Do not have enough natural light in your kitchen? Do you feel a strain in your eyes while preparing meals? These are some of the most common problems faced by people with improperly lit kitchens. Kitchen space is the hub of any household. Most people spend hours in a day cooking three meals in the kitchen. It is where you cook delicious meals for friends and family. However, the importance of proper lighting for such a space is often overlooked.
Many interior designers and architects generally suggest installing several recessed lights all around the ceiling of the kitchen to solve all the lighting questions. However, this is a serious mistake. The kitchen space needs a unique lighting solution to give it a warm and inviting aura. After all, it is here that the health of your family is put together.
It is important to be aware that every place needs a combination of three kinds of lighting, i.e. Ambient, Task, and Accent lighting. Ambient lighting is the main source of light—whether in addition to natural light or to fill in for lack of it. It will help you to navigate through the kitchen. Task lighting is lighting designed to exclusively illuminate the task areas such as work surfaces, and cabinets. And, accent lighting helps to accentuate your favorite elements. They also might cross over into ambient and task lighting as well.
Here are some ideas to spruce up your kitchen lighting using these 3 key lighting principles:
- For Kitchen Ceilings: Use of ambient lightings such as Recessed lighting or Flushmount or semi-flush mount lighting on the ceiling works best to illuminate the space. This will help you navigate the space in the absence of natural light. It is important to note that the lighting needs to splash evenly throughout your kitchen, with an emphasis on lighting high-use areas, so grid out the lights in straight lines along the axis of your counters.
- Under-Cabinet Lighting: Though the recessed ceiling lights are great for general illumination of the kitchen space, they often leave shadows under the cabinets and on shelves. To avoid this, one must make judicious use of task and accent lighting. With the help of undercabinet task lighting and LED profile lights, work surfaces, and cabinets are properly illuminated so you can safely prepare meals, read recipes, and easily spot ingredients on a shelf.
- To light up the island: Lighting up the island needs to be task-specific. Depending on whether your island has an integrated cooktop/workspace or is more for hanging out, you will want to light it accordingly. For task-oriented islands (food prep, recipe reading), try for a mix of recessed downlights and a cluster of pendant lights. But for ambient
hang-out islands (like counter seating), something as simple as mini-pendants will do. Use decorative pendant lights with materials like brace and metal.
Pendants should be placed at least 30-32 inches apart and 30-36 inches above the island, with at least six inches from the edge of the island.
Avoid these lighting mistakes in your kitchen area:
- Choosing the wrong size of light fixture: Let a lighting expert help you with the size and the nature of lighting required in the kitchen.
- Installing a single source of light: This will create dark shadows in the kitchen, making it difficult to function for a long time.
- Poor lighting in small areas: Your grocery storage area might need better lighting to help you navigate through the space. Make sure adequate lighting is put up in smaller areas.
- Ignoring the role of dimmers: Dimmers help to control the intensity of light, taking care of heat emission and your electricity bill. Do not ignore their usage.