The kitchen is, typically, the heart of the home. It’s your very own Michelin starred restaurant if you’re so inclined, or even just where you keep the microwave. Most guests entering your home will migrate towards the kitchen and they’ll more than likely stay there as, more often than not, that’s where the drinks are. This has always been the way – in 1978 Jona Lewie even wrote a song called “You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties”.
Keeping this in mind, I’m sure you’ll agree that getting the lighting right in your kitchen is of paramount importance.
There are so many things to consider here –
- Where do I do the majority of my meal prep?
- What shape is the room? Any slanted ceilings?
- Will there be a dining table in the kitchen?
- What about an island? What will the island be used for?
- Are my worktops being made of a shiny, reflective surface?
This last one is particularly important – imagine you pop into the kitchen to make a cup of tea in the evening, flick the lights on and suddenly find yourself blinded by all the glare coming off your work surfaces. In this instance, you need to choose fittings with diffused lenses.
If you go down the Lightmaster design route, your designer will spend a lot of time asking you about your kitchen habits – where you cook, where you sit etc. This will ensure that the correct fittings are in the correct positions. If you decide to go it alone, you will need to consider these aspects carefully as a badly placed light will result in you constantly working in your own shadow.
The spot in your kitchen where you tend to stand the most to do all your chopping and so on needs to be well lit to avoid any finger chopping off incidents. There are three ways to do this depending on your preference and also the shape/size of your kitchen. The first option is a downlight directly over the work top – great as long as there’s no huge cupboards in the way. If you do have overhanging cupboards and a reasonable budget, you could look at installing LED tape under the cupboards to light down for a completely shadow free effect.
The other option would be a spotlight angled correctly to shine on the worktop without putting your shadow in the way. Spotlights are also the fitting of choice for slanted ceilings or rooms with small ceiling voids.
It’s always important to keep entertaining in mind with your kitchen. For a dinner party you’d only want a few flickering candles and some 1W floor washers to give low level, low glare light. These floor washers are good to have on a separate switch to your main lighting as they also work well if you’re popping into the kitchen for a glass of water in the middle of the night.
If you have an island in your kitchen coupled with lovely high ceilings, you might want to consider going a little more decorative? A pendant (or two) can look lovely and will give great task light on your surface (even if the only task you perform at the island is slicing up a lime for your G&T).