by Brooke Tolman
(last updated August 26, 2016)
Lighting can make all the difference in a room. When deciding on lighting for your kitchen there are three main types of lighting you should take into consideration and have be a part of the room.
The first is ambient lighting. Ambient or general kitchen lighting is illumination that fills an entire room. The source is sometimes an overhead fixture or group or fixtures, but light does not appear to come from any specific direction. The most obvious example is fluorescent strips; covering over the strips hides the source and diffuses the light.
The key to good ambient kitchen lighting is making it inconspicuous. Ambient kitchen lighting should merely be the backdrop for the rest of the room, not the main feature. It always provides light but should never become obvious. Ambient light used during the day should blend with the natural light that enters the room. During the evening you should be able to soften the light level so it does not contrast jarringly against the blackness outside.
The second type is task lighting. Task light is purely functional. Task light should be installed in a specific area to accomplish a specific function such as rolling out dough in a baking area or a reading area for recipes. It is important to note that task lighting should be installed directly over the side of each working area, for example, small lights mounted to the underside of a cabinet. Task light should never be placed directly overhead as your body could create shadows as you bend over the work surface.
Another point to take note when installing task lighting is the switch for this kind of kitchen lighting should be separated from the general lighting of the room. With task lighting the ideal is to be able to turn on and off easily when you need it.
The last type is accent light. Accent lighting plays the role of drawing attention to a particular element such as interesting decorative objects. The effective use of accent lighting adds personality to the room. Light a cooking alcove or focus attention on a custom range hood. Install recessed light fixtures within a ceiling core. Show off pretty stemware inside a glass door cabinet by mounting small lights inside the cabinet box. You can also spotlight wall art. Accent kitchen lighting is purely optional, but without it there is no focus, no character to the kitchen space. With accent kitchen light the room becomes an exciting and rich environment.
Makeover your kitchen and add some new lights; it'll do wonders for your home!
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