The kitchen. It is arguably the most important room in any house, whether it’s inhabited by a big, busy family or a singleton that happens to be a keen cook. It’s where people make the food that will get them through the day and gather during the evening. And, as a result, it is vital that you get all of the practical aspects of your kitchen absolutely right.
The fact of the matter is that you just can’t have bad lighting in the kitchen. If you do, you run the risk of hurting yourself while you prepare dinner or straining your eyes while you try to work. It also just doesn’t do to have a dark and drab space if everyone is going to congregate there.
If you’re thinking that your kitchen might need a bit of a lighting makeover, then you’re in the right place! We know all the best ways to improve the lighting in any room, and the kitchen is no exception.
So, without further ado, here are our top five tips for improving the lighting in the heart of your home, known also as your kitchen.
1. Make Your Main Light Shine
We’ll start at the very beginning – with your main source of light. This will usually consist of one or a few larger fixtures in the center of the room, which will cast the most amount of light.
You will need your main light to be bright enough to illuminate everything in the room appropriately, particularly if you don’t get a lot of natural light in your kitchen or it’s painted a dark color. However, you also want it to be a focal point. So, opt for something attractive, something that stands out, something that complements the décor of the room without merely blending in.
The best options to go for are attention-grabbing chandeliers or a small selection of pendant lights. These lighting solutions can offer appropriate brightness while contributing a whole lot to the look of the place.
How To Incorporate Pendant Lights
If you opt for pendant lights, then you’ll need to incorporate them in the right way. Making sure you hang them over the central feature of the room, whether that be a kitchen island or a dining table, you should use no more than three in a row and leave a few feet of space in between each.
You also shouldn’t really use more than one cluster, unless your kitchen is particularly large and you’re sure additional pendant lighting will complement the look of the room. Pendant lighting can look busy if you use too many or if your room isn’t quite big enough.
So, if you’re worried that this may be the case in your kitchen, you can try something else instead.
Add A Touch Of Class With A Statement Chandelier
In many ways, a chandelier is the perfect centerpiece for just about any kitchen. They come in all manner of attractive styles and sizes, and have several bulbs which can omit a significant amount of light.
Kitchen chandelier lighting can better reflect your personality, too. You can go bold with a modern chandelier centered above your island, or opt for something more glam by adding magnetic crystals and pendants!
2. Introduce Task Lighting
Once you have decided on your main kitchen light fitting, you can start to add additional layers of lighting to the room. If you don’t layer, it’s very unlikely that you’ll get all the light that you need. Your striking chandelier is a good start, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to properly illuminating such an important space.
So, task lighting should be the next thing on your checklist. These are lights that will be trained on specific areas of the kitchen, which will help you to carry out any tasks that you need to do as safely and effectively as possible. Sometimes, your main lighting and task lighting will be the same thing. So, if you have pendant lights above your kitchen island, they would be considered task lights.
Ideally, your task lighting should make it much easier to see areas such as the countertops, sink, and kitchen table. However, the fact that they’re primarily practical doesn’t mean they can’t look good, too. You can get spotlights, low-hanging lights, and lighting bars in a wide variety of eye-catching styles.
Whether you have a charming farmhouse kitchen or something that’s a little bit more elegant, you will be able to find task lighting that can complement and even elevate the style of your space.
3. Spotlight Specific Areas
While you can use more powerful spotlights as task lighting, you can also use smaller ones to place extra emphasis on your favorite design features. After all, a kitchen shouldn’t just be bare walls and empty countertops. It may be a room that is practical above all else, but the central role it plays in every household means that it’s deserving of a more personal touch.
Using spotlights to highlight attractive features in the room is what’s known as accent lighting. So, if you have glass-fronted cabinets that display attractive ornaments or expensive crockery, then accent lighting will help you show them off.
You could try stick-on spotlights or pucks for ultimate effect. Or, if don’t like the sound of just one concentrated beam of light, then LED strips will have a similar effect when properly placed and attractively spaced.
They’re cost-effective and super easy to use, too! So, it’s recommended that you buy enough of each to really make an impact. Just remember to mount these lights at least one inch away from the front of the cabinet or drawer to reduce glare. Ideally, though, you should mount them about three inches away.
4. Ambient Lighting
Your kitchen works harder than most of the other rooms in your house. While your bedroom is for sleeping and your living room is for lounging, the kitchen can be a place for cooking, eating, and working, to name just a few things.
Kitchens can be great places for socializing, too, especially if you have plenty of seating or a kitchen island around which friends and family can gather. If you usually use your kitchen as a social spot, then chances are that wanting to improve the lighting won’t just be about brightness – it will also be about bringing the right atmosphere to the room.
Ambient lighting is what you need to make this happen. Often a softer, warmer source of light, ambient lights can gently illuminate the walls, floors, and undersides of cabinets. It is used to improve the visibility in a room without being too harsh. As such, it helps to create a much more inviting environment.
Improving The Brightness Of Your Space Without Lighting
If it’s atmosphere you’re after, there are further options for improving the ambience of your kitchen while also making the space seem brighter. These include adding a mirror, introducing accent colors, and using light-colored tile.
Combine these elements with your ambient lighting and you can make your kitchen look so much brighter. It will be a far nicer space to be in if you work at adding ambience.
5. Control The Vibe With Dimmers
We have covered main lighting, task lighting, accent lighting, and ambient lighting. All of these sources of light are crucial in making sure the kitchen is at its most efficient while still looking fabulous!
But, to really maximize the functionality and have complete control over the atmosphere of your space, you can add dimmer switches.
With dimmers, you get full control over the lights in your kitchen. So, when you need light to make a meal or complete any other task during the daytime, you can have them at maximum brightness. Then, when it comes time to wind down at the end of the day, you can dim them to help improve the ambience of the setting.
And, you can have dimmers for lots of your different fixtures! Add them to your main, task, and ambient light fittings to make them customizable.