March 12th 2011

Make the most of your kitchen lighting

Lighting your kitchen doesn’t have to be a difficult task. With a few tips, you can get the most effective lighting that looks great, with a warm, inviting environment that complements your kitchen.

The answer lies in layering: four layers blended together for the best outcome. Task, ambient, accent and decorative lighting all work together to create the exact look you’re going for.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is often misplaced, and can actually hinder your kitchen creation ability, throwing shadows who-knows-where.

Key locations for task lighting include underneath the overheat cabinets and over the island. Another area is over near the pantry. These are places where you need to be able to see well (IE chopping and fishing around for those dried beans).

Task lighting can be used as under-cabinet lights, giving an ambient feel to the room (made better by a dimmer switch). Strip lighting is also a good option, along with a puck light system.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is often overlooked, but an important form of indirect lighting. It softens the lines and shadows, and creates a warm, welcoming glow. If you love to entertain, ambient lighting attracts people into the kitchen and make them feel at home. This type of  lighting may include flush-mounted ceiling fixtures, an island pendant, and adjustable track lighting.

Accent Lighting

Although the least common layer in the kitchen, it is becoming more popular due to folks loving to entertain. For example, backsplashes, artwork, and flowers may benefit from small lights to illuminate the goods. Track lighting, up-lighters, directional eyeball lights and wall sconces are all good  accent fixtures. Use low voltage fixtures for these.

Decorative Lighting

With decorative lighting, you want to ensure the scale of the fixtures is right for the space, and that the shade effectively hides the light bulbs.

Bringing it all together

Layering means that you have many light options available at your fingertips. Dimmers and switches make this easy, allowing you to change the mood with a simple switch.

You can also purchase options to preset different lighting levels. Think: during the day, afternoon food preparation, enjoying dinner and evening entertaining. This option, however, could run about a thousand dollars.

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.