Choosing the right kitchen island lighting for your home hgtv steel quot range hoods ventilation system
Spacious transitional kitchen with blue island globe pendant lights between exposed beams and
Choosing The Right Kitchen Island Lighting For Your Home Hgtv

Choosing The Right Kitchen Island Lighting For Your Home Hgtv Choosing The Right Kitchen Island Lighting For Your Home Hgtv

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There’s no such thing as a catch-all light fixture that does it all: illuminates under cabinets, provides light over the island and gives cabinets a glow. Some fixtures will multi-task their lighting duties, but in order to choose wisely, the first step is to understand the four layers of light.

Mini pendants are commonly used in contemporary and minimalist kitchens to offer functional lighting without detracting from other architectural elements. Characterized by their sleek, slim profiles, mini pendants are often grouped together in threes, fives and sevens.

1. Color temperature. Look for a bulb that is 2700 to 3000 Kelvin. “That is going to match the color temperature of incandescent lamping and it will blend well with the rest of your residential environment,” he says.

Think outside the kitchen. With today’s open floor plans, your kitchen lighting is important to adjacent areas of the home. Whitehead suggests asking: “How does this fixture relate to the other rooms you see from the kitchen?”

3. Energy Star. This certification ensures that the light bulb went through longevity testing and has a minimum of 80 CRI.

Translucent fixtures. Rather than opaque fixtures, Whitehead says fixtures with a lens on the bottom hide the bulbs underneath while providing a glow.

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Classic in style yet modern in finish and scale, drum pendants are an excellent fit for transitional kitchen islands. Characterized by their drum-like shape, these are often manufactured in single-, double- and triple-light options.

The decorative accents on a glass bell pendant can help coordinate it with the rest of the kitchen. In this traditional kitchen, the polished brass finish of the cabinet hardware is echoed by the brass fittings of the pendants.

One thing to prepare for when installing glass bell pendants is frequent cleaning. As dust is stirred up in the kitchen, it’s likely to gather inside of the glass opening.

Fluorescent lighting has evolved over the years to warmer, color-corrected tones. It is quiet, instant-on and economical.

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The way we light our home environment, and specifically the kitchen, affects the functionality of the space and how we feel when we’re spending time there. Despite this, lighting is often an afterthought in a kitchen remodeling project—the last detail after the cabinets, the appliances, the tile, the granite countertops … So it’s no wonder that there’s often a sliver of the budget left for this critical element.

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Pendants that pop. Forget dinky pendants over the island. “Fixtures are being more overscaled,” Whitehead says. He recommends a layout for two larger pendants or one statement pendant over the island.

Get tips on layering the four types of lighting in your kitchen remodel

Interior designers are turning more frequently to lighting designers to help them provide the most functional and beautiful lighting in the kitchen.

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Whether you’re illuminating an entire space, a work surface or the kitchen’s architectural feature, here’s a guide to pick the best lighting for the job.

“You want it to relate, but it doesn’t have to match,” Whitehead says, adding that coordinating finishes is important. If the rest of your home’s fixtures are bronze, go bronze in the kitchen. “That makes the fixtures relate to each other so you are seeing the open space as a whole.”

Task. This lighting illuminates work spaces, such as countertops where you are prepping food or inside a pantry closet so you can see what goods are stocked on those shelves.

Modern kitchens are known for clean, streamlined appearances. To keep a modern kitchen open and airy, consider a decorative hood vent lighting feature. This stainless steel and sheet acrylic fixture featured in Design Galleria at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center serves double duty as sculptural lighting and practical stovetop ventilation.

Here’s a rundown of the most functional and beautiful types of indoor lighting.

Accent. This highlighting adds depth and dimension to the environment. Examples include recessed adjustable fixtures and track lights.

No single layer of light can stand alone. If you only use ambient light, the people will look great because shadows are softened, but Whitehead calls the result a “cloudy day effect” because there is no depth or dimension. “There is no real visual interest,” he says.

A room with just decorative lighting distracts the eye. “How many dining rooms have you seen where it’s one chandelier over the table and that’s it?” Whitehead asks. “You can’t see Aunt Edna at the other end of the table because she is lost in this supernova of illumination.” In other words, only installing decorative lighting is a big “don’t.”

Ambient. This gentle light fills the room and bounces off the ceiling. You’ll get this effect from pendant-hung indirect fixtures, opaque wall sconces and torchieres. “You want that opulent layer of light—an even pool of light that gives you a base layer,” says Jeff Dross, director of education and industry trends at Kichler Lighting, referring to this as “general lighting” or the opulent layer. Can lighting can accomplish this as well.

Learn about ambient, accent and task lighting and how to use each in your home

Outdoor kitchen lighting affects everything from food preparation to mosquito control and is an important part of the design and performance of any outdoor kitchen.

Fluted-glass detail is found in many antique fixtures and can add a sense of history above a kitchen island. Commonly found in transitional- and industrial-style fixtures, fluted-glass pendants are available in single-, double- and triple-arm versions.

Similar to glass bell pendants, fluted glass tends to gather dust in its bevels and will require more cleaning than other styles.

While the exterior surfaces of decorative vents are clean and sculptural, the interiors are much more utilitarian. To keep the cooking space below light and bright, small halogen lights are mounted inside along with the inner workings of the ventilation system.

Decorative. This is the eye candy in a kitchen, or what Whitehead calls, “architectural bling.” The purpose of decorative lighting is to add interest to a space. Examples include chandeliers and candlestick-type wall sconces.

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Homeowners who want to make a statement with their kitchen island lighting may consider a group installation. In this loft-style kitchen, all of the main elements are simple, allowing the bright white sculptural pendants to stand out.

When grouping pendants together, it’s best to stick with odd numbers for a balanced look.

Different shapes. Beyond the traditional oval fixture design, Whitehead says rectangular box-shaped lights and drum-shaped fixtures add interest to the kitchen.

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Lighting art. “We are seeing art being placed on the walls and recessed, adjustable fixtures lighting that art,” Whitehead says. As the kitchen becomes more of a living/gathering space for homeowners and as smart storage allows for more wall space, canvases, framed photographs and other pieces are being incorporated into the space. Lighting is critical for bringing this artwork to life in a kitchen, as with any space in the home.

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Pendant lights and chandeliers can add romance and elegance when hanging from the ceiling of your bedroom.

General lighting illuminates the entire space as you come into the room and helps you move around safely. The most common types of general lighting are cloud lights (fluorescent fixtures surface-mounted to the ceiling) and recessed cans.

Task lighting shines a shadow-free light directly at a work surface. Undercounter lighting provides highly desirable task lighting in the kitchen. Puck or strip halogen lights installed underneath the cabinet are the most common and effective choices to illuminate counter work surfaces.

Accent lighting is used to accentuate an architectural feature or decorative accessory. It can create dramatic impact in any room. Spotlights and up lights are often used for accent lighting, as well as colorful table lamps and pendant lights.

Explore galley kitchen lighting ideas, and get ready to install a radiant, efficient and attractive galley kitchen in your home.

Designer, Shane Inman, created a custom pro style kitchen featuring a custom designed stone island, deck mounted pot filler, custom hood mixed with state of the art appliances and a 25 foot long peninsula that seats eight people.

Jeff Dross, director of education and industry trends at Kichler Lighting, shares the three qualities to look for when selecting an energy efficient light bulb.

Under-counter lighting. By creating a groove under the lip of a countertop and installing lights in that groove, when you open dark drawers you can see inside, Dross says.

Oftentimes, people simply accept the lighting that’s there and don’t think about changing it to improve the space, says Randall Whitehead, renowned lighting designer/author and president of Randall Whitehead Lighting Solutions, San Francisco, Calif. “People are entertaining more at home than they used to, and the kitchen is the center of that entertaining,” he says. As for the lighting in that space, he says “people are drawn to lights like moths to flames.”

These designers point out the three types of lighting for any room: general lighting, task lighting and accent lighting.

If you only incorporate accent lighting, you get a museum effect. “You light every object in the space but friends and family fall into the darkness,” he explains. “You’re telling people that what you own is more important than them.”

Adding glow to cabinets. Glass-front cabinets or open shelving with displays of pretty pottery or favorite china are lit inside. “This creates more dimension and more of a glow at that level of your sight line in the kitchen,” Whitehead says. “And, it creates a little more visual interest and depth.”

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Low-voltage lighting saves energy and provides a steady glow.

Draw people into the kitchen with these lighting strategies.

From far away, many mini pendants appear simple and without ornamentation; however, up close they may reveal beveled edges or etching, adding a hint of pattern without overwhelming the island.

Feel daunted by the light layering process? Rest assured, no matter the size of a space, four layers of light can be incorporated into any room. “A lot of times, fixtures can provide more than one function,” Whitehead says. “Like in the kitchen, the pendant lights are decorative, but they throw light up on the ceiling so they are an ambient light source as well.”

With so many styles to choose from, selecting lighting for a kitchen island can be a daunting task. From traditional glass fixtures to modern takes on vent hoods, here are designer-grade lighting options to help make the selection process easy and breezy.

Drum pendants are available with open- and closed-bottom construction. When used over kitchen islands, closed-bottom options are better since the bulbs will be protected from grease splatters or wet accidents.

Additionally, frosted acrylic diffusers added to the bottoms of pendants will create a soft, ambient glow over the island.

Choosing lights for your bedroom remodel can be fun, but it’s best to have a plan to ensure that your new space has the look you truly want.

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Glass bell pendants are excellent choices for traditional kitchens with hefty islands. These versatile and classically styled fixtures work well with a variety of architectural styles including Southern traditional, Victorian, Georgian and farmhouse.

2. CRI rating. Color rendering index (CRI) is important because it is how color is interpreted. In other words, a low CRI light looks more gray. “The higher the CRI, the better you will see the colors rendered,” Dross explains. He recommends a CRI of 80 or higher.

There are many different styles of decorative hood vent lighting to choose from, some solid and others translucent. This fixture is made from sheets of acrylic resembling alabaster. During the day, the panels take on a sculptural look.

After dark, the interior halogen lights create a beautiful glow through the panels, bringing ambiance to the kitchen island.

The most popular type of lighting is halogen lights, which can be used in recessed cans, pendant lights or spotlights.

Include toekick lights. Installing lights underneath base cabinets to illuminate the floor beneath adds ambiance and serves as a functional night light. “It allows you to walk in the kitchen after dark and see the floors without stumbling,” Dross says.

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But most people don’t understand why they are drawn to light. The secret is in how lighting is layered in a space.

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