The Rules of Kitchen Lighting

  • August 15, 2014
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The Rules of Kitchen Lighting

While the first things on your mind while designing your kitchen will be the appliances and the counters, you’ll definitely need to consider the lighting. After all, lighting candles every evening isn’t the most practical method in the world to light your kitchen!

There are three basic types of kitchen lighting for you to consider: Task lighting, accent lighting, and basic lighting. Basic lighting is the easiest for you to consider. Your basic lighting will be connected to the switch you’ll use most often to light the kitchen. Your basic lighting will be installed in the ceiling of your kitchen, and it will be the brightest, most far-reaching source of light in the room.

Task lighting is important, too. Task lighting allows you to comfortably perform tasks such as cooking, baking, reading and sometimes, writing. Think about how often you’ll write something on a note pad while talking on the phone in the kitchen, for example.

Or, consider the times you’ll need to read a recipe book. You might be a person who reads the newspaper while standing by your coffeemaker. So, you can see why the installation of task lighting is important.

Accent lighting is just that: It’s a way to create a special touch in your kitchen. Accent lighting is softer, rendering less light. And, accent lighting is unique to specific areas in the kitchen.

However, accent lighting isn’t simply frivolous: It can also help you to see inside of small, tight spaces when the need arises. And, accent lighting can provide a light source at night when you don’t want to turn on brighter, more powerful lights.

Now that you understand what basic types of lighting you’ll need to consider, you can start planning the locations where you’ll place your lighting.

Under The Cabinet Lighting

You’ll definitely want to place some lighting underneath cabinetry that allows you to take advantage of counter space. This can usually be found next to your cooking range, or on either side of your sink bowl. Lighting installed underneath your cabinets qualifies as task lighting, since you’ll probably use the counter space for specific task such as preparing food, or reading a recipe book.

You’ll also use the space for removing dishes and other items from your cabinets, and more. All in all, this is excellent lighting to use in providing a light source for duties performed in spaces underneath high level cabinet doors. Here’s another thing to consider: This is the sort of lighting that will highlight the polish and the silvery flecks of granite countertops.

Overhead Kitchen Lighting

Overhead kitchen lighting is going to fall under the basic lighting category. As such, this will be your most bright, most expansive form of lighting in the kitchen. And, your overhead kitchen lighting will be wired directly into your kitchen’s ceiling.

You can choose to have studio lights installed directly into the ceiling, or you can select a variety of lamps for this design task. And, some home owners still prefer to install lighting inside of ceiling panels, although this might seem old-fashioned to some. Also, the use of specially-designed chandelier lights are currently very popular.

Kitchen Island Lighting

If you’re going to install a kitchen island for cooking tasks, you’ll definitely need to install lighting that’s task oriented, and directs light over your working area. This will prevent your eyes from straining, and it will allow you to perform dangerous tasks such as slicing or cutting more safely, and efficiently.

Lighting Over The Cooking Range

Another sort of task oriented form of lighting is lighting over your cooking range. It will allow you to cook your food more effectively, especially when you’re cooking a delicate dish that requires a lot of maintenance and attention. You’ll also be able to easily notice when your cooking liquids are boiling, whether they should be, or not.

Lighting Inside Your Cabinetry

Although it’s not required, you might decide to take the extra step of including accent lighting inside of your cabinetry. The lighting here will serve two purposes: It will allow you to see what you need when you’re reaching inside of deep corners of the shelving.

And, the lighting creates a soft glow that is lovely to observe at night. You can keep your accent lighting on to look around the kitchen if you don’t want to disturb others with bright lighting. By the way, accent lighting reflects off of granite countertops, especially darker colored slabs.

Light Bulb Considerations

Keep in mind that basic, task, and accent lighting will require different levels of brightness and softness. Overall, use warm, soft lighting. Even your overhead, basic lighting will look better with a warm glow, instead of a cool, harsh bulb. And, look for energy efficient bulbs. They’ll help you to save money on your monthly bill while adding to your design plan.

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