. It is also important to consider ambient lighting in your kitchen if it is part of an open plan living area to change the ambience of your room. You will want to be able to control the lighting in the kitchen separately from the dining or living space it adjoins.
Ambient lighting can simply be achieved by dimming down the general task lighting, decorative lighting or creatively using accent lights. For example plinth lighting around a breakfast bar.
This type of lighting allows you to highlight an area of particular interest in your kitchen, perhaps a display cabinet showcasing your cherished glassware or your favourite pictures on the wall. Pendant lights over a breakfast counter or by using wall lights as a feature or to highlight a feature or painting.
An example would be track lights as these comprise of adjustable spotlights that allow you to concentrate the light where you need it most. Another example of accent lighting is using LED ribbon under a plinth or over cabinets to create stunning effects.
It’s not just the style of the lighting that you have to consider but the type of bulb used too.
Things have evolved a lot since the ‘regular’ style bulbs that only use to be available previously as you can now choose from many different types such as; Filament Lamps, Induction Lamps, Halogen Lamps and LED Lamps.
Each offer their own benefits however, LED lamps are very energy efficient saving up to 90% over halogen lamps and have a long lifespan (which is important for hard to maintain areas). They are available in various colour temperatures such as warm white, cool white etc. In addition to making your home more energy efficient, it will ultimately save you money.
To Dim Or Not To Dim? That is the question!
An important aspect to think about when choosing lighting for your kitchen is whether or not you want to be able to dim your lighting and if so whether you want all of your lights to be dimmable or not as you may just want to be able to dim the lighting in your eating area. It’s important to consider whether you want your lights dimmable as this will dictate which lights you can select from because not all lights allow this function.
As there are a number of different options to take into consideration the best way to get the lighting for your kitchen is to look for a lighting specialist who will be able to take into account your interior design/kitchen plan. This will ensure that both the technical issues and how it will look in the end both run in harmony with each other.
Of course if you are doing the project yourself and have a good eye for detail there is plenty of free advice on the internet or from speaking to lighting suppliers like www.thebulbco.com which will hopefully help you produce the end result! The Bulb Co website is our retail website where customers can select from a range of lighting products for themselves.
However if you need assistance with your lighting design and installation then visit www.ghsspecialprojects.com where we are able to offer lighting design and consultation as well as installing your lighting for you.
Transform your kitchen into something amazing today. Just by changing the cupboard doors, worktops and choosing the correct lighting to compliment, you could have the look and feel of a brand new kitchen, for less than half the cost of a fully fitted kitchen.
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Benjamin Reid is the managing director of Happy Kitchens. Originally from Hayling Island in Hampshire, Benjamin did most of his growing up in Italy and has spent a lot of time travelling to Barcelona where he picked up his keen eye for kitchen design.