by Super User
in Blog

Kitchen Lighting Types and Design Tips 

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Having just one light fixture at the center of your kitchen ceiling might have worked for people in the past, but nowadays things are quite different. The reason for this change hides in the fact that, in the past, the kitchen was simply a place where you cooked and all you needed light for was not to chop off your finger along with your onions. Today, however, the kitchen is also a place where families spends time together and we even entertain guests. Here are some tips on how to install and blend together the different layers of lighting and make your kitchen look great.

General lighting 

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This is the lighting that provides your kitchen with the basic light. It is enough for you if you simply want to grab something from the kitchen or if you’re putting something back into the fridge. It’s usually one fixture placed at the center of your ceiling and is often of a decorative character. Here, you can opt for a chandelier, or any type of recess lighting. The light bulbs you choose for general lighting can set the mood to the kitchen, from yellowish-warm of incandescent lights, to a whole range of fluorescent light shades, which is something you can experiment with and change from time to time.

Task lighting 

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This is probably the most important type of lighting in any kitchen. It serves to provide you with enough light while preparing food in your kitchen. Therefore, it’s usually placed to shed light on your island or countertops, so that you can read recipes and prepare your meals. The most frequent way to achieve this type of lighting is installing under-cabinet lights. These lights are useful for more than just one reason, since they’re shadow-free, and light comes from several sources, making all countertop activities illuminated, while allowing your kitchen to look more appealing. And if you want to have task lighting above your island, you can get creative and choose various designs, ranging from simple downlights to decorative lights or even pendants. Just like under-cabinet lights, you want your island to be illuminated from multiple sources in order to use it properly. Plus, installing lighting inside your pantry can prove to be a great investment, saving you from losing your nerve when you can’t see what you’re looking for.

Accent lighting 

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If there’s a piece of art or any other kind of object in your kitchen that you’d really like to highlight, accent lighting is what you need. It creates a focal point around the desired object and draws attention to it. Even if you have glass cabinets and want to show off your china or crystal collections, you can install lighting inside the cabinets themselves. Accent lighting can do wonders for your kitchen design. It’s best achieved using directional eyeball lights or wall sconces, as well as LED lights that can look amazing underneath the island worktop or even built in your kickboards, making your cabinets look like they’re floating. If you make installing these lights into a DIY project, be sure you have phone number of a professional emergency electrician, in case you need help.

Ambient lighting 

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Just like the name says, this type of lighting is used to create an ambient in your kitchen. In this case, the best way to go is to install lights that can be controlled separately, so that you can use the bulb quality and the light strength to your advantage, switching lights on or off to set just the right mood. Similar can be achieved with the use of a dimmer switch. This type of lighting is indirect and can be very inviting, since it makes the shadows in the room softer and the whole ambient warmer, creating a welcoming feeling. A stylish pendant will go a long way, as will a flush mount ceiling light, allowing you to choose a diameter perfect for your kitchen size

Installing two, three or all four types of lighting mentioned here is possible, but be careful how you combine them. And if you’re not sure how to do it, contact a kitchen designer and get a professional opinion on the topic.

By Diana Smith

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