Homes with larger kitchens are commonly used as family rooms as opposed to the traditional living room with the realization that a kitchen does not simply have to be a dedicated kitchen for cooking and washing, it can be created in to a most welcoming resting area for studying, playing family games, watching TV, dining, snaking or social breaks over tea and biscuits but in many cases there lays an opportunity to make this special room a lot more special by implementing a kitchen lighting design.
As with any lighting, in kitchen lighting design, there is a purpose in mind when it is created which can be one of four types, ambient, task, accent or general lighting. By making use of a combination of lighting types even an ordinary kitchen can become something quite stunning and highly pleasing to the eye.
General Lighting in the Kitchen
General lighting serves the most basic of purposes, to provide the main light source to the entire room and is typically ceiling mounted. It does not focus the light in any one particular direction; it simply provides light to all corners of the room. Typical lights used are fluorescent strips, pendants, down lights that are recessed in the ceiling or a cluster of spot lights.
Ambient Lighting in the Kitchen
Perhaps overlooked by most for kitchen use but can create the most stunning look and feel and by ambient we mean a light source that is not openly exposed but tucked away discreetly but will still illuminate just about the entire room. An ideal ambient lighting solution is to place lighting on top of kitchen cupboards, out of sight. The light will bounce off the ceiling and back in to the main part of the kitchen and provide a soft glow as opposed to the harsh bright light from the middle of the ceiling.
Task Lighting in the Kitchen
Task is lighting is exactly as the name would suggest, lighting that performs a specific task and not projecting light to fill a room. An example would be specifically illuminate a single area such as the kitchen sink or hob and oven to project additional light in the areas where it is needed the most. The typical kitchen sink is placed under a window which is fine during the hours of daylight but in the evening a centrally located light typically does not pour enough light to see especially well, therefore task lighting is an ideal solution to brighten up that work area, making it safer and easier to see what you are doing. The same principle applies for the cooking and food preparation areas where simple overhead lighting immediately above these working areas create a far safer work space. Task lighting is the easiest of kitchen lighting design to implement and certainly the most practical.
Accent Lighting in the Kitchen
Accent lighting is where you accentuate an object or objects, for example in cupboard lighting where cupboards have glass panes, the interior of the cupboard is illuminated and looks wonderful with glassware cupboards. It is essentially a method of kitchen lighting design to highlight something of interest or significance to you or your guests. A framed certificate for achievement perhaps can look fantastic when illuminated in this way and it draws the attention of wondering eyes straight to it.