Coming up with the perfect plan for your kitchen lighting is important for a number of reasons. First, you have to consider that you're going to be cooking all of your meals in the kitchen and having an appropriate amount of lighting that covers every area including that cooking area is essential. Second, you might be surprised to find out just how hard picking out lighting for a kitchen is.
Some lights might hang too low, some lights might be up too high, some lights might not give off enough lighting based on the kitchens lay out and so on. There's 20 tips you want to follow before you purchase any lights to be used in your kitchen.
1) Planning Out Your Kitchen
Having a well lit kitchen isn't just great for cooking but it's a safety essential as well. Creating a natural flowing ambiance should be the focus of any kitchen. There are a lot of layers and objects in your kitchen that can help guide and reflect light to make the room brighter. You have to plan out how much natural lighting will be entering the kitchen for the day time and how much decorative lighting you plan on implementing.
2) Don't Forget the Space
Before moving anything or hanging any lights up, you need to consider how much space is in your kitchen. Take into account how much furniture, how many fixtures and the layout of your kitchen before getting lighting. If you for example have a really tall ceiling, you're going to need a lot more lighting or lighting that has a long base.
3) Helpful Lighting for Chores or Tasks
This is what's known in the interior business as essential light for the kitchen. When you're cooking or doing anything in the kitchen that requires you to be in a static position, such as washing dishes, you need essential lighting over that one area. For any work surface, you should have some lighting that hangs about 2 feet or longer above a surface.
4) Space of Your Lighting
It's ideal not to place your lights too close together. For a decent length, you should focus on placing all of your lights approximately 2 feet to 3 1/2 feet apart. These lights also need to provide lighting to the entire kitchen, even if some areas are a bit dim. They generally just need to make sure no part of the kitchen is hidden. If you have a kitchen with a divider, separate lights will need to be installed on the other side of the divider.
5) Why Is The Layout of Your Lighting Important?
For large kitchens, you're going to need evenly spaced out recessed lights to help cover every area of the kitchen and having lights too close together can create blinding spots where the lighting might be a bit too bright. These recessed lights might just cover areas of your kitchen that the essential task lights such as the chandelier over the area you use to cook do not. It's all about the lighting and how much of the room you're covering.
6) What About DIY Lighting?
While it's not recommended for someone who doesn't know what they're doing to install kitchen lighting themselves, there are easy to install lights you can add to your kitchen. You might consider just adding some touch screen lights underneath your cabinets or for areas like the sink. These can be bought at any major convenience or retail store.
7) Monorail Lighting
What is monorail lighting? These are lights that you usually see used in a production theater but with different cases and bulbs. They can be crafted and made to fit your individual needs or for those with oddly shaped kitchens.
8) The Color Does Make a Difference
Believe it or not, the color actually plays a pretty big role in determining your lighting structure and just what kind of lighting you should get. Kitchens with a lot of white call for brighter lights and brighter white bulbs to help illuminate the kitchen and give it a glowing effect. Typical home style kitchens can be just fine with yellowish bulb fan lights.
9) The Accents of Lighting
While most lighting does exist to illuminate the room and help provide a safe work area for cooking surfaces, some decorative accents for lighting solely exist just to give the space above your work surface some style. So if you're on a budget and you don't care about style, you should avoid accent lighting as it costs a lot more.
10) Need Quick Lighting?
Have you ever considered recessed can converters? It's basically the same as screwing in a light bulb and they last just as long.
11) Consider Pendant Lighting
Pendant lighting is best described as a drum looking light or the type of lighting you see in restaurants hanging above tables. They can give off some style and steal the show for the room. They're a bit less expensive and they're easy to change the colors if you need a new color or just grow tired of looking at the current color.
12) For Dark Kitchens - You Need More Lights
Some kitchens don't have the luxury of natural lighting like other kitchens do. If you don't have a nice sized glass door or window attached to your kitchen, then you're going to need more and brighter lighting so take that into consideration when picking and planning out your lighting scheme. The problem, aside from space is that darker surfaces absorb lighting a lot easier which can make it difficult to see. So if you have a dark kitchen, you'll need approximately 1/3 more lighting to fill the void.
13) Consider Your Cabinets/Drawers as Well
A lot of people forget to take into consideration their cabinets. All of your pots, pans and other necessities will probably be stored in them so don't forget about them and remember to have a lighting source that's close by and provides adequate lighting for all of your cabinets.
14) Your Budget is Priority
Remember, no matter how fancy, glam or spectacular you want your kitchen to look, you still need to take into consideration what you can afford. You should always consult with a professional to figure out a rough cost estimate of how much all the materials to renovate your kitchen would cost, even if you are just gutting your current lighting and installing new lighting. There are plenty of cheap alternatives to lighitng out there as well depending on your needs and the size of your kitchen.