Kitchens aren’t just for cooking these days. Often, they are the space in the home where family, friends and guests gather. And, whether you just want to improve the kitchen lighting to make cooking easier, or you to want to create a truly welcoming space for entertaining and dining, tips and tricks about how to light a kitchen are always well-received. So, here are some of the best ideas to switch you on to find better ways to bring light to the kitchen.
Kitchen Lighting: The 3 Types of Light
The main source of light will be ambient light. This adds to whatever natural light you have in the space or has to make up for a lack of natural light. Either way, the crucial thing is to spread the ambient kitchen lighting as evenly as possible. Typically, this is achieved through a blend of the like pendants, recessed lighting and chandeliers, all set from the ceiling.
Ambient lighting tends to leave shadows across certain areas. Task kitchen lighting is the answer to the problem. Through strip lights and puck lights, work surfaces and shelves are properly lit. This means that all the tasks you need to do in the kitchen, from finding an ingredient to preparing a meal, are done safely and effortlessly. Accent kitchen lighting is the icing on the cake for a well-designed kitchen. Accent lights accentuate particular features or areas of the kitchen space, crossing over with ambient and task lighting to great effect.
Kitchen Lighting tips: Use layers
It’s impossible for a single light fixture to provide all the light you need in a kitchen. Therefore, the answer lies in layers. For example, layers of smaller lights combined with a main overhead fixture provide the emphasis of light you need. Adding layers to a lighting design will also reduce the amount of glare. Ambient lighting is often not considered in cooking areas. However, this really misses a trick. Ambient lights can help to fill any lighting gaps there are but it can also improve the whole atmosphere and feel of the kitchen space too.
Kitchen Lighting tips: Think about tasks
Task lighting is important, of course. But, more so than any other type of lighting in the kitchen, it really needs to be carefully thought-through. So, consider the type of tasks that you will be doing regularly and how best you might illuminate them. Remember that the ideal position for task lighting is between a person’s head and a work surface. This means that strip lights or lights placed under cabinets can be particularly useful.
How to light a kitchen island: Task or Ambient?
A lot will depend on whether your kitchen island is more of a working space (with an integrated cooker, for example) or more for entertaining. Hanging lights and recessed downlighting are a highly effective mix for islands with tasks in mind. If you would like more ambience, mini pendants are the way forward. As a general rule of thumb, keep pendants about 30 inches apart from each other and a similar distance above the island itself. If pendants aren’t your thing, linear suspension lighting is a great alternative – especially in spaces with higher ceilings.
Use Light Dimmers for tasks and ambience
Another versatile lighting tip is to add light dimmer switches. It’s simple common sense really. The brightness of lights that are ‘up’ makes cooking and prep tasks easier. On the flipside, dimmed lights can add to the ambience whilst you are eating the meal. Another bonus is the fact that light dimmers are customisable to meet particular needs.
Accent lighting adds depth
One of the most effective ways of adding dimension to the kitchen space is to use accent lighting. This works particularly well when lighting glassware or china in a display cabinet. Here, rope lights and puck lights really come into their own.
Things come in threes
As the saying goes, things often come in threes. When it comes to kitchen lighting, thinking in threes is a good idea too. So, instead of one main light fixture, consider three identical pendants as an alternative. Ideal for classic and traditional kitchen designs, it’s brilliant with contemporary, ultra-modern looks too. Depending on the amount of light you need, simply choose your bulb wattage accordingly.
If you want to pick up some more great tips and advice about how to light your kitchen, get in touch with the Kitchen Warehouse team. We’ll be happy to help!