Kitchen lighting is often an afterthought, but some pre- planning can help convert your kitchen space from drab and ordinary into an inviting living space.
Whether you’re remodelling your kitchen or simply updating, layers are essential. Layering light allows for different moods to be created, which is essential since our kitchens are no longer just a space to cook. The kitchen is the most widely used space in your house; it can rotate from the cooking space, to dining room, to entertaining space in minutes so planning the right layers is important.
1. Task Lighting- This is the most intense and focused lighting in your kitchen, designed to illuminate task specific areas such as countertops, cooktops and sinks. Task lighting is best situated between the height of a person’s head and the work surface; under cabinet lighting is the best solution for this. Both Halogen and LED lights are used for under cabinet lighting as puck lights or as a strip light.
2. Accent Lighting- is used to highlight specific features of your kitchen, such as glassware, china, or a really fantastic backsplash. It is often used inside glass cabinets or as mini spotlights. Wall scones are fantastic for adding some extra light in a specific area, such as around the window or around a really great feature in your kitchen and they are right on trend.
3. Ambient Lighting- This is usually the main lighting in your kitchen, but is often overlooked. Ambient lighting is usually a medium level light used to light the entire room, and eliminate shadows, but does not overpower the whole room. The goal is to provide a warm, inviting room through lighting. This can be done using track lighting, recessed lighting, above cabinet lighting and Chandeliers.
4. Decorative Lighting- is like a great necklace, not necessary but it completes a look. Decorative lighting is purely for fun, so you don’t have to worry about it not giving off enough light (that’s why you make sure to think about task, accent and ambient lighting first). In some cases you’re accent lighting or ambient lighting can also be your decorative lighting.
When choosing lights, both LED and Halogen are popular. LED lights are more energy efficient and do not get as hot, but they are more expensive than Halogen. Halogen lights can be dimmed with a regular dimmer where as LED lights require specialty dimmers.
Something else to consider is the type of light that is emitted. At Hawthorne Kitchens we have white lights that are both warm and neutral/cool toned. The different tones make a big difference in the look of your cabinets and countertops.
In lighting, anything goes. Classic pieces like Chandeliers are back in style, and are not just for the dining room anymore. Try hanging big statement lights over islands and peninsula. Intricate crystals, dark coverings and unique shapes add flare and dimension to your kitchen. With some strategic planning you can have fun with lights and change the mood of your kitchen to an entertainment area.