There are a number of ways that you can provide lighting for your kitchen. And, each type of lighting used serves a specific purpose; whether it’s for functionality, or aesthetics, or both. Your kitchen’s layout and size play a great role in your choice of lighting. Is it an open plan kitchen or a enclosed one? Is it a small, medium, or large kitchen? Does it have a high ceiling, or a low one? What amount of natural lighting does this kitchen receive? Evidently as you work on your kitchen’s design and its lighting, it is essential that you pay close attention to where you choose to situate your light fixtures, the type of fixture to be used, the bulb wattage, and how the light fits into your overall kitchen’s/home’s design.
This short article serves to assist you in your kitchen illumination process. It states the obvious, and not so obvious places where light fixtures can be placed to achieve optimum lighting, as well as to accentuate your kitchen’s design.
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Types of Lighting
General/Ambient Lighting (ex. recessed ceiling lights and chandeliers) provides adequate overall illumination to spaces, creating maximum ease in movements.
Task Lighting (ex. desk lamps and pendant lights) serves to bring illumination to an area where tasks (cooking, reading etc.) are generally done. To add both elegance and functionality to a space (while limiting clutter), unique, dynamic light fixtures are used.
Accent Lighting (ex. wall sconces and spotlights) serves to highlight certain design or decor elements: architectural designs, or objects such as a painting, sculptures, or decorative pieces. .
Decorative Lighting (ex. pendant light and chandeliers) serves to draw focus to the light fixture – to its glow emitted, to it’s structural design, or both. Decorative lights are integral parts of a room’s design, and may also function as any of the other types of lighting.
Ceiling lights generally diffuse as much light as possible throughout a room. The kitchen is one of the most important spaces in your home. As such, general lighting is necessary. This can be achieved through the use of various types of ceiling lights, such as recessed ceiling lights, flush mount ceiling lights, and linear ceiling lights. The flush mount ceiling light (my favorite) evenly distributes much needed light.
Recessed Ceiling Lights
Flush Mount Ceiling Lights
Semi Flush Mount Ceiling Lights
Linear Fluorescent Ceiling Lights
Kitchen Island Lighting
If your kitchen already has a source of general lighting, such as ceiling lights, your island lights could serve as accent and task lighting. The most popular types of kitchen island lighting are the pendant lights and chandeliers. Now, the number of pendants, as well as the size of the chandelier to be used, is based on your design aesthetics. Both Pendants and Chandeliers can be used as either ambient lighting, task lighting, accent lighting, or decorative lighting.
Over-Kitchen-Sink lighting generally functions as a form of task lighting, normally providing a direct downward illumination of the kitchen sink where food preparation and dishwashing is done. It also serves as accent lighting to highlight beautiful sink and faucet fixtures. It is essential that your choice of over-sink-lighting ties in with your kitchen’s overall design, and is rated for damp areas.
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Kitchen Counter Lighting
Kitchen counter lighting acts as task lighting to illuminate counter prep areas. This type of lighting can equally accentuate your lovely countertops thus further elevating your kitchen’s design.
Under Cabinet Lights
Open Shelf Lighting
Light fixtures placed over your kitchen’s open shelves basically function as task lighting, allowing you to easily locate items on your shelves. Based on the number of light fixtures that your kitchen already contains, and the scope of illumination achieved, this type of lighting may not be necessary. However, open shelf lighting also operates as accent and/decorative lighting.