Kitchen lighting can often be an overlooked factor when designing a new kitchen when in fact, a well thought out lighting plan should be a top priority. Creating the perfect combination of lighting solutions in your new design scheme will provide a space that is both comfortable and safe to use.
Lighting solutions should be carefully considered during the planning process to ensure a comfortable and of course, highly functional and safe kitchen.
A well planned kitchen should involve what I like to call ‘layered lighting’ – An effective combination of several different types of lighting options that will ensure your kitchen is both comfortable and safe to use at all times of the day, from morning to the night.
General Kitchen Lighting
General lighting refers to the main source of light in the space; this could be a ceiling mounted light, a series of downlights, or even a single lightbulb suspended from the ceiling – Please don’t let it be a single lightbulb just hanging around…!
Your general lighting will be the strongest light in the room and should effectively light up the entire space however, there will always be some shady bits and that’s where more focused lighting solutions come into play, such as spot lighting, track lighting, LED strip lighting options and more.
Spot Lights/Downlights & Track Lighting
Spot lights or downlights can be incorporated into your lighting plan to ensure key areas of the space are effectively illuminated, especially on your key work zones such as the sink or preparation area.
For example: You have your bench space where you feel most comfortable preparing food but you cast a shadow over the area while working. If there is a cabinet over this bench, a cabinet mounted downlight or LED strip light is perfect. If not, you may consider adding in a spot light or downlight in the ceiling directly above the area to eliminate any shadows.
Track lighting can work well depending on your kitchen layout; The beauty of track lighting is that this system offers the flexibility of being able to rotate and slide each light fitting to where it is needed the most.
LED Strip Kitchen Lighting
I am a BIG fan of LED strip lighting in the kitchen!
They can be mounted beneath your overhead cabinets for use as task lighting in key work areas, they can be used decoratively beneath benchtop overhangs to create ambient light in your kitchen and can even be incorporated within your cabinetry and pantry to light up those hard to reach places. It is important to specify in your lighting plan where exactly you would like your LED strip light switch to be installed in order to ensure the most comfortable and easy to access location for you.
Kitchen Pendant Lights
Aside from being a decorative feature for your kitchen, pendant lights also offer valuable task lighting over areas such as you kitchen island. Trending in kitchen lighting design this year are long, horizontal pendants installed directly over your island bench or a cluster of pendant lights installed asymmetrically to one side of your island. Pendant lights should be carefully thought out during the process of designing your new kitchen: They are not always necessary depending on your overall design scheme. If your kitchen design already includes high impact features that you do not want to pull focus from, you have the option of not including pendant lights at all or using a more simple pendant light that will not distract from the space’s key design elements.