Lighting can often be an afterthought when it comes to kitchen designs. Someone installs a centrally located florescent light fixture, and youre good to go, right?
Youve just put a nice chunk-of-change into new cabinets and natural countertops or youre about to – so why let a rudimentary lighting scheme make them feel flat and one-dimensional? With layered lighting, you can add highlights and improve the whole look of your kitchen.
Light where you need it
With one overhead fixture, you limit yourself on where the light can go, and youll often find yourself working in the shadows when you stand at the counters. With layered light, though, you can put the light where you need it.
The four main layers of layered kitchen lighting are:
- Evenly spaced roughly 30-36 apart and 18 out from the cabinets, recessed lighting provides the overhead lighting that you need while doing away with the unsightly fluorescent fixture.
- Align them in front of wall cabinets so they will illuminate the shelving when the cabinet is open.
- Grouping different areas of recessed lighting separately will allow you to have light where you need it if you dont want the whole room lit up.
- Pendant lighting is best utilized over an island or a peninsula counter top.
- Consider the scale of the space to be lit by the pendant lighting. You can often use several small pendants or one large one in the same space.
- Keep the style of the kitchen in mind when choosing pendant lighting, and make sure theyre in proportion with your kitchen space.
Inside Cabinet Lighting
- When paired with mullion doors, inside cabinet lighting can give your kitchen the focal point its been missing.
- Inside cabinet lighting will add some light to the room, but is mostly for adding an accent to the overall design.
- With glass shelving, you can highlight your fancy glassware or china.
Under Cabinet Lighting
- Lighting under the wall cabinets can be both functional and fashionable.
- Install it at different angles; towards the back to highlight a decorative backsplash, toward the front to accentuate your countertops, or straight down for improved task lighting.
- You can also set under cabinet lighting to its own dimmer to provide nice mood lighting or a helpful nightlight.
By mixing and matching these four types of lights in your kitchen you can add layers that really make the design come to life. With that in mind, consider your lighting needs and desires as you prepare for a new kitchen remodel.