Kitchen Lighting Design
As with all aspects of interior design, the design only works to it’s potential if we can see it. To be able to see the kitchen design, we require well thought out kitchen lighting design.
Lighting design always sounds like a difficult task, but broken down into small areas of design it becomes manageable for the beginner designer or the home decorator. There are basically four types of lighting that should be considered when planning lighting design for your kitchen.
These four types of lighting are ambient lighting, decorative lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting.
Ambient lighting is the general light or overall illumination of the kitchen space. It is often achieved with simple recessed down lights using incandescent or fluorescent lamps which provide a basic glare free general light.
As a designer this is your show piece lighting in the kitchen. It is used more for decorative purposes than functional. This is often achieved by using pendant lights, chandeliers or decorative fittings (depending on the style of kitchen) over kitchen islands, breakfast bars, or kitchen tables.
Task lighting is easy to remember as it entails creating adequate light to carry out tasks in the kitchen, usually on the kitchen counter and other related work areas. This is often achieved by using under cabinet lighting to illuminate the counter or bench top and reduce shadows from the other forms of lighting used. The fittings are often simple fluorescent tube fittings as they are not seen, or if there isn’t any overhead cabinetry, a simple bulkhead with small recessed halogen cabinet fittings work well also.
This is also an easy type of lighting to remember as it simply means to highlight or accent a feature. This is often achieved by using small halogen spot lights, depending on the style of kitchen, these can be decorative fittings and used as a feature or simple recessed adjustable down lights. They are generally used to focus light on cabinetry features, artwork, display cabinetry or overhead features like hanging pot racks.
Learn about planning lighting, lighting and existing room, lighting a new room, and general lighting considerations.
An example of using decorative lighting in a kitchen here, with the use of a very elaborate chandelier over the kitchen island. Read more about this kitchen here.