The Rules of Kitchen Lighting Design
As you plan to remodel your kitchen, one of the most important things to keep in mind is lighting. Sometimes, keeping it in mind is not enough, and you really need to sit down and plan out what types of lights, and where you would like them, prior to beginning the remodeling project. To accomplish an amazing lighting design, you will want to follow the rules of kitchen lighting design, which have been outlined for you here, and will incorporate ambient lighting, task lighting, accent lighting, and decorative lighting.
The first type of lighting you will want to consider is ambient lighting. This type of lighting is used to make the kitchen feel like a warm and inviting place that your friends and family will enjoy being in. Ambient lighting casts soft glows that can bounce off the walls and ceilings to create this effect. In most instances, recessed lights are used for ambient lighting. Although you should discuss the lighting plan with the contractor or lighting designer, in most cases, you should have one recessed light for every 4 to 6 square feet of space in the kitchen.
The next type of lighting you will need to be concerned about is task lighting. This type of lighting is essential for lighting up work areas. Task lighting is bright and usually focuses on a specific area of the kitchen, such as the sink for washing dishes and the food prep area. You will want these lights at head height, and located over the island, the sink, a desk, or other areas that are specifically used for kitchen duties. Most often, recessed lights and/or floodlight are used for task lighting.
Another form of lighting you will want to consider is accent lighting. Accent lighting is important for highlighting certain areas of the kitchen where you have architectural features or artwork on the walls. Most lighting designers or contractors will suggest the use of track lighting in combination with spotlights that can be arranged to highlight these certain areas. This will help ensure that the lights are pointed in the exact directions you need them.
Although it may seem that decorative lighting is unnecessary, this is not true. Decorative lighting helps bring the entire space together and amplifies the design of the kitchen. Wall sconces, chandeliers, and pendant lights are great options for decorative lighting fixtures. These can be hung over the dining table or on walls to add that extra special touch to the decoration and design of the room.
As was mentioned, having a contractor who is experienced in lighting design, or even a lighting designer is a great idea. These individuals will be able to accurately plan where the lighting should be to create the best overall lighting plan. In addition, they will be able to help you choose cost-effective and energy-saving solutions that will meet your lighting needs. Furthermore, these individuals will have the knowledge needed to get the best value in lighting that will fit within your budget, and also have a means of creating or designing lighting fixtures that will enhance the overall design of your space.
Another aspect of lighting design that is critical is the placement and types of switches used. Turning on the lights is important, and proper placement is key in making this task simple. There are different types of switches, including dimmer switches and those that run on timers, as well as automatic options. You will need to make sure that the switches are at the entry point of the room, as well as throughout the kitchen near work spaces. In addition, placement of lights and switches will be dependent upon the location and placement of appliances and cabinets, as well as backsplashes and countertops.
Taking the time to plan out your lighting design is essential when remodeling your kitchen. Although it seems like a simple task, there are many things to take into consideration. This includes the different types of lighting used – ambient, task, accent, and decorative. This also includes the placement of these elements, and the switches. Furthermore, choosing design elements is just as important as choosing elements that will be functional in the space.
Lighting design needs to be done at the start of the project, particularly because the placement of lights and switches is dependent upon the layout of other elements of the kitchen design. It is also important to keep your budget in mind. If you cannot afford all of the lighting you need, based on your budget, consider having the junction boxes installed, so that as time goes on, you have the ability to put the lights where they need to go without having to rework any walls or electrical components. Let there be light – create an amazing lighting plan by following these rules of kitchen lighting design!