The most effective lighting for the kitchen involves four layers blended together: task, ambient, accent and decorative lighting. The end result: a warm and inviting environment that works with other design elements to create a practical workspace and lively entertainment area.
The functionality is what people think of first when designing a lighting system in the kitchen because it is integral to preparing food. However, if task lighting is misplaced, it can actually hinder your ability to work efficiently, throwing shadows on your workspace.
The lighting spot is the key. The key locations for the task lighting, including under cabinets and anywhere you will be chopping, slicing and reading recipes. Pantry is another place where you will want bright, focused lighting.
Under-cabinet lights can be a hidden asset in any kitchen, providing task lighting and soft ambient lighting to give the room a warm glow with a touch dimmer switch. Track lighting is a popular choice. A long linear lights or string lights contained in a single fixture. Another popular choice is the light “puck system”, consisting of a series of hockey-puck shaped halogen lamps.
Ambient lighting is an important element that is often overlooked in the kitchen. This indirect lighting is a lighting element that is very helpful and create an atmosphere. It softens the lines and shadows on people’s faces and creates a warm inviting glow in the room.
Accent lighting is the most common lighting lement in the kitchen, but it is becoming more common as people spend more time in the kitchen for casual entertaining. You might want to hang a piece of artwork on the wall behind the breakfast table, or splashback tiling above the sink can be a decorative focal point.
Decorative lighting should be considered in direct proportion to the size of your kitchen – the larger the space, place greater importance candle, hanging pendants and other eye-catching fixtures play. “There are two major considerations when it comes to decorative lighting,” said Randall. ‘You want to make sure that the scale of the right equipment for the space, and that the color of the material in order to effectively hide the light bulb.
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