There is no 'one size fits all' solution to kitchen lighting because kitchens take many forms. From the narrowest galley kitchen to large open plan rooms incorporating spaces for dining or socialising. However, if you are creating a kitchen lighting plan, there are some lessons that you can apply to all spaces.
A kitchen showing various lighting options: natural lights from windows and skylights; recessed spotlights in the ceiling; wall lights above the work surface; integral lights in the cooker hood; and pendant lights over a kitchen table.There are several options for task lighting. For completely new kitchens, recessed ceiling lights are a good solution. When planning this type of lighting, there needs to be enough sufficiently bright fittings to ensure a good light level on work surfaces. If the recessed lights are adjustable, the light can be directed. Also, if they are dimmable or rows have separate control, this can help meet other lighting requirements for the space. Potential problems in relation to shadow need to be considered, particularly if there are cupboards above the work surfaces. The effect of the cupboards and a person standing at the work surface is to create a narrow channel down from the ceiling below where the lights need to be positioned to prevent shadow. Under-cupboard lighting can solve this problem. Cooker hoods generally have built-in lights to ensure good lighting on hobs.
Task lighting above a kitchen work surface/sink unit. In addition to providing task lighting, the fixed ceiling lights provide visual effect in relation to the overall interior design style.For existing spaces, where retrofitting recessed lights might be problematic, wall and ceiling mounted light fittings - fixed or adjustable - may be simpler to install. There are fittings which have a number of independently positionable spotlights on the same fitting.
A kitchen where recessed ceiling lights provide general and task lighting. The bright red enamel pendants over the kitchen island provide additional task lighting. The style of the pendants fits in with the traditional look, while the bright red colour creates a striking visual effect.From a technical perspective, the colour temperature of kitchen lighting is important. While warm white (between 2,500 and 3,000K) might generally be suitable for lighting in the home, a cooler temperature may be more suitable for task and general lighting in kitchens. Too warm a colour temperature can make pale or white surfaces/finishes look dirty. Conversely, very cold white light can be uninviting and cause wood to lose its natural 'warmth'.
A kitchen lighting plan where task lighting over the surface is provided by a row of five pendants with cages. In addition to providing task lighting, the caged pendants provide effect lighting by complementing the overall industrial aesthetic.Given the practical use of the kitchen, it is unlikely you'll want to create visual patterns using light, so the essence of effect lighting in the kitchen is the contribution made by the light fittings to the overall design. Although there are a huge choice of light fittings, it is important to remember that cooking inevitably produces airborne particles of smoke and grease. While it is important to consider the visual effect of light fittings the kitchen, it's also important to consider how easy to clean they are. Glass, ceramics and metallics may be preferable to fabrics or organic materials.
A kitchen lighting plan where general lighting is provided by natural light and recessed ceiling spotlights. Additional task lighting is provided by simple bare bulb pendant lights over a work surface. Neon yellow cable creates a visual effect and echoes the colour of the clock.