Lifestyle

Best kitchen lighting and how to style it

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in our home. With the popularity of open-plan living, they often share space with dining rooms and cozy places and are hubs for family activities. With all the changes made last year or so, many of us have added telecommuting to the list of activities to perform in this room.

Therefore, the kitchen / dining room does not have to be as flexible as it is today. Lighting is the only and most important tool that can change the way we interact, perceive, and function within the space. It is central to how we feel about our environment. Building a beautifully lit house can be a significant minefield, as there is information that often conflicts with so many lighting options. Think of a lighting scheme as a recipe or a painting. Different materials and layers are needed. Poorly illuminated space is often the result of trying to do everything with a single type of light or using the wrong light source for the desired task. There are some rules that can help you avoid these pitfalls.

What is the best type of lighting for your kitchen?

I prefer to use directional downlights (those that tilt and rotate). It can be angled towards the work surface or cabinet door. Unlike fixed downlights, these provide the flexibility to fine-tune where the light goes and keep it out of the eye. A room with a high ceiling requires less downlights than a room with a low ceiling. This is because the rays expand as they move away from the light source, giving them more coverage opportunities.


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There are different views as to whether embedded downlights need to be arranged in a grid. Doing this is fascinating because the human eye likes symmetry. However, rather than worrying about the ceiling pattern, it’s better to decide where to place the lights. I usually decide that if something isn’t symmetric, it obviously needs to be “off”, not as little as ever. It should look intentional, not unplanned.

I started working in the 90’s when my hobby began to move away from truck lighting. It was a revolution in embedded downlights – cleaning the exterior of the ceiling. However, I think these may be a bit worn out and boring these days, but the cool ’60s feel like they’re tracking lighting, which can also create considerable architectural features. The new LED version is incredibly small and smart. We want the track lights to be simple enough to blend in with the interior, but there are times when we want to express them visually. The interior designers I worked with were happy to describe them as “ceiling pigeons.”

The light under the cabinet is useful when you want to turn off the ceiling light to hide the mess, but if you jump into the kitchen when serving pudding etc., you can still see what you’re looking for. Please be sure to select it. Strips that provide a warm, even glow – preferably use an opal diffuser to hide individual LED points (when sitting directly at dinner or as a reflection on a polished countertop).

You have the option to consider the location of these lights. If you have equipment like a coffee maker underneath, it’s best to install them on the underside front of the cabinet. In some cases, these lights can be retracted, but if that’s not possible, you can add hidden lips or trims that match the cabinet doors. Placing the strip in the center of the cabinet is a good way to illuminate the entire worktop below. Also, placing it near a wall is perfect if you want to accentuate a great splashback finish.

Kitchen island lighting

Kitchen Island is a convenient task area that can be used for everything from cooking and chopping to cooking (if the stove is located there) and, of course, socializing. Therefore, all these tasks require lighting. The best option is to hang one large or three regular size pendant lights on it that illuminate the entire space. Consider having a spotlight around these to make sure all corners are lit at the time you use for chopping and such tasks. The kitchen island lighting needs to be customizable, so make sure the pendant light is on the dimming switch when interacting around the island before the dinner party.

Use large decorative lights on either the dining table or the island, but not on both, unless the kitchen dining space is very large or divided. There is a possibility of collision. I still like to place some directional downlights on both sides of the pendant, so the bottom surface is illuminated. You can darken the pendant to create the illusion of illuminating the table below without your eyes being too bright.

One of the lighting challenges is the skylight on the table. There is plenty of natural light during the day, but it can be a dark depression at night. I like to place some surface spots in the skylight and shine a crosslight on the lower surface or a small indicator light for a soft glow in the skylight. Note the reflections in the glazing.

Color temperature is a very important issue for LED lighting. This is supposed to be a scientifically determined reference point and is standardized like the Pantone chart. The light from a 2700k (warm white) lamp should look the same no matter where you buy it, but it’s not always the case and can look terrible with different versions of the same light from different accessories. There is sex. Stick to one source or supplier as it is related to the rigor of selection during manufacturing.


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Also, especially for LED lights, the lighting can be very flashy. When all DIY kitchen stores have low level lighting integrated into the skirting board pedestal, it’s time to think of another trick. There is a subtle line between great lighting ideas and what looks like a lighting showroom. If in doubt … omit it.

Think about how to illuminate a traditional kitchen and a more modern style kitchen. The front of a traditional cabinet with paneling is ideal for arcing light from embedded downlights. Modern units can take something a little cleaner, such as the dented lines of striplights that create a more up-to-date statement.

When it comes to control, whether you prefer switches, rotary dimmers, or smart systems, keep it simple, at least at the front end. I use what I call “grandma’s standard”. If you think your grandmother has a hard time using it, it’s too complicated.

Finally, I always tell the designer to think about things that aren’t as lit as they are. Shadows create contrast and interest in space. White kitchens reflect more light than dark kitchens, so a different lighting approach is needed.

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Best kitchen lighting and how to style it

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