Aim to achieve layers of light in your kitchen

by Lutes Custom Cabinetry on 2019-02-15 15:17:17

Aside from decorative lighting, most lighting fixtures in a kitchen and dining room are easy to overlook, and if planned strategically, they really should be overlooked, instead emphasizing other elements of your kitchen. Lighting provides the obvious function of illuminating a room, but beyond that, it plays a much larger role than illumination. When done correctly, different types of lighting work together to create layers of light. Those layers give your room an overall warm and inviting ambiance(ambient lighting), help you see while completing tasks in designated areas(task lighting), illuminate a specific focal point (accent lighting), and work as a focal point or design feature all on their own (decorative lighting).

Ideally, a larger kitchen and dining area should include all four of these categories of lighting. But different lighting fixtures can fall into more than one category, so smaller kitchens can often get by with just a couple different kinds of fixtures. In this article, we'll discuss the different kinds of lighting fixtures and which of the four categories they may fall into.

Semi-flush or flush-mount ceiling fixtures:These fixtures are generally located in the center of a kitchen or dining area and fall into the category of ambient lighting. They provide overall lighting for the room, but don't direct light to a specific area or highlight a specific feature in your kitchen. However, some ceiling-mounted fixtures—most often semi-flush ones—can fall into the decorative category.

Recessed lights: Also known as can lights, recessed lights fall into three of the four layer categories—ambient, task, and accent—making them perfect for smaller kitchens. Recessed lights can be spaced throughout a kitchen or dining area to provide overall ambient lighting, or placed strategically in a grouping above areas such as an island, sink, or stove to provide task lighting for food prep, cooking, or cleanup. They can also be used as accent lighting when placed above a focal point such as a piece or artwork a china cabinet. Recessed lighting isn't decorative, so it works well when combined with other more showy types of lighting.

Pendant lights:Pendant lights can fall into all four categories of lighting, but most often they're used used as decorative task lights, providing light directly over a kitchen island, peninsula, or dining table while also serving as a focal point. Pendant lights generally also provide at least a small amount of ambient light, but some styles can serve as the main source of ambient lighting in a room, especially when grouped with other pendant lights or when a single multi-light pendant is used alone.

Track lighting:Track lighting most often serves as task and accent lighting. With track lighting, a metal track is either mounted to the ceiling or slightly suspended from the ceiling, with several spotlights or pendants located at different places along the track. Tracks can be straight or curved, and the lights can usually be moved along the track. Aside from the pendant-style lights, the lights within a track can typically be angled toward a specific area, making track lighting extremely versatile. In smaller kitchens, track lighting can serve as the main source of ambient lighting, but in a larger kitchen, track lights work best when combined with other light sources such as recessed lights to provide overall ambient lighting.

Chandeliers:Chandeliers are definitely meant to stand out and become a focal point in the room, making them primarily decorative. While they can provide ambient lighting, they often create a better lighting effect when combined with other sources of light such as recessed lights to help evenly distribute light around the room.

Under-cabinet lights:As the name suggests, under-cabinet lights are mounted directly to the bottom of the cabinets, serving primarily as task lighting. Under-cabinet lights help to better illuminate the area of the countertops that fall beneath the cabinets, and the come in different types such as puck lights, bars or strips, or rope lights. Even with other types of task lighting throughout the kitchen, under-cabinet lights are helpful, since they most easily reach the area directly beneath the cabinets.

When you choose Lutes for your kitchen remodel, we can help you decide which types of light fixtures are best for your kitchen.

Aim to achieve layers of light in your kitchen

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