One of the main requirements of a good and functional kitchen is the lighting. It is important to have well-balanced lighting to accomplish kitchen-related tasks such as food preparation. Not only that, but modern kitchens can be multi-functional. It can be a place of gathering, receive guests, read or eat. Thus, well-planned lighting can create a highly functional kitchen and an inviting atmosphere for every user. Here are some tips for better kitchen lighting:
Layering of Light
1. Start with Ambient Lighting
The purpose of ambient lighting is to provide illumination to the entire kitchen space. These lights can be from multiple ceiling fixtures or a single central light. This can also be in the form of a pendant or chandelier. If you like to install a central light or a chandelier, position it above the island or at the centre of the space if you don’t have an island counter. When installing recessed ceiling fixtures, try to maintain consistent spacing between each fixture. This will leave no shadow and dark areas. Suggested colour temperature to use is 3500K to 4100K for a brighter white colour.
2. Don’t forget Task Lighting
Other than ambient lighting, you need task lighting. The main function of task lighting is to illuminate countertops, islands, sinks, and other work areas that are not reached by the ambient lighting. One of the important tips for better kitchen lighting is to carefully place bright task lighting to provide just the right illumination for increased task precision. You must be able to read your favourite recipe book or watch cooking videos. One way to brighten up the work counter is to install lights in the undercabinet or under-cupboard. Among the popular under cabinet lighting are flexible LED strip lights and compact fluorescent lamps. You can recess the strip light into the bottom of overhead units. You can also use puck lights that can also be recessed into the undercabinet. For lighting above cooking surfaces, choose a specific exhaust hood with built-in lights.
For existing cabinets, where you can’t hide or recess the strip lights, you may use diffused linear or strip lights that has silicone sheathing that will still look good exposed. Suggested colour temperature to use is 3500K to 4100K for brighter work surfaces.
3. Add Accent Lighting
For a more dramatic, appealing and warm kitchen, you may add accent lighting. The function of accent light is to highlight certain areas, decor or features. If you have an existing kitchen, an inexpensive way to add accent lights are pendants and wall sconces. If you have an island counter, Position pendant light directly above it. Don’t just think of one pendant, you may add 3 pendants at most. You can also play with coves and ledges in the ceiling, add warm lights to create a mood. Another way is to add toe kick lights to create more drama and an illusion of a floating counter. Use LED strip lights that are flexible to install. Suggested colour temperature to use is 2700K to 3000K if you want warmer white, 3500K to 4000K if you want to match it with your ambient light.
4. More Natural Light
Do not forget the natural light! More natural light coming into the kitchen means a brighter kitchen. There are many benefits of having natural light in the kitchen. Including benefits in natural ventilation, saving energy and can also help in sanitation. Your french doors and windows can help you with natural light. If you don’t have enough daylight, try installing skylights or solar tubes. This is also an efficient way of introducing light to the interior.
5. Light the Inside
One of the tips for better kitchen lighting is to add lights in the cabinet interiors. Some modern kitchen has lights installed in the cabinet interiors. This will help you find stuff inside the cabinets, shelves, or drawers. To illuminate shelves, install diffused linear lights that are slim. Choose linear light that can be interconnected to fit with your shelf length. For drawers, you may use LED strip lights installed under each upper drawer. You don’t need a diffused light here as there is no glare and cannot be seen directly. Typically, these lights are operated through a motion switch. The lights turn on when the drawer opens and then turn off automatically after closing.