There are three main types of different lighting categories that effectively work together to create the optimum experience in a new kitchen design: General Lighting, Task Lighting and Accent Lights. Your lighting layout should never be overlooked during the process of designing a new kitchen as it will be paramount in just how efficient your newly renovated space will be.
This quick guide to kitchen lighting solutions runs through these three key lighting layers as well as just how your selected colour temperature can affect the final outcome of your overall design.
General Kitchen Lighting
Providing your kitchen with overall illumination, general lighting in the home is also known as ambient lighting. These fixtures can include large, central pendant lights, wall lights or other lighting fixtures, a series of downlights or even track lighting. This is the first layer of light to focus on during the kitchen design process, ensuring that the space is effectively illuminated before moving on to more focused lighting solutions that will provide a spotlight over your key work zones.
Task Lighting in the Kitchen
Relying on general or ambient lighting alone in a space that serves a function (in this case, the kitchen) can be problematic in that this sort of solution can potentially cause a shadow over your key work zones such as your worktop beneath overhead cabinets, as an example. This is where task lighting comes in to form that second layer of lighting you will want to include in your new kitchen design scheme. Task lighting is a more focused form of lighting that is installed in key positions around your kitchen to highlight areas where specific tasks are normally performed.
Task lighting can include strategically located downlights, focused track lighting, LED strip lighting or even smaller pendant lights or wall lights that are situated in key places to avoid any shadows being cast over working zones such as your kitchen benchtop or sink. LED strip lighting is another great option: LED strips can be installed directly beneath overhead cabinets for example, effectively illuminating the kitchen benchtop in situations where the user would be casting a shadow on the workspace.
The final layer of lighting in a kitchen design, accent lights are used to add an element of drama and ambiance to your space. These can include feature pendant lights over an island bench, LED strip lighting placed beneath your benchtop overhang as a feature, or downlights installed inside a display cupboard with a glass door, creating a soft glow in the space. Accent lights work to create a statement in your new kitchen and can be used as a softer mood lighting solution that is especially effective in an open plan home design, where the living area, dining space and kitchen is all in the one large room, allowing you to turn on these softer lights for a relaxing experience when lounging.
Warm, Cool and Daylight Options
Once you’ve selected your three different kitchen lighting layers, you will also want to consider which colour temperature is best suited to your design. The term colour temperature refers to the actual colour tone of the light itself and whether it throws off more of a yellow, blue or white glow. Measured in Kelvin (K), colour temperatures will usually range from 2700 – 6500 K, with warmer (or yellow tinged) lights being on the lower end of the scale and cooler (blue tinged) lights being on the higher end.
It is important to note that your selected light colour temperature will affect the final coluring of your chosen kitchen finishes (such as you splashback or benchtop materials) so it is important to test out samples of all your material selections in different lighting scenarios to make a more informed decision.
Naturally, a warmer light will bathe your kitchen in a yellow hue whereas a cool lighting solution will create more of a blue tone throughout the space, changing the final appearance of your selected materials and finishes. If you are hoping to achieve more of a true colour palette in your kitchen design, opting for a daylight colour temperature will be best as this solution falls directly in between the warm and cool extremes, creating a much more natural looking tone in your home.
Lighting is a crucial element of your kitchen design that should never be overlooked during the design process. Once you are happy with your new design, take a minute to run through your floorplan, paying close attention to which areas you feel may need some added lighting and communicate your ideas with our team at Perini Renovations who will recommend the best lighting solutions to suit your needs and ensure a new space that is both beautiful and highly functional.