A new kitchen remains one of the most coveted home improvements. A new take on the use of space, new cabinetry, and of course new appliances are all on the top of the list.
But what many people don’t consider is the the importance of kitchen lighting. For years, we’ve seen homes in Northern Virginia with very dim, sparse lighting in the kitchen. This type of lighting works for ambiance in the dining or living rooms, but abundant, well-placed lighting is critical for an effective kitchen.
The 4 types of lighting to consider for every kitchen are: daylighting, ambient, task, and decorative lighting.
Whenever possible, our kitchen designs start with an eye on maximizing daylighting. Orienting the kitchen so that the majority of the light during the daytime comes from the sun not only reduces energy consumption, but is also physically healthy.
Next, we focus on recessed lighting to provide the predominant ambient light in the kitchen. We recommend all recessed lights be placed on a dimmer in order to create the mood you desire – and dimming does save energy.
While the world seems to be moving away from incandescent lighting, this still seems to be the best option for recessed lights. While there are "dimmable", CFL bulbs on the market, we have found that the technology and price point aren’t ready for prime time. Recessed LED bulbs are an option as well. Next week’s blog will cover the features and benefits of LED lighting, so check back to our site.
Just as important as abundant overhead lighting is task lighting. Task lighting brings focus and light to specific work areas – the counter-tops, sink and desk areas. It is important to include under-cabinet lighting in every possible area, and puck lights are a helpful solution for small nooks and corners. Both under-cabinet and puck lights now come in different finishes like brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze to match the rest of the finishes in your kitchen.
Pendant lights are the workhorses – serving as both task and decorative lighting. If pendant lights hang directly over an island or other work area, they are very useful for directional and task lighting. At the same time, pendants offer you the chance to really express your style and set the mood for your kitchen. They are also a great way to inexpensively update your space or make it work with the rest of your home when you redecorate.
Other places for decorative lighting are inside glass cabinets or above glass shelving. Puck lights are the right solution for this, and the different finishes we mentioned make this lighting very stylish and pleasing.
Feel free to send us your questions, and if you’re in the market to remodel your kitchen, we would love to hear from you.