Kitchen Lighting Design

Kitchen Lighting Design

Next Up Kitchen Lighting Design Tips America’s top lighting designers share their foolproof tips for creating the perfect lighting plan for your kitchen. Six Tips to Light Up Your Kitchen Give potential homebuyers a fresh look at your kitchen with a combination of new ambient, task and decorative lighting. Kitchen Lighting Tips Choose the right type of kitchen lighting with these tips. How Much Kitchen Do You Need? Get the most value from your kitchen remodeling project. Smart Tips for the Ergonomic Kitchen Get expert advice on the right counter height, the best flooring and where to put your appliances. Kitchen Lighting and Flooring Two of the most important elements in any kitchen are good lighting and flooring. Our experts share the different options for both. Four Tips for Cutting Bulb Glare No one wants to deal with the unpleasant glare from bare light bulbs. Here are four options for reducing bulb glare in kitchen chandeliers. Planning Around Utilities During a Kitchen Remodel One of the first steps in a kitchen remodel is determining what type of utilities you will need and their location. Find out how to plan for utility placement and what steps you’ll need to take after that. Kitchen Remodeling Basics Before planning your kitchen renovation, make sure you’re familiar with the basic components. Kitchen Design Don’ts Designer Dave Stimmel deconstructs the successful kitchen.
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Kitchen Lighting Design

Kitchen Lighting Design Tips America’s top lighting designers share their foolproof tips for creating the perfect lighting plan for your kitchen. Six Tips to Light Up Your Kitchen Give potential homebuyers a fresh look at your kitchen with a combination of new ambient, task and decorative lighting. Kitchen Lighting Tips Choose the right type of kitchen lighting with these tips. How Much Kitchen Do You Need? Get the most value from your kitchen remodeling project. Smart Tips for the Ergonomic Kitchen Get expert advice on the right counter height, the best flooring and where to put your appliances. Kitchen Lighting and Flooring Two of the most important elements in any kitchen are good lighting and flooring. Our experts share the different options for both. Four Tips for Cutting Bulb Glare No one wants to deal with the unpleasant glare from bare light bulbs. Here are four options for reducing bulb glare in kitchen chandeliers. Planning Around Utilities During a Kitchen Remodel One of the first steps in a kitchen remodel is determining what type of utilities you will need and their location. Find out how to plan for utility placement and what steps you’ll need to take after that. Kitchen Remodeling Basics Before planning your kitchen renovation, make sure you’re familiar with the basic components. Kitchen Design Don’ts Designer Dave Stimmel deconstructs the successful kitchen.
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Kitchen Lighting Design

General kitchen lighting can be achieved with either recessed lighting or a central, decorative chandelier. Recessed lighting is best placed around the perimeter of the room and approximately 30″ away from the wall. Chandeliers can be used in addition to other lighting in the space. In the kitchen, it is best to use chandeliers with semi-transparent glass shades instead of fabric shades because the glass is much easier to clean. Photo Credit: LBL Lighting
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Kitchen Lighting Design

Decorative lighting should be considered in direct proportion to the size of your kitchen — the larger the space, the greater importance chandeliers, hanging pendants and other eye-catching fixtures play. “There are two major considerations when it comes to decorative lighting,” Randall says. “You want to make sure that the scale of the fixtures is right for the space, and that the shade material has enough opacity to effectively hide the light bulb.” Decorative lighting is the most expensive element of your lighting design scheme. If you’re on a tight budget, Randall recommends installing the infrastructure for decorative lighting — the junction box and/or recessed box in the ceiling — then, purchasing the actual fixture down the road.
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Kitchen Lighting Design TipsThe right lighting in your kitchen brings out the best in cabinets, countertops, food — and you. Here’s our guide to kitchen lighting design.
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“Task lighting is what people think of first when designing a lighting system in the kitchen because it’s integral to preparing food,” says Joe Rey-Barreau, director of education for the American Lighting Association. “However, if task lighting is misplaced it can actually hinder your ability to work efficiently, throwing shadows on your workspace.”
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Task Lighting. It is the workhorse of illumination and provides adequate light for tasks like chopping vegetables and reading recipes. Optimum placement of task lighting comes between a person’s head and the work surface, which makes lighting located below the upper cabinets so effective. If a kitchen remodel includes a pantry, make sure to specify task lighting there as well.

Undercabinet lighting will quickly and easily illuminate your countertops. It is available in a variety of choices, including slim, energy-efficient fluorescents, miniature track lights and low-voltage linear systems. Place undercabinet fixtures at the front of your cabinet – not against the wall – so the light will be distributed evenly over the area below. Also, consider putting your undercabinet lighting on a dimmer separate from other lighting in your kitchen. The different levels of light can add depth and dramatic impact to your space, and dimming is an easy way to save energy. Photo Credit: Tech Lighting
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The kitchen used to be strictly for food preparation and children who were not to be seen or heard. Now, floor plans are more open and parties often flow from the living room through the dining room and into the kitchen. “Ambient lighting will attract people into the kitchen and make them feel welcome while eating appetizers and sipping wine at the island,” says Randall. Ambient lighting fixtures may include flush-mounted ceiling fixtures, a pendant hanging over the island and adjustable track lighting.
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Today’s kitchen, the center of family activity, wins hands-down as the modern home’s busiest room. Lighting requirements depend on the size and complexity of the kitchen space. While the kitchen is primarily a work area, it may also be used for dining or as a gathering place for family and friends. Small kitchens may require only a central ceiling fixture and task lighting tucked under a cabinet. More elaborate kitchens will demand a blend of general, task and accent lighting.
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Now, we’re realizing that good lighting design in a kitchen is a must, like adequate counter space and rollout shelves. In fact, LED lighting has climbed to the top of kitchen wish lists, according to the 2013 Consumer Kitchen Trends report from the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence.

According to Randall, ambient lighting is an important layer that is often overlooked in the kitchen. “This indirect lighting is what I like to call the humanizing ingredient to any lighting design,” says the designer. “It softens the lines and shadows on people’s faces and creates a warm inviting glow in the room.” Design by Beth Haley.
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What are some universal tips to keep in mind when lighting a kitchen? April Powers: The kitchen has become about so much more than food prep; it’s inevitably where everyone will congregate when entertaining, so it’s important that the lighting is both task-oriented as well as ambient and friendly. Avoid anything overly bright. Also, all fixtures should be dimmable so the light can be adjusted to meet specific needs. And since so many kitchens are located directly off a great room, it’s nice to be able to lower the lighting levels once the food prep is done.
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“Lighting is often the last thing considered in a design and the first thing cut from a budget,” says Randall Whitehead, a nationally known designer and author on the subject of residential lighting. But to look its best and function well, a kitchen must be properly lit — and that involves more than just specifying stylish fixtures. A good plan blends lighting into the architectural and decorative details of the room.
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Consider adding a lighting designer to your remodeling team. (Visit the International Association of Lighting Designers website at www.iald.org to find a professional.) A lighting designer will study the kitchen’s layout, as well as other elements of the design, such as ceiling height, natural light and surface finishes, to determine the amount and placement of light needed in the space.

The idea behind a layered lighting design is to have a variety of light levels available at your fingertips. “Dimmers and switches are the most economical way to coordinate lighting levels,” Joe says. “For about $20 per layer, you’re able to do most anything to modulate the mood and environment.” Randall recommends implementing zones, wherein each layer of lighting is on a different dimmer for easy adjustability. Design by Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey
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“Smart” homes are the wave of the future. You can preset and administer lighting in all rooms of the house through one centralized computer network, all through a computerized keypad. “The biggest advantage of smart systems is the high level of control,” says Randall, who recommends this option for new houses, but cautions that it can be quite expensive for a remodel. “You can preset a large number of scenes and turn on lights in any room of the house from your car or your bedroom.” Just as the layers of lighting are combined in a variety of ways, so are the methods of controlling them. According to Randall, homeowners are typically use four-scene presets in all of main rooms, including the living room, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom. Standard switchers and dimmers are usually used in the secondary rooms, such as children’s bedrooms, bathrooms, the basement playroom and the office. The best part is that your lighting options just keep expanding.