Understanding the Variety of Kitchen Lighting Options
The kitchen is the most popular room in the home – and for good reason. Parents and children spend quality time in the kitchen as they prepare meals and dine together; chefs and cook wannabes let creative juices flow as they test new recipes; and friends and neighbors gather to share stories, laughs, and sometimes tears.
Depending on the activity, the location of those things we do in the kitchen changes – from the counter, to the stove, to the sink, to the table, to the island, and anywhere else in between. Proper lighting for each location both lights the area for optimum visibility and also sets the ambience. Kitchen lighting options are as varied as the designs and layouts they help illuminate. Consider the following lighting options for both their function and design.
General Area Lighting
Overhead ceiling lights provide lighting to the general area where they are installed. These lights can be in the form of a fixture mounted flush or semi-flush to the ceiling or they can be recessed into the ceiling and spaced around the room. Some overhead lights are fluorescent fixtures that provide bright light throughout the entire kitchen.
Under-cabinet lighting can be installed on the underside of your kitchen’s upper cabinets to provide task lighting to the counter space underneath. These lights can be installed on one or all cabinets depending on the areas of counter you need lit. Under-cabinet light options include strip bars, rope lights, tape lights, and individual puck lights; and for added efficiency, you can choose LED versions of each.
Since the kitchen island is the place people gather to socialize, it is important to provide enough light above the island so food, dishes, and drinks are well lit. Island lights are usually the most decorative light fixtures in the kitchen. These lights range from simple pendant lights to expansive fixtures that hold multiple lights.
Dining Area Lighting
Eat-in kitchens typically provide an open space for a small or medium-sized table and chairs or a nook where a table can be nestled in. The lights above these kitchen dining spaces are often hanging fixtures or chandeliers that match or complement the other light fixtures in the kitchen, in particular the one above the island. Make sure this light is sized right for the space and provides enough lighting for those gathered around the table to see their food and also see each other.
Miscellaneous Kitchen Lighting Considerations
- When designing and selecting lighting options for your kitchen, keep in mind the other activities you might also perform in the kitchen: sitting at a desk to make a shopping list or do online banking; providing space for holding pet food and water bowls; tending bar during social events.
- Most lights can be installed with dimmer switches. Decide which lights you’ll need to be bright all the time and those you’ll want to adjust for setting just the right mood.
- Track lighting can be an option if you want the ability to aim light in different directions. These lights slide along the track and let you rotate and swivel the aim of the light to target one specific area.
Given the amount of time we spend in our kitchens doing food prep, cooking, clean-up, eating, serving, and even homework and working on our computers, the lighting should be the best it can be. Today’s light fixtures and placement options let homeowners have the best of both design and function.
Sovereign Construction Services understands the gamut of lighting options available. As a full-service building and remodeling company, owner Steve Rush can offer tips and suggestions on how to improve and optimize the lighting in your kitchen. Steve collaborates with homeowners to develop solutions that are both attractive and functional. He is available to discuss all your home building and renovating needs and can be reached at 610-639-2986.