When you head into a room and flick the light switch, you probably think nothing of it. This is just something you do; it’s an intrinsic action you’ve undertaken your entire life.
However, lighting doesn’t just illuminate – it can change your mood, too, and even affect your levels of productivity.
When it comes to the kitchen (arguably, the most important room in your home!), this means lighting holds more significance than ever right now. We all want to find more ways to feel bright and happy, and if your kitchen now doubles as a home office, the ability to be ultra-productive while sat at your breakfast table will also be top of your priorities.
There can be some serious side effects of poor lighting, too. Studies suggest that insufficient lighting can contribute to depression and vitamin D deficiencies.
All this from a humble lightbulb, eh? Who’d have thought it!
Why kitchen lighting matters
When you have a new kitchen designed, you’ll need to think as carefully about the lighting choices as you do the work surface material and colour of cabinets.
Think about how much time you spend in the kitchen. It’s a place in which to chill out, prepare food, work, and entertain, and lighting plays a specific role in all of those scenarios.
It therefore stands to reason that you need to illuminate the hardest working room in your home properly.
There are three types of lighting to consider for a kitchen redesign or update:
- Ambient lighting
- Task lighting
- Access lighting
Each one performs a very specific role and will contribute significantly to how much you enjoy the room.
What is kitchen ambient lighting?
This is the lighting you’ll use most often, and which will have the biggest impact on your mood. It’s the lighting that illuminates the room as a whole, but most of us refer to it simply as “ceiling lighting”.
There are lots of options here, but you’ll need to first decide if you want discreet downlights or directional track spots. Here’s the difference:
- discreet downlights provide great overall coverage, but can’t be angled if you want to illuminate specific areas of the kitchen more than others
- directional track spots can be moved as required and thus provides far more flexible lighting options going forward
These days, spots really are the way to go when it comes to ambient lighting for kitchens, and advances in LED technology means they’re more efficient, long-lasting, and brighter than ever before.
What is kitchen task lighting?
Kitchen task lighting is generally used to light up specific areas within the kitchen. It’s most commonly found under cabinets for lighting up worktop areas.
This is perfect for food preparation or for when you don’t want the full glare of the ambient lighting. However, by combining ambient and task lighting, you’ll end up with a far more balanced illumination of your kitchen.
What is kitchen accent lighting?
If you want to add a bit of drama, a touch of colour, or flash of style to your kitchen, accent lighting will make all the difference.
This concentrated light is used to create atmosphere, and usually comes in the form of pendant lights above breakfast bars, or coloured lighting strips under cabinets or beneath cupboard doors.
What else should I consider for my kitchen lighting?
When choosing the types of lighting above, it’s important to think about colour and how it’ll fit into the overall design of your kitchen.
For instance, ambient lighting can come in warm, cool or natural shades of white, and the colour of those accent lights will have a big impact on the overall decor and ambiance of the room.
It’s also important to think about the light switch. Do you want to be able to dim the lights? What about being able to control the dimming of various light ‘zones’ within the room if you have a large kitchen?
Lastly, don’t forget about one of your most important light sources: natural light! You can increase the amount of natural light that enters your kitchen by maximising window space, installing roof lanterns, and considering Velux windows.
Need help choosing lighting for your kitchen?
We hope the above has given you a great insight into the types of lighting your kitchen needs and from which you’ll benefit personally. Just remember to reserve a good portion of your budget for lighting – it really deserves it.
If you need some guidance on how to pick the right lighting for your kitchen, or just fancy a chat about the options, simply get in touch with the Modern Homes team today.