Lighting Your Kitchen
The kitchen is a central space in just about every home. Considering a remodel is a big job with many aspects including layout, appliances and lighting. Of these, lighting is most often overlooked. However, poor lighting can ruin even the most beautiful kitchen makeover by creating glare or unwanted shadows. It pays to familiarize yourself with all the options before installing new lighting in your kitchen space.
Lighting is an integral part of any remodeling job, with each room in the home having different needs. The kitchen lighting you choose will depend on the layout of the room and how often you use it for both daily meal preparation and special occasions. Open-plan kitchens, eat-in kitchens and kitchens with breakfast bars all have different lighting needs.
Picturing your kitchen lighting as a series of layers helps to create balance between different types of illumination. A quick look at kitchen remodeling tips shows that there are five typical "layers of light" that work together to provide the brightness that you need:
- Ambient lighting sets the stage for the rest of the lighting in the room. The goal is to give the room a warm feeling and ensure that every area receives gentle illumination.
- Task lighting, discussed in more detail below, is the light that brightens up work surfaces around the kitchen, making it easier to see what you're doing as you prepare meals. It's also used in enclosed spaces such as the pantry.
- Accent lighting highlights specific parts of the kitchen such as china cabinets, artwork and interesting or attractive appliances.
- Decorative lighting refers to any kind of fixture with flair. From sconces to chandeliers, this type of lighting gives your kitchen a bit of sparkle.
- Natural light is also an important component of kitchen lighting. Adding a bank of windows when you remodel your kitchen contributes a sense of space and warmth. Plus, the more sunlight you let in, the less electricity you have to use to brighten up the room.
The kitchen is likely the only place in your home where you routinely handle utensils and appliances with sharp blades. Keep safety in mind as you plan your lighting. You always want to be able to see what you're doing. Installing lighting under cabinets, over countertops and above kitchen islands gives you the option to bring extra illumination to food prep surfaces as you work. It's better to have a few extra fixtures than to find you don't have enough when you're handling potentially dangerous tools.
The lighting you choose for your kitchen can make or break the overall style. Knowing the amount and types of lighting you want to use before starting your remodeling project will help to ensure that the final product looks just right. By making a plan that incorporates your personal style preferences, you can create the kitchen of your dreams.
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