The kitchen is a multi-purpose room and lighting needs to be firstly functional but also decorative. Functional lighting helps the cook to see what he or she is doing when preparing food and it assists them to keep those fingers out under the edge of the knife! Kitchen lighting has come a far way and it also needs to deliver ambiance in the kitchen as these days the kitchen is used by the whole family and often ends up as the area where conversation is made after a long days work.
There are a few types of lighting to consider for a kitchen mentioned here in no particular order of preference. Central lighting of which the fluorescent fitting is the most popular due to the amount of light that is omitted and the ease of keeping the fitting clean, including down lighters which can be positioned and angled to create ample light with the added benefit of creating ambiance especially when used in conjunction with a dimmer switch. The advantage of a single light fitting is the ease of cleaning the fitting but the down side of a single central fitting is that it will cast a shadow over your work since the light source will be behind you in most applications. This can be overcome by positioning down lighters above the work area or angled towards the working area.
Track lighting is also a very popular option due to the versatility of the lighting in that it can be moved and directed in various positions to create different focus points similar to down lighters with swivel heads. Installation of track lighting is relatively easy and will not normally incur high installation costs. The track consists of flexible cable which is strong and durable and it can be directed at many angles even though it cannot be curved. It can be installed across rooms or from room to room across ceilings and at various heights. It can also be installed vertically down pillars or walls or down stair cases. Light fittings are attached where you want them anywhere onto the track where they are needed to light up a work surface in the form of a spot light or with pendants above your breakfast area. If you have an open plan kitchen you may want to match the floor lamp in the adjacent area with your kitchen fitting.
Under-Counter Lighting is also a very popular ad on lighting option which has an added advantage that you can switch off the main central fitting to create ambiance by leaving the under-counter lighting on. This is especially useful when the kitchen is an area where you as a family like to entertain or just sit down to have a nice chat after a hard day’s work. There are mainly two types of under-counter lighting options of which one is the fluorescent light which gives a cool broad pool of light and it is perfect for using as a light source for working areas. The second option is the downlighter that will provide you with a warm ambient light depending on the globe used. A warm white globe creates a yellowish warm light and the cool white option provides a cool pool of light. Do not use downlighters under a cupboard where perishable items are kept as downlighters generate a lot of heat which may damage the goods.
Lighting Cupboards on the inside or on the outside is another option when designing your lighting needs in the kitchen. Track lighting comes in very handy when choosing to light cupboards from the outside as it can be moved and directed as you may wish to do so when you open the door you are able to see the content. It is important to remember that the larger the cupboards and the higher the ceiling, the further away your lights will need to be. To create light inside a cupboard to display glasses, ornaments, sculptures or crockery position downlighters inside and at the front of the cupboard and not in th e middle or back of the cupboard as it will create shadows. Smaller size downlighters are perfect for this type of application.
Lastly when it comes to lighting your pantry or scullery you must make sure to use bright light but not to harsh due to the functionality of pantries and sculleries. The suggestion is to consider making use of spotlights as the lights can be directed to exactly where it needs to be. All these options are available not only at retail outlets but are available through online stores as well, sometimes at much lower prices for exactly the same product.