​Lighten Up! A Quick Guide On Kitchen Lighting

Lighting is a key aspect of any kitchen, the smallest change can make or break the feel and function of the space. From general lighting to mood-setting ambience and even lighting installed to help with specific tasks. What was once a simple installation, can now have a huge effect. With so many choices of lighting options, it’s important you help your customers make the right choice for them.

General Lighting

General lighting is very subjective when it comes to the kitchen, certain lighting conditions will work better depending on kitchen style. For example, you won’t want very dim and warm lighting in a modern kitchen style.

This kind of lighting is normally achieved by the main overhead light, so how the light is installed is more restricted than other methods of lighting. However, through a combination of well-styled light shades and the right bulb selection, you can create a very different atmosphere. Modern styles of kitchen such our Contemporary range can really shine from high-intensity lighting that floods the room, making it bright and functional. There is a pitfall though, too much lighting can sometimes make it feel too sterile and clinical.

More rustic designs can benefit from either end of the lighting intensity scale. Warmer yellow lights can add to the traditional feel whilst making it feel welcoming and practical. These warmer hues can bring a new perspective to dark wood interiors, adding a more mysterious undertone to the room. Alternatively using brighter lights can help bring out more detail in the design. If the kitchen is using a particularly stressed style of wood, the cracks and surface imperfections can be emphasised to bring character to the room.

Ambience Lighting

Ambience lighting is a trend that has become very popular amongst contemporary designs over the past few years. From subtle wall lighting to full LED strips hidden under cabinets, adding additional but subtle lighting can create some dramatic shadows or add an interesting burst of colour into a kitchen, making it the perfect room for hosting and spending time. Ambience lighting isn’t limited to modern designs though, a few well-placed spotlights can shroud wooden textures in shadows whilst simultaneously highlighting details in the grain. This lighting technique works particularly well in more rustic designs that feature dark traditional woods like walnut or oak.

In kitchens built with lots of white furniture, especially glossy or shiny finishes, colour changing LEDs can create some stylish mood lighting, great for a cosy night in or a big get together with friends. LED strips are affordable and easily installed under cabinets, or op top for a more discreet glow.

Task Lighting

Sometimes the basic lighting isn’t quite what you need, for more intricate tasks a bright and well-targeted light can help do the job. Task lighting can be installed in very specific areas to help with certain tasks, one of the most common types of task lighting is found in ventilation hoods over cooking surfaces. These kinds of lamps illuminate the area below them so that people can see how their cooking is progressing easier.

Other areas of the kitchen can really benefit from having task lighting installed. A very popular task lighting style is to have industrial style lamps hanging low above a kitchen island to help any food preparation or to lighten the mood for people gathered around this area. Other work surfaces can have their own task lighting by installing lights flush to a surface, like underneath a cupboard.

It is important to remember that too much lighting can make a space overly bright and have the opposite of the desired effect. It is also important to choose the right bulb, as different kinds will offer different levels of brightness and varying amounts of warmth and colour. It is best to provide as much information to your customer as possible and help them make a choice that makes the most of the space and brings efficiency and style to the kitchen.

GB Kitchens are always on hand to help you make great choices to ensure your customer gets the best quality kitchen. See more about our trade discount on high-quality cabinets and doors for your next project.


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