An entertainment area, a comfort zone, a place full of activities … the kitchen is a very versatile space found in today's modern homes. The kitchen is the place to bond with your toddler making cookies and gingerbread men. It is a place where family members meet together after a full day of activities in school and work. Food and stories are shared within the confines of the kitchen. Everyone loves this place. Make it something more than just a place full of aroma and clanging utensils. Make it your special space.
To make a kitchen more inviting, it needs not just good quality cabinets, adequate working area, highly functional accessories and appliances but also well designed lighting scheme.
To make the lighting scheme work, you need three basic lighting forms. These are ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting.
Ambient lighting provides for the general illumination of the room. Natural daylight and high overhead manufactured lighting such as ceiling, recessed, track or mounted fixtures are some sources of ambient lighting. Larger kitchens may require one or more ceiling fixtures positioned in the center of the room. Additional perimeter squares or rectangles of lights placed near the walls should be installed for added illumination. These can be in the form of recessed downlight or track lighting. On the other hand, small kitchens may require only either two or three ceiling mounted fixtures or downlight placed near the walls. Designers suggest that a good ambient lighting needs to have a variation of fixtures. Do not limit yourself to a single ceiling mounted fixture, which often creates shadows. Ambient lighting can be served well by fluorescent lamps. These can be in the form of recessed downlight or ceiling mounted fixtures. Incandescent bulbs will also do. These can be used in ceiling mounted fixtures including chandeliers and recessed downlight. Ambient lighting can also be achieved by installing indirect lighting. This can create glare free light. Most indirect lightings are installed underneath wall cabinets or on top of kitchen cabinets. Indirect lighting offers an interesting and eye catching form of light from reflected source. Strip light is an example of indirect lighting that is often installed on top of cabinets. This adds to the general lighting of the room.
In order to perform your work more accurately in the kitchen, you need to have adequate lighting or task light in the key work areas. These work areas include the counter, range, sink, island and table. Countertops are areas where food preparation is often done. These are often illuminated with shallow fluorescent fixtures that are attached to the cabinet's underside. Experts also suggest using low voltage fluorescent mini lights. The task light should reach two-thirds of the counter. It is also important that the available lighting will not shine people's eyes. You can avoid this by choosing shielded lights, or bulbs with mesh diffusers. These will reduce the glare. Designers suggest decorative pendant lights over a table or an island. An alternative option is a row of recessed downlight. The sink area can also benefit from recessed downlight or track lights using either two 75-watt incandescent bulbs or two 30- watt fluorescent bulbs placed about 24 inches above the sink.
The last form of lighting you can use for your kitchen is accent lighting. This is used to highlight collectibles, artwork and any architectural feature in your kitchen. Accent lighting should be three times more powerful than ambient and task lighting. A low voltage halogen bulb can produce the necessary illumination. Designers also suggest using downlight with eyeball lenses. This provides a focused illumination to a specific area.
In conclusion, you can create a more welcoming and inviting kitchen space by using the appropriate lighting fixture that will provide both illumination and ambiance to your special area.