In most homes, particularly those with children, the kitchen reigns as the most-used room in the house. With not only cooking going on, but homework being done at the counter or table, reading and writing going on, and a host of other activities being performed, it is a must that good kitchen lighting solutions are a priority in your decor selections.
Lighting Types for Kitchens
General, overall lighting encompasses usually one main fixture, such as a fluorescent light, centered in the ceiling of the kitchen. Task lighting should be considered for any area where you really need to see what you are doing. These types of illumination need to be over counters where slicing, dicing, and cutting foods is habitually done or where good vision is needed for reading and writing.
Accent lighting is usually just for fun. Accent lighting helps liven up the atmosphere and gives a bit of dramatic interest to a kitchen area. Smart kitchen lighting solutions need to incorporate all three types of lighting.
Sometimes these different types of lighting can be combined into one. For instance, for task lighting, you might combine the focused illumination needed for task lighting with the decorative characteristics of accent lighting by hanging highly stylized pendant lighting from the ceiling.
How Much Lighting
The size and the way a kitchen is laid out also plays a major role in finding kitchen lighting solutions that work for you and your family. A small kitchen may suffice with just one type of general lighting fixture overhead on the ceiling and perhaps one or two task lights placed beneath cabinets for strategic illumination when cooking or doing other need-to-see-well work.
For large kitchens, the number and types of lighting may include not only one or two general lighting fixtures, but also task lighting for over the sink, in or near a pantry, over a kitchen island, and, of course, over counters where most of the food preparation is done. Accent lighting for blank spaces on walls can do wonders for not only providing extra light, but also helps fill a large kitchen with warmth and charm.
From One Room to Another
When considering kitchen lighting solutions, make sure that they integrate well when kitchens join into family or dining rooms. Adding something as simple as a dimmer or three-way switch to lighting in these situations can make all the difference in the world between harsh, overhead lighting that is fine in the kitchen, but not so fine in a family room when people are wanting a quieter, less-bright ambience.
Good kitchen lighting solutions don’t need to be a major problem during home-improvement selections. It just takes a little thought on not only the needs of the family, but the wants, also for a home to be lit bright enough to prevent eyestrain or injury, yet not be overly illuminated.
So plan ahead when you next consider lighting for that most-used room in your home. With all the choices available, you’re sure to find just the right kitchen lighting to keep that room the busiest and most fun-to-be place in the house.