Lighting Your Kitchen

There are many options when lighting a kitchen. Some designers say that the best way to light a kitchen involves multiple types of lighting blended together. These are task, ambient, accent and decorative lighting. Successfully incorporating all of these into the kitchen creates a unique area, great for both working and entertaining.

Using a single overhead ceiling light can end up overpowering the whole space and creating a massive glare. It is one-tone and not very effective. Task lighting is important when cooking and preparing food, but if placed wrong it can ruin the overall efficiency and create shadows. Placing task lighting underneath overhead cabinets, over an island and even in the pantry will create bright, focused lighting in the areas where it is most needed.

Putting lighting under overhead cabinets can also double as ambient lighting with the addition of a dimmer switch. Ambient lighting is frequently overlooked while designing kitchens. It is more useful during entertaining and creates a warm feeling. When the kitchen is used as more of an entertaining space, this type of lighting becomes even more important. Ambient lighting fixtures come in many forms such as ceiling fixtures, pendants hanging over an island and adjustable track lighting.

Like ambient lighting, the accent lighting layer is often overlooked and is becoming increasing important because of the changing functions of the kitchen. It is used to highlight and bring attention to artwork and details like backsplashes. Track lighting, up-lighters, directional eyeball lights and wall sconces can be used as accent fixtures.

Decorative lighting can be expensive, but brings its own element to the kitchen. The scale of the fixture compared to the size of the kitchen is important when picking out a decorative lighting piece. Chandeliers and hanging pendants are some of the decorative lighting options. When choosing, remember to check that the fixture has enough opacity to effectively hide the light bulb.

To make sure all of these layers work together, dimmers can help with coordination. By putting each layer on a dimmer, the entire mood of the room can quickly and easily be changed. There are also preset options for different times of the day.

Effectively placing these layers together creates a warm and stimulating environment for cooking or entertaining. These fixtures and layers will be sure to show off all the hard work put into the kitchen design.

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