It doesn't matter if you’re a budding chef or if you can’t stand cooking. The kitchen is likely the heart of your home, and as such planning to renovate or extend a kitchen can be an immensely exciting time. There’s so many choices to make, but in addition to finding that perfect hob with that sort after show-off wok burner, and locating that perfect shade of oak finish for the island, you must not forget to get your lighting just right.
Lighting is one of those things, a bit like flooring, that is really easy to overlook, despite the fact it is actually one of the most important considerations to make while carrying out a renovation. Poorly lit rooms are unwelcoming and dysfunctional, meaning if you want to turn your home's kitchen into a social as well as practical room you have to get the lighting bang on point, otherwise you, your family and your guests will only visit the room out of necessity, and no one will choose to congregate there — undoing all of the handwork you put into the rest of the project.
So, just what exactly do you need to think about when it comes to lighting? Well obviously there’s the physical aesthetics of the lights you choose themselves, that can have a major influence on the rooms overall style. But as, if not more, important is the practical considerations of your lighting. You need to choose the optimum locations to place, your ambient, task and overall lighting. So that you have the right amount of light whenever you need it.
There’s a wide range of choice when it comes to lighting, so it can all seem a little bewildering so we’ve put together this handy little breakdown of some of the most popular types of kitchen illumination, but if you’re still unsure on how to perfect your kitchen’s lights you can always check with one of Opun’s Expert’s who’ll be able to make sure you obtain a faultlessly lit kitchen!
In the kitchen general lighting usually refers to the powerful ceiling mounted lighting that illuminates the whole room brightly, the kind of lighting you’re going to want to use for tasks such as cleaning or carrying out other household tasks within the kitchen. If you have a large kitchen then it is advisable to break up your overhead lighting to sections, allowing you to only light up the areas of the kitchen your using at that specific time. However, it is likely no matter the size or shape of your kitchen that you will like to supplement this type of lighting with at least some task lighting, and ideally some ambient light as well to really utilise the room.
Task lighting in the kitchen commonly refers to lights such as below cabinet lighting which you use on occasions where you need bright shadowless light for those chores like chopping veg, carving meet and preparing drinks. This type of lighting is as much there for safety as it for convenience, above the hob it can be a good idea to choose an extractor with inbuilt task lighting to help you see while you cook. If you’re going to use an island for baking or other food prep then opt for some above pendant or recessed lighting as well.
Ambient lighting is probably the most overlooked type of lighting for kitchens, which is a shame because it is a pivotal element in creating a space in creating a cosy, intimate ambiance. That relaxed type of lighting you want for low-key late night suppers on the kitchen table, or for just unwinding with a cup of tea while listening to the radio. Ambient lighting should be dimmer and warmer than the other lighting in your kitchen, and could stem from things such as floor lamps with coloured shades, candle light, or even ceiling facing strip lights above kitchen fittings. This type of lighting of course may not be necessary if you only have a small galley kitchen which contains to seating or other elements to make it a social hub in the home.