Kitchen Lighting: Factors to Remember

Q: Every kitchen I walk in has different types of lights throughout. Why is kitchen lighting so important to think about?

A: Kitchen lighting is often over-looked when it comes to renovations or designing updates, and only later do homeowners realize the impact of not having thought through lighting options. Here are some tips to ensure you know what you think through from the get-go.

Importance of a well-lit kitchen

Kitchen Lighting is often the most over-looked aspect while designing the kitchen. In fact, a well-lit kitchen is paramount in order to create the right mood, cook faster and function more efficiently. Moreover, the kitchen just does not serve as a cooking area, but in most cases also as a dining and entertaining room. A well-lit kitchen also obviates the risk of accidents and a well-lit kitchen is always welcoming.

A few factors need to be taken into account when designing the kitchen lighting. Rather than just focusing on the fancy fixtures that blend well with the kitchen décor; it is equally important to take its functionality into account.

Eliminate a Common Error

It is never a good idea to just install a single glaring bulb in the middle of the ceiling. Too much or too little lighting in kitchen areas will result in an imbalance which may visually overpower certain areas and create shadows in other areas.

There are essentially 3 types of kitchen lighting:

  • Task Lighting
  • Ambient Lighting
  • Accent Lighting

A balanced blend of all three creates a well-lit kitchen. Therefore, a careful analysis of the kitchen size is essential to determine the kind of fixtures and lighting required in different kitchen areas. Be subtle and make sure you don’t overdo it

Go for a Blended Look

Task Lighting: Task Lighting is a directed beam of light that illuminates the work areas of the kitchen. Each work area of the kitchen requires its own task lighting. Be it chopping vegetables, mixing and measuring ingredients; everything requires separate task lighting.

Every designated area should ideally have its own task lighting. Under cabinets lights too are a great option to for task lighting because they offer great functionality; it can significantly enhance and emphasize the features of the kitchen. While fluorescents prove to higher energy efficiency, halogens produce a clear white glow. Another option that many are looking at today for energy efficiency includes LED.

Proper task lighting can prevent kitchen accidents as well. The island tops and kitchen counters need to be well illuminated with task lighting.  On the other hand, a poorly lit counter may produce shadows and hinder or delay one’s activity.

Ambient Lighting: As the term suggests, ambient lighting creates a welcoming ambience and creates the general feel and look of the room. It serves as a functional lighting and aids in maneuvering and moving around the kitchen safely. If the kitchen cabinets do not run to the ceiling; the extra space can serve as an ideal spot for ambient lighting. In most cases; the ambient lighting is most neglected and overlooked. This type of lighting should be well blended with other lighting.

Accent Lighting: Accent Lighting is generally used to emphasize the architectural features of the kitchen as well as lend the ideal dimension and depth to a kitchen. The fixtures placed inside cabinets which have a glass front to illuminate the cabinet items like China and glassware may constitute accent lighting. Even over cabinet lighting or recess lighting accentuates the feel good factors of a kitchen. Track lighting can also be considered if the home owner has a small galley kitchen.

Dimmers: Installing dimmers is a significant factor that needs to be taken into account for kitchen lighting. With dimmers, the lights can be dimmed or undimmed according to the activity taking place in the kitchen or the time of the day. Moreover; dimmers create the right balance required in kitchen lighting.

Keep in mind just installing one stray dimmer may not be enough. Separate dimmers for each lighting type would be ideal—the idea is to be able to adjust the lighting; as and when needed.

Regardless of where you are in your kitchen renovation, we can help ensure that the final product captures your vision and personality to the fullest.

Contact ACo today to learn more about how we have helped homeowners with lighting decisions.


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