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7 Top Tips for Kitchen Lighting

437 Kansas-11.jpgFar more than a functional space for preparing food and cooking, the kitchen is regarded as the heart of the home and the center of family life these days.

Often an inclusive open-plan space, a Southern California home of four will likely need a kitchen to double as a place for eating, relaxing, and doing homework or other chores.

The kitchen has to work hard as a room to function efficiently throughout the day and accommodate all of the activities that are carried out there. 

As such, it’s a great room in which to fully explore all the tools of lighting. 

In an earlier post called Keys to Strategic Kitchen Lighting, you were given a solid framework for tackling lighting in your kitchen.

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Below, you’ll find seven top tips that can be used within that framework: 

  1. Task lighting is essential in any kitchen. Use low-voltage downlight set into the underside of the cabinets to light the countertop below. 
  1. If there is a central island, use downlight above it to provide task lighting. If you are unable to recess them, create a drop effect by hanging a wire rack over the island to hang pots, and incorporate mini spotlights within this. Always control the lights over the central island on a separate circuit from the other lighting in the kitchen. 
  1. In a small galley kitchen, downlight give a warm glow and can be used to great effect to bounce light off built-in cabinets, accentuating their color, and giving a feeling of space. If the units have attractive doors, direct the light at them so their surface is highlighted. 
  1. In a kitchen with high ceilings, the tops of cabinets can be used for uprights to provide general light. This will also reduce the number of downlight that are required. 
  1. For mood lighting, consider having lights set into the toe kick of a central island to wash light across the surface of the floor. 
  1. If the kitchen units are freestanding and so do not have a toe kick, clickstrip or LED strips can be used underneath to make them appear to float. 
  1. Bear in mind that any exposed light fixtures will collect the grime that cooking creates. If possible, choose either recessed or semi recessed fixtures. 

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Too often lighting comes bottom of the list when it comes to design, yet a successful, innovative kitchen lighting scheme can bring a kitchen to life.

The ideal time to plan a lighting scheme is right at the start of a home-renovation or new building.

Use the seven top tips above to “shine some light” on your approach to kitchen design!

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Topics: Kitchen, Lighting, Energy Efficiency, Smart Homes, Open Floor Plan