Kitchen Lighting Design for Homes

Lighting is an important element in shaping up to our interiors and setting up the right mood for daily regimes. If done correctly, it can escalate a simple setup by multiple folds with just a flip of the switch. Not only does it add up to the aesthetic value but essential for occupants to perform their errands efficiently. The kitchen is work as well as recreating space of the house, cooking and baking are considered therapeutic in this time where depression and anxiety ailments prosper.

Let’s investigate how the lighting can help transform the kitchen into more fun and focused space:

The three Layers

Layering is the new millennial trend, which is also found in Lighting Design pertaining to its aesthetic and functional advantages. Understanding the roles of Ambient, Task, and Accent lighting and then carefully placing them to reap maximum benefits and amplifying the kitchen interiors requires a professional approach. All the lighting calculations must be done in advance so that lighting isn’t excessive, otherwise, it might cause disorders like headache, nausea, or anxiety to the user.

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Ambient Lighting

The ambient light is the base lighting comprising of smooth overhead lights illuminating the floor and walls, making the kitchen usable. This light demands a wide beam spread for a consistent lighting layer across all parts of the kitchen area. Lately, recessed lights flushed with the ceiling, are evidently utilized for the ambient lighting layer. Besides these, flush mount fixtures and track/rail systems also perform well, choice can be made considering how well the light gets directed across the span.

Image credits: take3lighting

As a rule of thumb, spacing between the recessed lights is typically based on the ceiling height. Ambient lighting is a good way for illuminating the space, but it gets disrupted by a couple of things like storage cabinets, fan, chimney, etc, and hence isn’t adequate by itself, leaving some areas poorly lit or shadowed.

Task lighting

As the name indicates, task lights are used strictly for the sake of performing visual tasks; one can’t take activities that involve the use of knives lightly, right? The primary function of these lights is to illuminate the operating areas like countertops, islands, sink, etc., and enable precision during food prep combating glare and shadows.

Innumerable varieties of pendant lights and multiple lamp fixtures can be used to illuminate islands and countertops, multi-bulb LED strips have proved to be a good option for under cabinet lighting. If the kitchen has open shelves, a dramatic ambiance can be rendered using directional sconces/downlit pendants in multiples to create task lighting.

Sometimes, oversized hanging light fixtures can change the dynamics of a room by altering its proportions and can also lead to user discomfort while using the breakfast table/dining table. Pendant lights and right-sized chandeliers should be considered in such cases.

Lighting to Accent details

Accent lighting allows one to unleash their creativity, play with different styles and add a statement to the kitchen because the freedom for expression is greater than the technicalities ambient and task lighting offer. Conventionally, accents are used to highlight the insides of crockery cabinets, above cabinet lighting, ceiling, kitchen drawer lighting, exposed countertops, and any favourite corner of your kitchen.

Mini spotlights installed inside glass cabinets get turned on when one opens the panel for a better view of the crockery inside, this becomes an ornamental part of kitchens with the crockeries acting as sculptures. Moreover, accent lights can easily be added to existing kitchens for enhancing their appeal.

Tips and Tricks

An easy way to define each lighting effect in terms of the three controllable attributes

Intensity: Dim vs. Bright

Color: Warm vs. Cool

Texture: Directional vs. Diffuse

Understand lumen charts, lumens define the brightness and measure the light output of a given fixture. These help in selecting the right intensity of light for the right task/space.

Different indoor lighting levels are required for a variety of spaces, standards for each task must be studied and net illumination should amount up to the specified. (kitchen- 500 lux, dining- 200 lux)

Use dimmers to regulate the number of lumens help to fine-tune the lighting situationally. They work well for mood lighting purposes and can be used for accent lights in particular.

Don’t ignore the natural lighting, the kitchen window is responsible for ventilation as well and daylighting, ideally, it should be a minimum 10% of the floor area.

Keep the energy consumption in mind, CFLs and LEDs are less energy-intensive than incandescent bulbs. LEDs might look like a high investment initially but the payback for themselves over time with their energy efficiency.

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