10 Tips On Designing Kitchen Lighting

When it comes to interior design or remodeling in general, not many people know how much lighting can effect he overall look and feel of a room. This is especially true with lighting in your kitchen, as there are many things you can highlight. You can create a more stylish and trendy kitchen by incorporating a nice lighting design. Below are 10 different tips to consider when creating a lighting design for your kitchen.

  1. No More Grids – Forget grids of downlights and use lighting only where it is needed. Areas of the kitchen where you prepare food is a place that would need good task lighting. You can get these task lighting from either down lights or pendants.
  2. Don’t Block Your Worktop – To prevent our shadow from blocking your work area and giving you optimal light to assist with your work, consider installing under-cupboard lighting.  The latest LED products have less heat output which saves you money as well as preventing food and furniture from heating up.
  3. Get Creative – Designing should be fun, so think outside of the box and get creative of where you want to place your lights. You can also look up current trends to see what professionals are suggesting. Lighting below kitchen islands make the furniture appear to float. While up-lights on the tops of cabinets are great for kitchens with high ceilings, as it adds light to the space between furniture and the ceiling.
  4. Use More Than One Light – If you want to add a three-dimensional feel and create a certain mood in your kitchen, consider adding layers to your lights. Adding accent and ambient lighting are great ways to add different layers to your kitchen.  To show good contrast, each layer should be controlled individually so that they can create different feelings from a bright daylight to a more intimate feeling at dinner.
  5. Go Warm – The evolution of LED lights have made it easier to have light bulbs last longer while providing ample light to your room. With recent down-lights being eight or 10W rather than a standard 50W, you can light a large kitchen with only 200 watts. What is great about these bulbs is not only will it save you money and energy, but will give you lighting that is warm rather than hot. Warm lights create a more comfortable feeling over light bulbs that give off heat after long periods of usage.
  6. Manipulate Space – For those that have smaller kitchen areas, you can use lighting to create the sense of more space. Do this by installing directional spotlights angled towards cupboards and walls. The light will reflect off these pieces of furniture and back into the room creating more “space.”
  7. Keep Lights Close To Walls – This tip is more for cleaning as placing light fixtures near walls or ceilings make it easier to clean.
  8. Consider The Eye – Whenever you are installing lights you need to consider the affect they will have on your eyes. If you have spot lights or task lights focused on a certain area of the kitchen, make sure that they do not shine in your eye. As some lights will highlight an area but run the risk of harming eyes of people sitting close to that area with a glare.
  9. Get Flexible – Spotlights should be positioned where you need the light. Adding directional lighting gives you more flexibility over standard lighting. Add dimension of light over a counter by placing it above the edges of the counter but angled across it to create a glare-free lighting.
  10. Think About The Inside – If you have see through cabinets, you can add a professional mood to them by adding lights internally. These lights will showcase the items in your cabinet much like how bars use lighting to showcase their top tier bottles of alcohol.
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Lights To Use In Your Kitchen

Back in the day, when designing a house, interior designers would just put up a fluorescent ceiling fixture in a kitchen and that would be it. However, as trends change and interior design is evolving, it is now good practice to have a good lighting design in your kitchen. Since the inception of LED lights, they have been the light of choice when it comes to adding light fixtures to homes.

LED is a good start when adding lighting to your kitchen but you will want to create layers of light. Layers of light will create an ambiance of warmth and welcoming to your kitchen as well as providing functionality. A good way to create light layers is by incorporating different lights for your kitchen, below are a few lights to consider when designing your kitchen.

Recessed Lights

With lights recessed into your kitchen ceiling, they will:

  • Cast task lighting onto sinks, counter tops, kitchen islands and pantries. To avoid shadows in your kitchen place recessed lights around the perimeter of your kitchen.
  • Highlight the cabinetry in your kitchen.
  • Illuminate dark corners that other lights can’t reach.

When installing recessed lights, you will want to install one every four to six feet of ceiling space. To add more characteristics to your kitchen mix the angles of your lights between wide angles and narrow beam lights.

Over-Cabinet Lights

When you want to add style to your kitchen and set a good mood to the room, you will want to consider installing over-cabinet lighting. Mount these lights on the top of your cabinets where they can highlight displays and spread a warm light to your walls and ceiling. What makes these lights great is that using these with LED lights allows you to leave them on at all hours of the night. Which is perfect for restless sleepers who tend to grab midnight snacks.

Under-Cabinet Lights

Nowadays, under cabinet lighting are a necessity when it comes to redesigning your kitchen or adding more lighting. They give off a certain elegance that enhances your kitchen’s overall look at night. Once considered a luxury item, they have become more common in today’s era of kitchen accessories.

The thing with under cabinet lighting is to position them so that you only see the light coming down and not the fixture. In addition, you can either place them near the front or back of the cabinet bottom to highlight either back-splashes or tasks.

Types of bulbs to consider with under-cabinet lighting:

  • Strips of LED lights
  • Fluorescent fixtures
  • Halogen & Xenon

Toe-Kick Lights

Toe-kick lights are a great way to highlight certain aspects of your kitchen such as kitchen islands or base cabinets. Place these strips of LED lights at the toe kicks of these pieces of furniture. You can connect these lights to motion sensor so that you now have a warm glow whenever you walk into the kitchen. This adds a modern and high-tech feel to your kitchen that visitors will enjoy.

These types of lighting also can serve as a functional purpose as they can be used as night lights with their motion sensor capabilities. Whenever you walk in the kitchen at night, let your toe-kick lights light you a path to your destination.

Pendant Lights

If you have a kitchen with high ceilings then you will want to have pendant lighting installed. These are great to add more lighting to your room as well as creating visual interest with their decorative style. What is great about pendant lights is that you can have ones that shine light in all directions or ones that have a focal point which are great for kitchen islands.

Size its important with pendant lights because they serve different functionalities. Smaller pendant lights are good to create an open feel to your kitchen while bigger lights are good to make a decorative statement. Bigger pendant lights can highlight certain areas of your kitchen depending on were you install them. Hang several pendants at the same time at different heights to add a visual interest to your kitchen.

Ceiling Fixtures

As mentioned before, ceiling fixtures were once the go to option for kitchen lighting. These fixtures are installed onto (flush mount) or close to the ceiling suspended by a small stem (semi-flush mount). These types of lights provide general lighting to your kitchen. With these fixtures being used for hours at a time throughout the day, you will want to have bulbs that can withstand that type of usage and still hold their brightness overtime. This is where you will want to use LED bulbs with your regular ceiling fixtures.