When home owners begin designing a new kitchen, the lighting is often one of the last considerations, but as anyone who has worked in a badly lit kitchen will know, poorly designed kitchen lighting is frustrating, ugly and can also be dangerous. At Exact Cabinet Makers we know that good kitchen lighting design is always an important part of a great kitchen design.
What Is Good Kitchen Lighting Design?
Good kitchen lighting design is functional for a range of tasks and shows off your kitchen ‘s best assets. When considering lighting for a kitchen, consider the different ways that you will use the space. Kitchens are no longer simply functional food preparation spaces that are hidden from the rest of the home. More and more the kitchen is a part of an open plan design that is used for meals, functions as a work area and a relaxation space, as well as entertaining.
Even if you are just planning to update an existing kitchen, reconsidering your lighting will make the world of difference in a kitchen that has poor light.
Types of Kitchen Lighting
The key to good kitchen lighting design is understanding how light behaves in a room and how lighting is used for different purposes. With some basic kitchen lighting tips, you can transform your kitchen into a more practical and beautiful space.
Lighting that provides overall, diffused light in a space is ambient lighting. Ambient lighting is generally provided by overhead light fixtures, most commonly downlights. Downlights are a popular choice, because they are relatively inexpensive, energy saving and provide an even light throughout the space. They are available in a range of styles, including pinhole and adjustable eyeball design. Make sure they are installed by a professional to ensure the light is diffused evenly.
Down lights versus pendant lights
Although most people select down lights for ambient light, ambient light can be provided by multiple light sources. Down lights and pendant lights are frequently combined to provide a flexible source of ambient light.
Pendant lights are popular because they introduce a design element that can become a feature, particularly when they are grouped over an island bench.
Using dimmers on downlights and on pendant lights provides absolute flexibility for controlling the amount of light you need.
Task lighting is very important in a kitchen for work areas, typically where food is prepared. These areas often need more light than simply the ambient overhead light in the room. Overhead cupboards and your own body can create shadowy areas in these areas.
LED strip lighting installed under overhead cupboards creates ideal task lighting. Island benches and areas that do not have overhead cabinets can be lit with pendant lights. Pendant lights also double as decorative feature lights over an island bench or peninsula, where you may sit and eat or do work. For screen watching, consider LEDs or even a desk light.
The boundaries between our lounge rooms and kitchens have become blurred in open plan design, allowing the kitchen to be a place for display, artwork and architectural features. Lighting can be used to emphasise and show off features in a kitchen, such as a stunning kitchen backsplash, a shelf display, or a piece of artwork.
If your kitchen is blessed with high ceilings, consider drawing attention to the height by placing lighting above overhead cupboards.
Other Kitchen Lighting Design Considerations
The materials you use in a kitchen will also effect the way that light behaves. When choosing task lighting and under cabinet lighting, consider how they will interact with the materials and colours you have chosen for surfaces.
For example, flat, matte benchtops reflect light evenly, making it easy to illuminate the space for task work. Shiny surfaces like granite and high gloss bench tops reflect a lot of light, resulting in too much glare if the light source is too bright. For glossy surfaces, consider a fixture that diffuses the light to decrease glare. Dark coloured bench tops reflect less light and will require a higher lumen value for under cabinet and task lighting.
Getting It Right
The kitchen is one of the most utilised rooms in your home, used for cooking, eating, looking at computer screens and socialising. That’s why the lighting in your kitchen is so important: It has to meet lighting requirements for multiple situations – often at the same time.
Choosing the right kitchen lighting design is an opportunity to introduce design elements that show off your space and increase it’s functionality.
The great news is that there is a huge choice in lighting styles available to suit every style of kitchen, including industrial, minimalist metals, maximalist chandeliers and minimalist contemporary designs. Choose from LEDs, recessed downlights, pendants, wall sconces, and track lighting, not to mention a huge range of incandescent lamp shapes.
Lighting should never be an afterthought in a kitchen design. The right choice of lighting can turn your kitchen into a beautiful, functional space that will be a pleasure to use for many years.
Exact Cabinet Makers create beautiful and functional kitchen designs in Melbourne. Contact us to discuss your ideas or find out more about our cabinet makers Melbourne. You can also visit our showroom in Kilsyth to talk to our designers.