When you are visiting a lighting showroom, go prepared. If possible take a picture of your kitchen with you, or at the very least make sure you have your kitchen’s dimensions. Include the height of the ceiling, the location of the doors, the amount of space between the cabinets and the ceiling and the cabinets and the countertops.
Starting from Scratch
If you are building a new kitchen take the layout to the showroom with you. Knowing where your cabinets and counter tops will be is critical to where you will put the lights.
Once you have your lighting plan in place, use the same colour and wattage bulbs throughout, so that the tone of the floor, counter tops, and cabinets will all have equal intensity.
If you are updating an existing kitchen tell the lighting professional how much reconstruction you are prepared to undertake. For example, if you don’t want to tear out your ceiling then recessed lighting is out and you will have to look at other mounting installations.
Task and Accent Lighting
Functional fixtures provide well-diffused general lighting perfect for moving about the room safely, seeing inside drawers and cabinets, and performing chores. While large, surface fluorescents have been popular in the past, the latest looks revolve around recessed lights and low voltage, industrial styles, often with a metal finish.
Lighting the spaces above and below the cabinets has become very popular. Available in slim, energy-efficient designs such as miniature track lights or low-voltage linear systems, under- and over-cabinet lighting quickly and easily lights up counter tops and accents ceilings.
Recessed down-lights assure even illumination. Installing them over the stove and sink areas will create adequate task lighting for cooking and cleaning. The kitchen table is another focal point. A decorative pendant, operating with a dimmer control, will provide sufficient lighting and will be pleasing to the eye.
The current most popular trends in styles and finishes include wrought iron, often in rust or other earth tones. Painted finishes are also popular. Coloured glass outshines plain white in popularity. Pewter and satin nickel finishes have replaced the basic brass look.
Halogen lighting is by far the best option. Not only is it more economical to run- the bulbs give off less heat and more light, it also makes granite and marble counter tops look stunning.
It even makes food look better. No matter how many lights you install in your kitchen, the experts recommend circuiting them separately so the lighting is zoned. This allows you to create ambience by mixing the various lights you turn on.