Choosing the right kinds of lighting for your kitchen is extremely important to both the appearance and the overall function of the room. Before you choose your kitchen’s lighting, it’s important to familiarize yourself with all the different lighting styles. This will give you the ability to choose the right kinds of lighting for kitchen.
There are several different lighting styles available to you, and most kitchens these days incorporate more than one kind of lighting. It really depends on the look you’re interested in and what you’ll really be using the kitchen for. Some of the most common lighting styles include ambient, task, accent, aesthetic, natural, recessed, and pendant.
So, what is ambient lighting? This kind of lighting serves as the main lighting scheme for the room and usually involves the use of ceiling lights. With the right ambient lighting, most shadows will be nonexistent. A dim kitchen or one that’s not lit properly can make cooking or baking quite a challenge. That’s why ambient lighting is essential for anyone who loves to make dinner for their loved ones.
Your ambient lighting setup should be based on your kitchen design. For example, if your kitchen is more gallery styled, you’ll probably want to run ceiling lights the full length of the room. This will give your kitchen adequate lighting. A single light source just wouldn’t be enough, especially if you have overlapping countertops, cabinets, and fixtures. If your kitchen has a lot of these overlapping features, you may also want to incorporate task lighting.
Task lighting is great for both contemporary and modern designed kitchens, and like mentioned above, task lighting is a wonderful choice for kitchens with several overlapping features. Task lighting helps homeowners complete a variety of tasks by providing light in a specific location. These can include things like a stove light, a reading light, a backsplash light, and so on. When combined with ambient lighting, you have the perfect cooking environment.
Accent lighting is lighting that highlights certain areas of your kitchen or draws attention to specific spots you want noticed. For instance, homeowners who plan on hanging up art in their kitchen may install accent lighting just below it. This lighting will draw attention to the piece of art while also adding to the overall style of it. Accent lighting can also be used to add interest or draw attention to things like expensive china, vases, framed pictures, trophies, mini bars, and even a wine rack. Table lights and halogen spotlights are also good examples of accent lighting that can really add that special touch to your kitchen. However, it’s important to note that accent lighting will usually need to be used with other kinds of lighting as well.
Lighting that is a work of art by itself is called aesthetic lighting. For instance, neon lights are a good example and can be used to give your kitchen a unique look. Other examples of aesthetic lighting include lava lamps, lamps with oddly shaped, transparent shades, and any other kind of lighting that is artistic in nature.
Natural lighting includes things like the sunlight shining through your windows, a candlelight, and even a firelight to spice things up. Natural light is a great choice for a lot of kitchens, especially ones with natural stone countertops and light-colored interiors. Natural lighting is inexpensive, easy to use, and can really add that special look you’ve always been dreaming of.
Before you decide to incorporate natural lighting though, you’ll want to make sure you consider a few things. First, review the seasonal patterns in your geographical area. For example, in the Midwest, the sun sets much earlier in the winter than it does in the summer. The sunlight is limited during this time of the year. In certain parts of Alaska, residents experience several days of darkness during the colder months. As a result, natural light won’t be as an effective light source as it would be in say Florida or California.
Another thing you’ll want to consider before you decide to incorporate natural lighting into your home is the position of house and the amount of trees in your yard. If your kitchen windows aren’t in the path of the sun, or your yard is filled with shady trees, you can’t make use of natural lighting from the sun. The sun has to make its way into your home somehow, and if it can’t, there won’t be any natural lighting.
Recessed lighting are lights that are built into the ceiling and/or walls. This makes the kitchen look much larger than it is and gives the room a sense of openness. Recessed lighting is generally ambient in style, but it can also be used as accent lighting as well. Recessed lighting became quite popular in the 1980s, but within the last 10 years, this lighting style has been used less and less each year. That’s not to say it’s not still being used, but current recessed lighting is being manufactured to be more efficient and conforming with the new kitchen designs these days.
Pendant lighting is a very stylish kind of lighting that can be used as task lighting, accent lighting, or even aesthetic lighting. Pendant lighting are usually long, slim light fixtures that hang from the ceiling several inches. They can add a really classy look to your kitchen while also directing light to a specific area of your home. The only disadvantage to pendant lights is that because they hand from the ceiling, they can get in the way and be knocked into. Other than that, they’re pretty great. However, they really should be used in a combination with other lighting styles.
Choosing the right kind of lighting for your kitchen
Now that you know the most common kinds lighting used in kitchens these days, it’s time to decide which kinds of lighting you’ll be incorporating into your kitchen. When choosing, you’ll want to keep in mind the design of your kitchen and the most common ways you’ll be using it. For instance, if you love to cook and bake on a regular basis, you may want to consider an ambient and task lighting combination. By utilizing these two lighting styles, you’ll have more than enough light to read your recipe book, pull the right spices out of your cabinets, and effectively measure out your ingredients. In fact, you can even add lights on the inside of your cabinets, your drawers, and the corners of your island. This is an example of taking task lighting to the next level.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re interested in more of an artistic design, you may want to use accent lighting to draw attention to the random paintings, photographs, pottery, or other items you have displayed in your kitchen. This style is common amongst homeowners who enjoy throwing wine and/or cocktail parties. Pendant lights also go great above mini bars and kitchen islands.
These are just two examples of how choosing the right kind of lighting for both the design and function of your kitchen is important. The lighting you choose for your kitchen should also flow well with the rest of your house. If you have pendant lights hanging from the ceiling of your living room, you may want to consider installing some in your kitchen too. Keeping the style consistent throughout your home is important.
What’s new in 2019?
If you’re interested in integrating some of the newest styles in lighting into your kitchen, then check out some of the trends listed below:
- Natural materials are on the rise for 2019. Homeowners are loving lampshades and light covers made out of wood, wicker, bamboo, cork, and clay. When used with a warm light bulb, the combination can produce a light, comfortable atmosphere.
- Art deco lighting has become more popular than ever this year. Art deco light fixtures are great for attracting interest and drawing attention to specific areas of your kitchen. There’s many new designs on the market this year, so finding a style you love shouldn’t be very hard.
- Light covers and light shades with matte finishes are finding themselves in kitchens all over this year. Homeowners love this matte finish, especial when incorporated into a kitchen with a white and black color scheme.
- Handmade ceramic light covers and light shades are quite a hot item for 2019. Handmade ceramic can add a very warm, comfortable mood in your kitchen and is perfect for those homeowners who want to break away from the traditional light covers and light shades.
- Drum light covers are another trendy item homeowners are loving this year. Drum light covers tend to be very large in design and hang from the end of pendant lights. They’re stylish, unique, and are often times sold with a matte finish.
These are just a few of the latest 2019 lighting trends. There’s a lot more to choose from. When choosing the proper lighting for your kitchen, make sure you consider the overall design, the function, and the look you’re interested in. Remember, it’s your kitchen, so have fun with it.