The kitchen is the heart of a home. It’s the place where you start your day and the kitchen lighting needs to be flexible to illuminate a variety of tasks from reading the morning paper to cooking and socializing. The kitchen is a room where you can really show off with your lighting and use a combination of different effects to produce stunning results. As with other rooms in the house, no single light can perform all the functions of illumination at once. Layering different light sources is essential and a well thought-out lighting design should look great as well as aid functionality.
To ensure sufficient light within the kitchen for food preparation and cleaning, task lighting to work surfaces is essential, key areas to direct task light are the cooker and sink, with around 350lx being a good amount of light for these zones. With the rising cost of electricity you should be looking to use some of the many fantastic energy efficient LED solutions available to reduce your bill. If you have wall mounted cabinets, then low profile LED fittings mounted to the underside, or offsetting the cabinets a short distance from the wall and hiding LED tape behind to create a halo, are both excellent ways of providing a wash of light across worktops, whilst minimizing shadows. Back lit splash backs can also work really well at providing task lighting to work surfaces and incorporating RGB colour changing LED’s into these can be a fun way of adding colour to your kitchen.
If you have a dining area then lighting here is of particular importance. The dining table in most family homes has many uses and the lighting should be suitable for reading newspapers and doing homework, yet much lower and more intimate light levels are also required for dinning and entertaining. Pendants above dining tables can provide a great feature and focal point within your space, products with a solid reflector such as the Light years Caravaggio, or lighting from Jim Lawrence, can be used to create pools of light on the table. Or for a more ambient effect, glass pendants such as the Artemide Castore, are an effective way of getting light onto many room surfaces and up onto the ceiling. Feature pendants vary massively in style and price, the key is to find luminaires you really love that suit your décor and style. Bocchi, Artemide, Louis Poulsen, Light Years, Foscarini and Flos all have excellent pendants. Geoffrey Harris Lighting stock many options and have a great website www.geoffreyharris.com as do www.jim-lawrence.co.uk.
Oversized pendants are on trend at the moment and will instantly make a real impact. However, if your ceiling height is low then over sized pendants can look cumbersome. Choosing the right size and quantity is something the lighting design studio can help you with.
The most important thing for dining areas is making sure the fittings are on dimmable circuits, so you can have maximum output when needed, but also a dimmer cosy light level.
Providing task areas such as work surfaces and dining tables are illuminated, then lighting onto the remaining empty floor space is often not needed. It’s a common mistake to have a grid of down lights washing every inch of a room with a uniformed light level. A high level of light on your floor is wasted and you would be needless wasting energy. To make a room appear ‘bright’, light should wash the walls and ceiling, not the floor. That said, hiding lights inside an island and / or the kicker boards at low level can add interest and the soft halo gives a floating illusion to you cabinets. However, care should be taken to ensure that the LEDs are not reflected in floor tiles as this will ruin the effect. Again the lighting design studio can help you with this.
Finally, if you have artwork and photos then using spots to highlight these will create focal points in the room and draw attention to the things that really give your home personality.
With multiple layers of light comes multiple lighting circuits and rather than having six switches lined up on a wall, you can eliminate wall clutter with a digital lighting control system. With the touch of a button, the ceiling fixtures in your work area will brighten while you prepare food and cook, or you can adjust island lights to a more subdued setting for dining and entertaining. Control systems allow you to easily adjust the level of light to increase your comfort level. They are also great at lowering the amount of energy used and therefore reducing your electricity bills. As with all areas of you home, if you have any queries on your kitchen lighting or would like the best advice on lighting then please do get in touch.