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Kitchen Lighting and What You Need to Know

by | Aug 8, 2023 | Kitchen 101, Project Planning | 0 comments

When you are renovating an existing home, there are so many decisions to make. One of the most important decisions is lighting. It affects how you feel and work inside your home. Proper kitchen lighting will not only make your space look great, but it will also help you complete all your cooking tasks with ease. Unlike most rooms in your home, a single fixture will not satisfy all the lighting needs in your kitchen. Using various types of kitchen lighting with different functions is indispensable for a balanced room.

So, what type of lighting is best for your kitchen?

There are four types of lighting: Natural, Ambient, Task, and Accent/Decorative lighting. A good lighting plan uses a combination of all three types to illuminate an area according to function and style. To properly determine which type to use, it’s important to understand each one and its purpose.

Natural Kitchen Lighting: This is the best kitchen lighting…light from the sun outside. As you’re thinking about your lighting plan, consider how the light from the windows will appear in the room at different times of the day. The benefits of natural light are plentiful, whether for lifting your mood or for lowering your energy bills. Kitchens that are designed to maximize daylight do much more than open a space and make it feel bigger. Natural light reduces energy consumption and acts as a serotonin boost for healthier wellbeing.

kitchen lighting, natural light

Ambient Lighting: This is the most general type of lighting. It’s the lighting that will fill the room, especially when it’s dark outside. This lighting is not meant to illuminate one specific area…it’s meant to be diffused across the kitchen and provide general illumination. Examples of ambient light are recessed lighting (can lights), pendant lights, flush mounted ceiling lights, and under-cabinet lights.kitchen lighting, under cabinet lighting, task lighting

Task Lighting: This lighting is concentrated in one area. It provides a shadow-free work environment and delivers increased light for tasks that require accuracy, helping reduce eyestrain. This lighting can be achieved through under-cabinet lights, recessed can lights in the ceiling including over the sink, and pendant lights or chandeliers over a kitchen island.

task lighting, kitchen lighting

Accent and Decorative Lighting: This is the pretty part, but don’t underestimate its power and importance. It directs one’s eye through your kitchen, provides visual interest, and makes your kitchen feel special, drawing people to where you want them to look or gather. Accent lighting can also double as task lighting, depending on where it’s placed. It can come in the form of inside cabinets, above cabinet crown mold, “toe” lighting (underneath floor cabinets or the island), pendant lighting, open shelf lighting, and wall sconces.

Choose light fixtures that complement your kitchen’s overall design and style. The purpose of one light can overlap with the purpose of another light (i.e., pendant lights can be used to add ambient light and to add decorative interest), so think about what purposes your lighting is serving before deciding on placement.

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