Kitchen Lighting 101

Kitchen lighting

Your kitchen lighting should be more than just a few florescent bulbs and a single switch. It takes task, ambient and other blended sources of light to create the ultimate functional and fashionable kitchen design. Without the proper light sources in the kitchen, it can be difficult to showcase your dècor, highlight design accents, or even worse—be tough to complete the daily chores of cooking.

Because the kitchen is the heart of the home, a well-lit space is preferred. Bright and white kitchens denote cleanliness and offer a clean space to cook and eat from. Whether you're planning on remodeling your kitchen or building one from scratch, lighting is the ultimate step next to cabinetry selection and appliance design. But no matter what lights you install, always hire a licensed and insured professional electrician to do the work. Use this guide to kitchen lighting so you and your new electrician are on the same page when it comes to lighting your kitchen.

Are you Up to the Task?

Task lighting is the main source of light for any kitchen. It needs to be addressed first and foremost in your lighting design. Task lighting sources like track lighting and single can recessed lights are perfect for highlighting specific work areas of the kitchen. Appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators and sink areas do well with these types of task lighting sources. Task lighting sources should be bright and direct over these areas.

Many task lighting sources are moving from the traditional bulbs and replacing them with LED's. Light emitting diodes or LED's are a cheap and efficient light source. When combined together in a honeycomb pattern, they create a very bright and powerful direct source of task lighting that uses very small amounts of electricity and generates little heat. This allows them to be small and compact enough to fit just about anywhere.

Under cabinet areas are often the workspaces of the kitchen. From chopping vegetables to setting the groceries, the under cabinet countertop is a high traffic area. LED's play a significant role in creating a light source under cabinets that doesn't get hot yet is bright enough to read a cookbook with ease.

Kitchen islands are a common place in today's modern kitchens. Many kitchen islands contain workspaces of their own with under cabinet storage, in sink garbage disposals or in-counter grills. That's why lighting them with a good source of task lighting is important to getting the most from your kitchen island. Pendant lights and monorail lighting sources are the perfect addition for overhanging kitchen island lighting. They not only help light your kitchen island, but they look good and add an aesthetic focal point to your kitchen.

Bar and dining areas are becoming more and more prevalent in modern kitchen design. We tend to eat more in the kitchen nowadays and these areas are often built into the side of a kitchen space with an overhanging edge with bar stools for seating. But these areas need to be lit up well to be functional. Be functional and fashionable by installing pendant lighting to create a light source for each seating area and suits your kitchens design elements perfectly.

The Perfect Ambiance

It's not just task lighting that needs to be in the kitchen. A good source of ambient light helps to blend the light sources together and not make them so direct. An ambient light source is one that seems to come from all around, without a particular source. Ambient light is warm and glowing, without being direct in anyway. Florescent lighting sources are perfect for ambient lighting solutions in the kitchen.

Mixing fluorescent bulbs tighter in the same ballast is a great way to add a more natural touch to any fluorescent lighting source. Mix bulbs with blue and red spectrums to help enhance natural light colors to prevent fluorescent lights from having an industrial yellow feel.

But ambient light sources don't have to be pure electrical either. Natural lighting in any kitchen is one of the best ways to achieve the perfect ambient light source in a kitchen. From the basic window to an overhead skylight, natural lighting will give your kitchen a warm and welcoming touch that suits any decorating or design theme.

While natural light sources like sliding windows and tilting bays let in light, they also let in fresh air, making them the ultimate in lighting and ventilation sources. When possible kill two birds with one stone by purchasing a kitchen window that opens into the fresh air. A well ventilated kitchen is just as important as a well-lit kitchen.

When natural lighting options from windows are not an option, skylights can provide the perfect solution to natural lighting in the kitchen. From simple bubble lights to full opening glass windows, skylights are a great way to add value, class and style to any kitchen design.

Even if your roofing system is too cluttered with wires and plumbing to place a conventional skylight, there's still hope. An amazing development in skylight technology allows natural light to still enter through the roof, even at odd angles or around framing, plumbing and electrical wiring. A solar tube skylight system reflects light through a bubble lens on the roof down through highly reflective tubing and onto a translucent lens. Easy and affordable, a solar tube skylight can be installed on any existing or new roof.

Looking Good

Lighting sources in a kitchen aren't all about hiding them away from plain view. Many kitchen lighting sources are aesthetic and used to accent designs and dècor as well as light them up for display. Mini chandeliers and mini pendant lighting work well for remedying overhead lighting sources that need that extra touch of class.

Wall sconces are used to decorate wall art, seating or other up against the wall accent furniture's and dècor. They come in a wide variety of sizes and styles and can easily be installed in an existing wall or a new kitchen just as easily.

Monorail lighting adds a curving and wavy light source that can be angled or bent to suit the natural flow of your kitchen. Just like track lighting, monorail lighting has directional light sources that can create task lighting or ambient lighting, making them versatile as well as stylish additions to any kitchen.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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