Your Guide in Choosing the Right Kitchen Lighting
the kitchen is the focal point and the heart of home. There are so many options when it comes to kitchen lighting. This article is not about which light fixtures in particular to choose because that is really a personal decorative choice for you. I will take you through the important elements of how to light a kitchen and from there you can decide which method is best for your kitchen. In order for you to make a proper choice of kitchen lighting, you must know the types of lighting that can be provided in your kitchen, and here are some of the most common types of lighting for your kitchen:
Recessed Lighting in the Kitchen
The majority if not all ambient light in the kitchen will come from recessed lighting. It is the most efficient and modern way to accomplish this today. Although you can customize a bit with various types of recessed lighting trim, this type of lighting primarily serves the purpose of adding ambient light and is typically not for decorative purposes.
If for some reason you are unable to add recessed lighting into your kitchen ceiling, then you can go with flush mount fixtures. Add multiple smaller flush mounted lighting fixtures in your kitchen rather than one large one in the center of the room. This will provide more of the coverage that you need.
Pendant Lighting for the Kitchen
Pendant lights are likely where you will be able to add some design, flair and character to the lighting in your kitchen. Although pendant lights serve a function by providing some task lighting over important work surfaces, they also allow room for your creativity. This is where I would spend a little more money in selecting the perfect pendant lights. Pendant lights allow you to deviate a bit from the color scheme in your kitchen. It is okay to add something that has wild colors or is an interesting shape.
Pendants are typically used over the kitchen island and sometimes over the sink. At times, they are also used over the kitchen table. These are all great areas to accessorize with unique and conversation starting pendant lights.
Under Cabinet Lights
Under cabinet lighting will bring your kitchen to life if done right and should be considered for all kitchen remodels. Adding under cabinet lighting is also a great way to upgrade an older kitchen that you would like to give a small facelift to. The added element they bring to the room is absolutely amazing. They are available in hard wired versions as well as battery operated. They have dimmers and can also come with multiple kelvin color settings.
Your options for under cabinet lighting will be:
· Hard wired LED linear fixtures
· Wireless LED light bars
· Puck lights
· Tape lights or strip lights
Kitchen Island Lighting
When we say that the kitchen is the gathering place in the home, the kitchen island is the place where most people gather in the kitchen. When we have guests over, we often stand around the island having some food there and just talking for hours. The lighting over your kitchen island will be critical in making that space work.
The size of your kitchen island will truly determine how many light fixtures you will need for coverage. The goal here is to provide task lighting while you are working at the island, but then transition that lighting to add ambiance when the island is being used for more social settings.
There are ways you can light your kitchen island:
Recessed Lighting - You can add recessed lights above your island and they can be the only lighting provided for your island. If you choose this route, I recommend placing recessed lights that are specific to the island only. This means they may be smaller in size or have more lumens. They also should be on their own switch and with a dimmer. If you do not like pendants, this could be the way to go.
Pendant Lighting - Pendant lights are the most popular way to provide lighting over your kitchen island. Although it is so tempting to shop for them based upon how the look, you need to make sure they are also delivering the light you need. Pendant lights should hang at least 75cm-90cm above your counter depending upon your ceiling height.
Linear Fixtures - Linear lighting fixtures are used quite often over kitchen islands. They have a series of lights which means choosing the right light bulbs will be extremely important.
Lighting over the Kitchen Sink
There are three lighting options for over your kitchen sink. Regardless as to which of these options you choose, they all should be on their own light switch. This is actually the one light that does not have to be on a dimmer.
Pendant Lighting (best)– one pendant light strategically places above the sink is the most popular and decorative option to choose. This is the optimal choice.
Recessed Lighting (good) – one recessed light over the sink is likely the second choice. This brings no element of design or fashion and simply delivers the light needed to work at the sink. This light oddly enough is also often left on all night or when people leave the home in the evenings. It is almost like a kitchen security light.
Flush Mounted Fixture – This is the least desirable of all lighting options over your sink. Flush mounted fixtures are yesterday’s news and if I were remodeling a kitchen, I would not consider this. They also usually have a lens over the light which diffuses that light and minimizes the lumens that should be directed down towards the sink.
Kitchen Light Switch Placement Location
The best place for your light switches is the spot where you enter and exit the room. If you currently have switches under your cabinets or in some other inconvenient place, then relocate them during your remodel. If you are designing a new home, then carefully consider this.
You should have a hub at the room’s entrance for all of the lights. In some instances, you will want a three-way light switch. Example is the light over the sink where one next to the sink and one at the entrance to the room would be perfect.
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