Have you ever been in a new kitchen
that had everything but still didn't seem all that impressive? It had the trendiest benchtop
on the market, the most expensive appliances and everything else a dream kitchen should have, but something about it just didn't work. The problem was probably with the lighting
. Choosing kitchen lights is one of the most important parts of kitchen design, but often one of the most overlooked. That's a shame, because doesn't take much effort or expense to choose kitchen lights that will literally make your kitchen sparkle. Here's how to do it.
Three Kinds of Kitchen Lights
There are three different kinds of lighting you need to consider:
- General lighting illuminates the whole room. In most rooms, this is the overhead lighting. It can be a hanging light or recessed lighting, but consider your ceiling lights to be only the first lighting you need in your kitchen.
- Task lighting is lighting that is designed for special purposes. Without a reading light next to your bed, for example, you have a hard time reading in bed even if you have perfect vision and reading under poor lighting becomes quickly fatiguing. In the kitchen, lights mounted under your upper cabinets and over the stove make working in the kitchen easier, more enjoyable and less tiring. They also lift the appearance of the room.
- Mood or accent lighting is going to make or break your kitchen. That's probably why that beautiful and expensive granite benchtop your friend was showing off to you didn't seem all that impressive or why you didn't notice all that beautiful stemware behind the glass display doors.
Ideally, all three of these kinds of lights should be incorporated into your kitchen. It's also important that all three of them have their own sets of switches:
- Your general overhead lighting should have a switch at every kitchen entry and exit point.
- Instead of having just one switch for all of your task lighting, have separate switches for each area. For example, if you have a U shaped kitchen, you will want to have separate task lights for both sides of the 'U'. If you have a kitchen island, you will want to have one light hanging from the ceiling designed to illuminate the island that is on a separate switch from your general lighting.
- Dimmer switches for your accent lights allow you to create a soft or festive mood at will.
The kinds of lights you choose will make a difference, too. LED lights are great for both task and accent lighting. They burn cool, so are perfect for inside display cabinets and under cabinets, where you will be in close proximity to the light source. Also consider LED splashbacks
. These technological wonders actually illuminate the entire surface of the splashback and can even be adjusted to different colour frequencies, giving you the opportunity to change your colour scheme to suit your mood or the occasion.
Your local electrician
can help you choose all the right lighting fixtures for your kitchen or you may even want to find a lighting consultant
in your area to help you with choosing your kitchen lights. Whatever you do, don't overlook the importance of lights in kitchen renovations
. They make the difference between an ordinary kitchen and an extraordinary one.