Having good lighting at home is important, most especially the heart of the home, which is the kitchen. It will help you see the foods you are preparing and cooking clearly. Aside from that, different kitchen lights can also give different ambiance and feel to your kitchen. Lighting a kitchen is just like preparing a healthy meal. You need to have the right balance of lighting to get you on the right track and accomplish your daily tasks.
Aside from cooking, the kitchen is also sometimes used when doing homework and when making some grocery lists. Therefore, when lighting a kitchen, you need to have proper lights that will cater to all the activities you do there. If you have a new kitchen and you still haven’t figured out the types of lighting to put, or if you are upgrading the lights in your old kitchen, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are going to give you tips on creating a well-lit and inviting kitchen.
Types of Lighting for Kitchens
Before we go to the tips, let us know first the kinds of lights you can use for your kitchen. There are three different types of lighting that you can incorporate in your kitchen, which are the ambient, task, and accent lighting.
The primary source of light is ambient lighting. It can be in addition to natural light or to fill for the lack of natural light. Some of the examples of ambient lighting are chandeliers, flush mounts, pendant lights, and recessed lighting. These lights are used to help you navigate throughout the kitchen.
Since ambient lighting is made to light up the whole kitchen, it sometimes leaves shadows in areas that require more focus. Therefore, task lighting is also needed in the kitchen. These lights can illuminate work surfaces and cabinets properly, helping you prepare meals, find ingredients on a shelf, and read recipes safely. Most task lighting for kitchens includes puck lights and strip lights.
If you are looking into adding some style to your kitchen in addition to illuminating it properly, then you can consider putting some accent lighting as well. These are lights that might accentuate your favorite elements in your kitchen. Some examples are cabinet lights and toe kick lights. They can also crossover into a task and ambient lighting.
Tips on Lighting a Kitchen
After knowing the different types of lighting you can use for your kitchen, here are some useful tips you can try.
Make a Plan
Before you go out and buy different kinds of light fixtures for your kitchen, you need to make a plan first. The number of lights or fixtures you need depends on the size of your kitchen. Therefore, consider your space first to know what styles of lights to get. If you have a high ceiling and darker finishes, it means you need more light. If you have a new kitchen, it is critical to plan where you intend to install different types of lights. Therefore, you can bring in a layout when purchasing lights.
Know the Watts Needed
When buying kitchen lights, another essential thing you should know is how many watts of light you will need. To be able to get it, you can multiply the square footage of the countertop area by 2.5.
Choose the Right Color Temperature
Aside from knowing the watts needed, you also need to decide on the color temperature for the bulbs to be used in your kitchen lights. The color of a bulb can change the vibes of a particular space, just like how other decorations do.
If you want to have a brighter kitchen to be able to see all the foods you are preparing clearly, then you can opt for cooler bulbs. But if you want to make your kitchen feel more cozy and casual, just like lounges and restaurants, then warmer bulbs would work well for you.
Focus on the Ceiling
The higher your ceiling is, and the brighter your kitchen, the better it is to fill it with light. One of the best ambient kitchen lightings is recessed downlights because these can give you a more customized lighting scheme. They are great if you want to spread the light evenly throughout your kitchen, and you can put emphasis on lighting the high-use areas. If you are worried that you might go to bright, you can simply add dimmers so you’ll be more in control of different lighting scenarios.
Aside from recessed downlights, another option for ambient lighting in the kitchen is a flush mount or semi-flush mount lighting. This type works best if your kitchen is not very spacious. You can just simply place a larger flush mount ceiling light in the center of your kitchen to illuminate the whole space.
Light Up Key Lighting Areas
The kitchen island is one of the key lighting areas, and you need to light it accordingly. The light fixtures you should put depends on whether your kitchen island has an integrated cooktop or it’s just for hanging out.
If you have a task-oriented kitchen island which is usually used for food preparation and recipe reading, you can try putting a mix of recessed downlighting and hanging lights. But if your kitchen island is for ambient hang-out or for counter seating, mini-pendant lights will look great. When installing pendant lights over a kitchen island, they should be at least 30 inches from the center of the island and should have 30 to 32 inches between the countertop and the bottom of the pendant light.
Aside from pendant lights, you can also opt for linear suspension lighting for your kitchen island. These lights work well for kitchens with higher ceilings where you can hang them at least 40 inches above the countertop.
Apart from the kitchen island, under the cabinet is another key lighting area where task lighting is needed. This will help illuminate your kitchen counters when you are cooking. You can opt for strip lights that can be placed under the cabinets to fully light up counter spaces. Or you can choose puck lights, which are round and oval lights that can set the mood and can light up countertops in the form of a spot or pool of light.
Add Some Accent Lighting
As mentioned earlier, you can add some accent lighting in your kitchen if you want to make it look more stylish and inviting. By placing the right accent lights, your favorite elements in the kitchen will be emphasized. Some of the common accent lights for kitchens are toe kick lights, over cabinet lights, and recessed lights.
Toe kick lights can help distinguish kitchens and as well as illuminate a pathway. They are usually rope lights or LED tapes placed below the kitchen cabinets and above the floor.
Over-cabinet lights are usually placed between the cabinet and ceiling. These lights can add a dramatic touch to your kitchen. Aside from that, they can also provide even illumination to accent décor in your kitchen.
Recessed lights can actually go anywhere, but they are also useful if you want to light up areas of visual interest in your kitchen, such as glass cabinets and shelves.
Choose a Focal Point
Layering lights in the kitchen is important when creating a design. It’s because you will be able to devise a dynamic space when you can combine ambient, task, and accent lighting. However, even if you are using different types of lights, you also need to have a central point in your kitchen and illuminate it.
It will be up to your preference which area of your kitchen will be the focal point, but it’s not a good idea to choose the sink area because your guests might get a view of dirty dishes. The preparation area in your kitchen is a great choice to illuminate for a focal point.
When lighting a kitchen, you need to be consistent with your choices. For example, when choosing light bulbs, you need to pick the same color bulbs throughout your kitchen, so that the tone of your kitchen cabinets, counters, and the floor will all be the same strength.
For lighting styles, you can actually choose different lighting designs, but you need to make sure that they match one another or that they look good all together. For example, you can choose different shapes of lights, but all should have the same colors or materials.
Lighting a kitchen properly is indeed important because it is not only used for preparing meals, but also for storing food, dishes, cookware, and as well as a room to entertain and socialize with guests. A properly and beautifully-lit kitchen can also motivate and boost your mood to prepare and cook delicious meals every day. We hope the tips we shared will help you with lighting your kitchen.