With the introduction of LED lighting, kitchen lighting has undergone a revolution. LED lights comes in all sorts of practical, flexible shapes and sizes, allowing for easy lighting in even the smallest space. We’ve put together some handy kitchen lighting tips and design considerations to help plan out your kitchen lighting design.
Kitchen Lighting Tips
These days kitchens needs to have multiple functions, allowing for easy food preparation, dining, socialising and entertaining. In terms of design, the kitchen is probably the most demanding room in the home, and so the lighting you choose needs to be well planned and flexible. While bright task lighting is essential during food preparation, softer ambient lighting is necessary for when you’re eating or socialising.
First Things First: Understand Your Space
Because there are so many options when it comes to kitchen lighting, the first step in planning your kitchen lighting is to understand your layout and what you want to be able to do where. Most kitchen areas will serve multiple purposes, so its important to identify all the different ways that the space will be used and to identify the type of lighting that will be required for each of the tasks.
Kitchen lighting is divided into task lighting, for when you’re cooking and chopping up food, ambient lighting that is softer and provides a general or overall light, and accent lighting that you may use to highlight a specific feature in your kitchen. These are all important aspects of good kitchen lighting design.
Under Cabinet Lighting
You don’t renovate your kitchen everyday, so if you are planning to update your kitchen and change the lighting take a deep dive into the exciting world of lighting. You’ll be surprised by the options that are now available. One of the trends we love one of our favourite kitchen lighting tips is to include under cabinet lights.
Wall cabinets are great for extra storage, but the overhang they create makes the bench space directly underneath, dark. Another common mistake that happens in kitchen lighting design is when ceiling lighting is positioned so that when standing at the bench, the light is cast from behind, creating a shadow onto the work space.
Under cabinet lights not only take care of dark shadows, with a range of different options, they can also add to the design aesthetic and ambience of your space. They also provide extra task lighting when you need it.
Types Of Under Cabinet Lighting
There are now a huge range of options for under cabinet lighting available in LEDs and improved fluorescent tubes, (with much better colour and minus humming and flickering). We recommend LED lighting as the best kitchen lighting tip for under cabinets. The two main options are LED strip lights and mini down lights.
LED strip lights
Led strip lights consist of a strip of individual LEDs spaced evenly apart. LEDs are highly energy efficient, and are easy to install. Contrary to what many believe, surface mounted LEDs don’t need to be ugly or visible. LED strip lighting or ribbon lights consist of a line of individual LEDs on a very slim profile ribbon. The ribbon is attached to the underside of cabinets with a self adhesive strip.
For a seamless finish, opt for recessed LED strip lighting.LED strips are installed inside a track, which is recessed into the underside of the cabinet or shelf and can’t be seen.
An alternative to strip lighting are mini downlights. Mini downlights are just like the downlights that are installed in your ceiling, and come in a range of sizes and shapes. They are installed flush with the underside of kitchen cabinets, providing all the light you require, as well as adding a stylish finish and ambience to your kitchen lighting plan.
Design Consideration: When you are designing you new custom kitchen, don’t forget that the type of surfaces you choose and the colours you select will effect how light works in your kitchen. Reflective surfaces reflect and spread light. Dark, matt surfaces will absorb light. It’s important to adjust the brightness of LEDs to allow for different surfaces before finalising your kitchen lighting design.
With the need for kitchens to change by the hour to accommodate food preparation and homework, and then dining or socialising, dimmers are an essential design feature and one of kitchen lighting tips we most often recommend to our clients.
Well planned kitchen lighting will provide the right balance between task lighting and ambient lighting in different areas, but there are still times when you’ll want the ability to adjust the amount of light up or down. Dimmers allow you to do this, turning task lighting under or over bench spaces into ambient lighting when needed, and increasing or dimming overhead lighting.
Get To Know LEDs
LEDs have taken over from incandescent light globes and offer an energy efficient alternative for lighting your kitchen. If you are choosing LEDs for your new kitchen or anywhere in your house, its important to get to know the terminology, because it’s a lot different to old fashioned light globes.
With LEDs, brightness is measured in lumens, not watts. Different lumens are required for different types of lighting. If you’re unfamiliar with this measurement, the numbers won’t mean much to you and can be confusing.
As a guide, mood lighting requires LEDs of 150 – 250 lumens. Cabinet lighting, 175 – 550 lumens. Task lighting, 250 – 450 and task lighting (where the task is a long way from the source of light) 350 – 700.
We hope, we’ve provided some helpful kitchen lighting tips to help you when you begin the design process for your new kitchen. Depending on whether you use professional cabinet makers to design and build your new custom kitchen, or you do it yourself, custom kitchen professionals will be able to guide your kitchen lighting plan.