If your kitchen or dining area is small, you can increase the sense of space by using directional spotlights angled towards the cupboards and walls. The light is reflected back into the room and is much more effective than shining the light straight down at the floor.
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As well as adding impact and visual interest, a row of pendants over an island will help provide a visual divide between the dining and kitchen areas.
With glass cabinets, I prefer to light them internally. They become almost like wall lights, so make sure you don’t mind people seeing what you have inside them.
Each source should be controlled individually so that the scheme can create anything from the feeling of bright daylight to an intimate atmosphere over dinner.
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Be sure to check the packaging for a colour temperature of around 2,700 Kelvin and a CRI (Colour Rendition Index) over 90 to ensure you end up with a warm, attractive light.
5 The latest developments of LEDs means the most recent downlights are only eight or 10W rather than 50W. A large kitchen with 14 downlights and under-cupboard lighting can now be lit with only 200 watts.
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Use spotlights to shine a light on the areas that need it the most, such as where you’ll be doing the majority of your cooking an eating.
Try to ensure that lights fitted near hobs fit flush to the wall or ceiling – making them easy to wipe clean. Using fittings with a covered glass is ideal.
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Everything you need to know about lighting your kitchen Credit: John Cullen
Whether you are eating breakfast or balancing the checkbook, kitchen ceiling lights are a sure way to brighten up your table. Chandelier light fixtures and pendants for the kitchen come in a variety of sizes and shapes too, ranging from smaller designs for the breakfast nook to robust pieces to gracefully hang over the dining table. If you have an island in your space, track lighting and monorail systems can add some much needed style over an otherwise flat, uninteresting surface. Or, consider stringing together multiple mini pendant lights to provide a much-appreciated amount of illumination. And, if the days get a little too hot, why not combine the functionality of a light and a fan together with a ceiling fan with an integrated light kit. Ceiling fans help keep the room fresh (especially helpful in the kitchen) and most are able to operate all year long. Finally, if your kitchen has limited ceiling-to-floor height, you’ll appreciate the selection of flushmounts and recessed lighting, which nestle up against the base of the ceiling.
Place lights over the areas that need them most Credit: John Cullen
Perfectly on trend, this chrome spotlight is versatile, stylish, and ideal for making small spaces seem larger than they actually are.
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If using track lights, the key is to position the track so that spotlights never shine in your eye. Too often the track is located in the centre of a kitchen, meaning a central island may be lit effectively but people sitting to one side are in danger of being either in shadow or full glare.
Lights below an island unit can make it appear to float Credit: John Cullen
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This lightbulb will add some vintage charm to your kitchen, and is available in clear and amber glass finishes.
This article was first published in April, 2013. It has been updated for the current season.
Layer the light. I’ve mentioned general and task lighting, but also add some accent and ambient lighting. Using a number of different sources lends a more ‘three-dimensional’ feel and so helps you create the mood you want.
From reworking your downlight strategy to learning how to light glass cabinet, design director of John Cullen, Sally Storey, reveals how to get the right light for preparing food and setting the mood in your kitchen.
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Made from either solid brass or steel, this copper pendant light comes in a choice of finishes and would be perfectly suited to any kitchen, hanging just above the main island or kitchen table.
This may seem like common sense, but cooking at night can be difficult without proper lighting. Still, many people find themselves in the dark. For those counter spaces left in shadow from cabinets or appliances, counter lights are ready to illuminate, thus expanding your working area to its intended, comfortable size. Many are available in LED as well, giving you an energy efficient way to brighten up the space. Look to the complete Legrand Adorne line to create a contemporary under cabinet lighting look in your kitchen. After one dinner, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without undercabinet lights! And to support a bit of versatility with your kitchen’s lighting, consider placing your fixtures on light dimmers. Dimming controls are easy to install and you’ll instantly appreciate their versatility. Lastly, pair your new light fixtures with equally stylish kitchen furniture pieces.
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Selecting the best lighting for your kitchen requires careful attention to the function of a light fixture. You first need to determine whether you need functional, work space lighting or more ambient fixtures. And in a space like the kitchen where task lighting is welcomed and appreciated, you will want to review the lumens of any design you are interested in to have an understanding of how bright it is. Before choosing any type of fixture, thoroughly measure your kitchen to decide how big (or how small) of a light fixture the room can accommodate. Keep in mind important sizing dimensions like height, width, depth and weight. Finally, try to choose colors and finishes of lighting that will complement existing furniture and decorative pieces in the room to create space that is consistent and cohesive. If you have any questions about the kitchen light fixtures featured here, please call our lighting experts at 877.445.4486.
Think creatively about where you put your light sources. For example, incorporating lighting below an island unit will make it appear to float. In kitchens with high ceilings, try adding uplights to the tops of cabinets. It adds general light to the space so you will need fewer downlights.
All your lighting doesn’t need to come from one source. Consider getting a floor lamp to illuminate task areas in your kitchen.
Under-cupboard lighting is usually best for task lighting because it is well hidden and stops your shadow obscuring the worktop. The latest LED products have less heat output, which saves money and prevents cupboards and food becoming too warm.
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Angle spotlights at the cupboards and walls to create the illusion of space Credit: John Cullen
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Using a continuous Contour LED strip or individual fittings of only two watts is an easy way to create practical and attractive lighting.
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Forget grids of downlights; use light only where it is required. Work surfaces need good task lighting, whether it is from downlights or pendants.
With kitchen lighting, this commonly used work space can transform into an elegant café for your home. Once the skillets are done sizzling and the food has been plated, sit down and stay a while under warm, unobtrusive lighting that offer the soothing ambiance needed for pleasant conversation and personal reflection. While most kitchen light fixtures offer bright task lighting, they retain a sophisticated, modern design that is sure to elevate the aesthetic of this often overlooked living space.
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Whether your kitchen is brilliantly modern or modestly traditional, the lighting in this assortment aim to fit their way into any style of kitchen. In classic kitchens decorated with traditional decor items, you’ll love the options from Kichler and ELK Lighting. Transitional kitchens benefit from Feiss, including well-designed flushmounts, pendants and sconces. Consider pendants from Bocci for an eye-catching look and if you love that expertly modern appeal, you’ll want to take a look at Tech Lighting or LBL. Lastly, to achieve an energy efficient kitchen, be sure to see the LED kitchen lighting available. LED light fixtures are eco-friendly, long-lasting and bright, making them an ideal choice for kitchens.
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Spots should be placed where you need the light. Selecting directional versions gives added flexibility. For example, lights over a kitchen counter often work best placed above the edges of the counter, but angled across it to create glare-free lighting.