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  • Antoinette Prinsloo

Types of Lighting Every Kitchen Needs

Your kitchen design should do more than just look good – it’s where family and friends come together to do homework to list-making to actual meal-prep, cooking and sharing meals. After all, it’s the heart of the home. Good lighting design is essential for your kitchen to truly deliver on functionality and good kitchen design needs several types of light.

Ambient/all-over light

This will be your main source of light—whether in addition to natural light or to fill in for lack of it. Determine what natural light your kitchen gets, then to fill in the gaps with artificial light. You want to cast as much of it as evenly as possible. A ceiling fitting or pendant light may be the perfect answer. Consider a light fitting with several bulbs, a group or row of pendants centred over an island, or a cluster of recessed downlighters.

Task lighting

While ambient lighting is used to enable you to navigate throughout the kitchen, it often leaves shadows in areas that require more focus. This is where task lighting comes in. Task lighting is what it sounds like - lights intended for specific tasks where you need to be able to see clearly, such as over your countertops and cooking area. This can be in the form of downlights or strip lights underneath the wall cabinets to illuminate countertops. Pendant lights, popular choices for over a kitchen island, can function as somewhat of a bridge between task and ambient light.

Accent lighting

Use accent lighting to highlight a particular feature in your kitchen. From strip lights underneath the floor cabinet, downlights in a display cabinet to other light that might accentuate your favourite elements. They also might cross over into ambient and task lighting as well. Having accent lights in your kitchen creates ambience and adds style.

Decorative lighting

Beyond pure functionality, lighting is about beauty too. Once all your lighting requirements have been met, why not choose a stylish light fixture. This is the one-of-a-kind or centrepiece in a kitchen and the perfect way to set the theme - can really add to the overall aesthetic in a kitchen. This can serve to illuminate and highlight your favourite kitchen features, as well as be a striking focal point in the room.

There are many options to consider when deciding on lighting for your kitchen. Just remember to really think about how you and your family use the kitchen when coming up with a lighting plan. Make your lighting multi-functional by combining all these types in order to give your kitchen greater functionality, interest, and likelihood that you will have sufficient lighting.


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