How to Properly Light a Kitchen

When it comes to building a truly cozy and relaxing home, the right lighting is of the utmost importance. It will not only highlight the unique characteristics of any given room, but the right lighting will also ensure that a space functions for the purpose it’s built for. For instance, the bedroom, where people ought to rest at the end of a long day, would be much more relaxing with the right ambiance light that induces calm and is easy on the eyes.

Given the huge role, lighting plays in completing the look and feel of rooms, it only makes sense for professionals within the architecture, engineering, and construction industry to pay closer attention to how kitchens are being lit. After all, it’s where families come together to bond and bring old recipes to life. That said, here are some tips on how to properly light a kitchen

Start with a plan

How to Properly Light a Kitchen

As with any other project, the first step to having a properly lit kitchen is having a plan. With a plan, you would be able to take into consideration all the appliances and fixtures a kitchen has. This then will allow you to cleverly position lights to hide and address certain issues. These issues can include awkward architecture, limited space, or poor natural light.

Think about the circuitry

As tempting as it may be to just put all the lights in just one circuit, it is something that you shouldn’t do. That’s because it will limit flexibility and cause all lights to go off all at once. When trying to light a kitchen, the best course of action would be to have separate circuits for different groups of light.

For instance, if you plan on having wall lights, under cupboard lights, and downlights, each one of them should have its own circuit. This way, they can be individually controlled to create the ideal scene and mood. Usually, lighting circuit branches only require a 15-amp circuit. But, if the home you are working on has ceiling fans, it would be best to install two-amp circuits so that each fan also has its own circuit.

Pick the right bulbs

How to Properly Light a Kitchen

Origami Iron Penthouse by Pitsou Kedem Architects

When it comes to light bulbs, there are tons of types out there that you can choose from. There are incandescent bulbs that used to be the industry standard, fluorescent ones that emit UV light, and halogen bulbs that use filaments. Because of the way these are created, your best bet at the moment would be light-emitting diodes (LED) bulbs.

LED bulbs use a PCB layout that has several mechanical structures to spread the light in multiple directions. This reduces the need for reflectors and diffusers, making LED bulbs very energy-efficient. The driver/capacitor controls also allow for better electricity input management, ensuring that LED lights function properly.

Use a combination of lights

Similar to how you would light any other room, it would also be ideal to layer the lights in the kitchen you are working on. Through the right layering, you would be able to create the right drama, ambiance, and mood you and your client are trying to go for. To do this, you would need more than just your typical light fixtures, which are attached to the kitchen’s ceiling.

You would also need some task lights, skylights, and downlights. It would be in your best interest to light the inside of kitchen cabinets and kitchen drawers. As for the countertops that sit under cabinets, add some under-cabinet lighting. For the island counters where food prep usually happens, have targeted task lighting and a few smartly placed pendants.

Written exclusively by Kelsey Green for Modlar


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