It's true that lighting can make or break the atmosphere of a room. After all there's a big difference between cosy and dark.
That's why it's important to work out your kitchens lighting plan long before the work begins.
The kitchen provides plenty of opportunities to express your personality and style.
There's lots to consider, you'll need functional lighting to see what your chopping and atmospheric lighting to wind down or impress guests.
If you're updating your kitchen, here are some lighting options to give you a little food for thought.
There are two main types of lighting that will make up your kitchen.
The first needs to be a bright, shadow free light that illuminates preparation, cooking or eating areas.
Atmospheric lighting is also important to consider.
By lowering the intensity of light, or even adding some colour, the kitchen becomes a less functional space and a more social, or relaxing environment.
One final consideration is of course, feature lighting.
If you're lucky enough to have an architectural wonder, or some impressive artwork, bringing attention to these areas with subtle lighting, is always a winner.
There will be times when crossover between lighting styles may occur.
For example, a prep area may need both functional and atmospheric lighting.
You'll see an example of this in the next section..
Under pelmet lighting
This is probably the
most common application of lighting amongst our clients.
Under pelmet lighting is perfect for providing a bright functional light to cooking and preparation areas.
These fittings are placed on the bases of the wall cabinets and provide light directly to the work surfaces.
In recent years, LED technology has made these fittings much smaller and easier to hide away.
They can be fitted as spot, or a strip option.
With spots you will get a concentrated beam of light directly to the worktop.
There is a potential for spots to create shadowy areas if not spaced well.
The strip lights, will give you a constant beam of light across the pelmet, much like the image below.
Pelmet lighting can be switched locally or wired back to the main kitchen light switch. Dimmable or colour changing products are available to bridge that gap between practical and ambient lighting.
With an existing kitchen these fittings can sometimes throw up a few challenges to install.
Mainly with hiding cables neatly, or finding a suitable place or way to switch them.
It's always best to have a chat with your electrician to see what solutions are available.
Washing the floor with a glow of light is perfect for a late night visit to the fridge or impressing party guests.
Getting this low level glow is fairly straightforward to achieve.
A row of holes are made in the plinth/kickboard.
These accommodate the light fittings and the cabling can be neatly hidden away under the kitchen units.
Again you have the option of spots and strip lighting.
Decking lights are commonly used for plinth lighting. They are rugged, waterproof and often come in different colours.
This idea can be applied in other places around the kitchen. During one of our recent projects, we found them useful in a large kitchen cupboard.
Up lighting can be used to provide subtle highlights to specific areas of your kitchen.
If you have something your particularly proud of, like some paintings or a trendy exposed wall, then up lighting may be exactly what your looking for.
There are many ways to apply up lighting to your kitchen plan.
- Wall lights,
- Picture rail strips,
- Floor level spots.
- Down lighters in the floor.
If your considering the later, the construction of your floor will be a factor.
A floor containing services, underfloor heating pipes or matting, may be problematic when installing flush fittings.
Directional spots similar to the one below could be more suitable.
Again it best to discuss your ideas with your electrician to see what is feasible.
Less is defiantly more with this style, as it's more about catching eyes than being practical.
Other ways of up lighting in a kitchen could be to mount LED strip lighting above the kitchen cupboards. This creates an atmospheric glow around the edges of a ceiling and it's also a great background lighting.
The trusty pendant is a popular choice in many rooms, not just the kitchen.
It's versatility makes it perfect for both practical and ambient purposes.
Pendant light fittings are back on trend. This mean you'll have no trouble at all, finding a style or design to match your kitchen.
There are many ways to apply pendants to your space.
A tried and tested layout is to position them over dinning tables, or islands, a seen below
The use of antique style flexes and lamps is very popular at the moment. Throwing away the shades give a wider light and a stripped back effect.
If you're looking for a blanket of bright light, down lights are the perfect choice.
Versatile, compact and offering high output, down lights can be seen in nearly every home an electrician visits.
It's safe to say that were all aware of the benefits of these fitting so we wont spend too long talking about them..
Available in many styles and designs, there something for every kitchen and budget.
With a well positioned row or two in your kitchen, you'll never be short of light.
If your a interested in home automation, speak to your electrician about the smart lighting options available.
You'll be able to set your favourite lighting levels as presets and even schedule them throughout the day. Who doesn't want a dimmer switch on their mobile these days.
Commercial/ Industrial/Vintage style Fittings
If your looking to make a bolder statement, then maybe borrowing some elements often found in a retail/commercial setting would suit you.
A retail/commercial look with red flexes and exposed filament lamps.
Exposed conduits and cable tray can also be striking in the right domestic environment.
This kitchen blends industrial ventilation and worktops into a domestic setting.
Hopefully this article has given you some inspiration for an upcoming project.
The great thing about kitchen lighting is that there is plenty of room for creativity, so consult your qualified electrician to share your ideas and confirm feasibility.
If you have any questions about what we've discussed in this article, or would like us to cover another subject else please leave a comment below and we will get back to you.
You can also check out our other articles here.