The kitchen acts as the heart of your home. Meals, planning, dates and parties often start at the table and end at the sink. Consequently, you need to ensure that your kitchen lighting strikes just the right note for all your kitchen related activities, from washing dishes to preparing food to socialising with friends and family.
If you are planning a kitchen renovation, keep the following kitchen lighting tips in mind.
1. Start From the Bottom
Your cabinets offer a lot of storage and display space, but they cast distinct shadows over your benchtops. These shadows decrease visibility and make food preparation more difficult. During the evening hours, you may even avoid your kitchen benchtops completely in favour of a well-lit tabletop.
But you can brighten your benchtops if you install under-cabinet lighting. Low-voltage bulbs or miniature track lights distribute light over your benchtop without overheating your cabinets or your food.
2. Feel at Home Near the Range
If the kitchen is the heart of your home, then the range is the heart of your kitchen. Your cooktop allows you to perform all your baking, heating and cooking, so you may spend more time at the stove than anywhere else.
If you don’t have adequate kitchen lighting near the range, you may struggle to determine whether your food has cooked thoroughly. And you may have a hard time telling when one burner ends and the stovetop begins, increasing your likelihood of injury.
Fortunately, you can light up your range with recessed downlights. This style of task light produces an even illumination and creates a distinct style and flair.
3. Accent Your Glassware
Do you have heirloom china or decorative glassware that you’ve acquired over the years? If so, display your passion in glass-panelled cabinets and open shelves. Your collection will not only add a little personality to your kitchen but will also serve as a creative centrepiece for your guests to admire.
If your beautiful bowls and priceless plates don’t attract enough attention, liven them up a bit with accent lighting. You can place soft strip lights inside the cabinets themselves to give your favourite items a gentle glow. Or, you can opt for a combination of under-cabinet and over-cabinet lights that highlight your displays in their entirety.
4. Love Your Layers
Once you have task lighting and accent lighting in place, don’t forget to layer your kitchen with overhead lighting. Overhead lighting, such as chandeliers and pendant lights, will act as your central source of illumination when you want your full kitchen bathed in light.
On its own, overhead lighting may produce overpowering glares and sharp shadows. But when you combine overhead with task, ambient and accent lighting, the layered effect will give you smooth illumination throughout your kitchen.
5. Adjust for Atmosphere
As you install several layers of lighting, you may start to feel overwhelmed by the sheer intensity of countless light bulbs and strips in your kitchen. Too much light can make your kitchen feel stark and sterile rather than cosy and comfortable.
If you want to make the most of all your lights without sacrificing displays or accents, consider separate dimmer switches for each type of lighting. With a dimmer switch, you can tone down your overhead lights for a more romantic atmosphere, or you can amp up your task lighting to make reading recipes a little easier.
Need Additional Advice?
Although these tips will help your kitchen look stunning, don’t forget that your kitchen is unique. The style, the layout and the décor will all affect how your kitchen looks and feels. To ensure you have the perfect lighting in your kitchen, talk to one of our kitchen design professionals for advice.