How to design kitchen lighting

If you carefully calculate where you spend most of your active time at home, you will find that the kitchen comes in first place by a wide margin. Cooking, dishwashing, breakfast, lunch, dinner – all this is half, if not more, of our home time. That’s why the electrical stuffing of the kitchen, including the design of kitchen lighting, needs to be approached with particular care.

Zoning lighting in the kitchen

What’s there to light, you might say. Big deal, six or eight squares: a lamp or a chandelier in the center – and that’s it. But as it turns out, a “bigger chandelier” is not so handy. Cutting onions or other vegetables on the tabletop, for example, makes us squint and strain our eyes. And not because the onion stings, but because the source of light is behind us and our own shadow falls on the work surface. The same story will be with the dining table if it is not in the center of the kitchen.

So what do you do? That’s right, divide the kitchen into zones and light each zone separately. Even the smallest kitchen can be divided into three areas:

  • The work area. This is usually a wide and long worktop with a sink. This area also includes a gas stove or cooktop.
  • Dining area. The table at which we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Storage area. Cabinets, drawers, shelves, refrigerators and freezers.

Each of these areas is used in a different way, and for each of them it is necessary to arrange convenient lighting.

Tip: Only plan your lighting after you’ve put all your furniture in the kitchen. That way you’ll know exactly where you need to direct the light and how much light you’ll need for each area.  

How to light your work area

In a kitchen set above the countertop, or above the work area, there are usually cabinets for storing kitchen utensils. Great: Use them as a place to mount light fixtures. There are many variations of special furniture light fixtures on sale that simply attach to the underside of hinged cabinets. If you want – buy LED lights on batteries: you will have to replace the batteries only once a year, and you will save on the installation of outlets for the kitchen.

There, on the wall under the cabinets or shelves will fit perfectly LED strip. True, it will need a separate socket and switch

Tip: Ordering a kitchen set, immediately ask to build in wall cabinets or shelves with lights to highlight the work area.

If there are no cabinets or shelves above the work area, install fixtures with directional light on the wall, 70 to 80 cm. from the countertop, or on the ceiling directly above it. For example, several spotlights.

A gas stove or cooktop is usually illuminated by a standard light fixture built into the hood. If you’re not using a hood, consider finding room for a small spotlight above them. Do the same with the sink: washing food and dishes in semi-darkness is not the most pleasant thing to do.  

kitchen lighting

Dining room lighting

Good lighting promotes digestion and mood. So, at least, say nutritionists and psychologists. Let’s take the word of experts, and let’s make sure that the dining table was bright and comfortable.

If the kitchen space allows – put the dining table in the center, directly under the main ceiling light. If it doesn’t – move the ceiling light to the side, and, yes – hang it over the table. It is good if the length of the suspension of such a light fixture can be adjusted. By lowering and raising the plafond above the table you can create the desired lighting and mood. Lift it up – the light became bright and solemn. Lowered – the light became more chambered, homely and cozy. The main thing is that it didn’t bathe your eyes, but illuminated the table and food.

As a suspension you can use not only cords, but also, for example, chains, as it was realized by our designer in the project of the kitchen for a country house.

For a rectangular or elongated oval table, use several pendant lights in a row. The same technique will be ideal for the bar, if there is one in your kitchen. You can read about how to organize lighting in other rooms of the house or apartment in this article.

A table standing against the wall can be illuminated with sconces or spotlights. However, with this kind of lighting, the part of the table, especially the part closer to the wall, will be worse illuminated. In addition, the sconces will not fit into any interior. If you want privacy and not too bright light – this is your option.

Storage area lighting

Automatic storage area lighting is by default implemented only in the refrigerator or freezer. Why not do the same inside kitchen cabinets, drawers or drawers? Small LED lights or LED strips that turn on when you open the cabinet doors would make it much easier to find what you need.

The same small lights or LED strips illuminate the shelves. You’ll kill two birds with one stone: get illuminated storage areas and decorative lighting in the kitchen.

What bulbs to choose for your kitchen

In addition to conveniently zoning out your kitchen lighting, it’s important to choose the right bulbs for your light fixtures. Any electrical store today has such a huge selection of light bulbs that it’s hard to keep your eyes open. In fact, there are, more often than not, three types of bulbs: LED, fluorescent (or daylight) and incandescent. Everything else is different modifications of these three types.

Incandescent bulbs

Classic incandescent bulbs range in wattage from 40 to 200 watts. For the kitchen, especially for the working area, bulbs of at least 100 watts are suitable.

Suitable for all types of lamps with a screw socket. The main disadvantage – high power consumption. But with the help of such lamps and a dimmer switch, you can smoothly regulate the lighting in all areas of the kitchen.

Fluorescent lamps

Modern fluorescent lamps, which we use in apartments most often – a twisted spiral bulb with an inert gas, which glows when voltage is applied to the electrodes of the lamp. E14 and E27 light bulbs can be screwed into all kinds of chandeliers and lighting fixtures. The power required for lighting is 18 – 36 watts. Depending on their color temperature, they are divided into warm, neutral and cool colors. For the kitchen (and for any living space), warm or neutral daylight lamps are best.  The minus of fluorescent bulbs – they require special disposal. In addition, they are not suitable for the smooth control of light.

LED bulbs

The most popular and economical type of lamps. LED lamps, as they are also called, can be used with all types of luminaires. LEDs are also installed in LED strips for conventional and decorative lighting. As well as fluorescent, LED lamps are available in different light temperatures: warm, neutral and cool light.

The most significant advantage of their use is the minimum power consumption (6 – 10 watts) and a huge service life. Some manufacturers claim a warranty life of LED lamps up to 20 years. That’s cool. Minus – they are still more expensive than simple incandescent bulbs.

Lighting in the kitchen is easy!

As you can see, creating the right lighting in the kitchen is not that difficult. You just need to think hard, get inspired and do it.