Most people would consider the kitchen to be the heart of their home. It serves many functions beyond that of food preparation. Kitchens have expanded into a popular gathering place for family and friends during dinner parties, game night or entertaining. Homeowners understand that lighting is an important aspect of any home, even still, this aspect is often overlooked when it comes to kitchens. Most people have been in a kitchen where the sole source of its lighting was an overhead mounted light or maybe a chandelier, not the best situation for proper kitchen lighting.
A knowledgeable kitchen designer understands the technique to proper lighting is to layer the light sources. In addition to the ceiling mounted light fixture the kitchen needs the other sources of lighting to be complete. The need for proper kitchen lighting is not limited to the likes of the Gordon Ramsey or Rachel Ray's of the culinary world. It is deserving of all homeowners alike.
When using the light layering approach to illumination the three main groups or categories are referred to as task, ambient and accent. A fourth category sometimes added is referred to as decorative lighting. Minka Lavery lighting, when properly applied, not only allows the kitchen to be easily adapted to different needs, it also enhances the overall appearance of the kitchen.
- Task lighting – The purpose of task lighting is to create a bright light for which to work by. This is especially appreciated when it comes to finely chopping the parsley or filleting a fish. Appropriate locations for task lighting are over the sink, cutting area of the counter, and above the kitchen island. A good choice for task lighting is to incorporate Z-lite lighting such as small halogen fixtures that are mounted underneath the cabinets to illuminate the counter tops. As a bonus, non-florescent lighting like halogen spots can be put on a dimmer so that light level can be lowered when not needed for work tasks. Doing so provide a night light source or just for a dramatic effect.
- Ambient Lighting – Serves to add an overall light and fills in for natural light. Traditionally used sources of ambient lighting are ceiling mounted or semi-flush mounted lights. Other sources of ambient lighting are recessed, or can lights, and are best placed above the cabinets in order to eliminate casting shadows on people's faces. Ambient lighting should cast a soft, warm glow to the room and not be too harsh or bright. Of course time-honored Chandeliers are good options too.
- Accent lighting – If possible, accent lighting provides another layer of lighting that serves to highlight specific areas or objects. Perhaps you have a fancy appliance you want to show off or collectible stoneware or your Grandmother's tea pots. Accent lighting is just what you need to accomplish that. While not necessarily functional its use is gaining popularity in the kitchen.
If building a new home, considering how lighting will benefit you and your kitchen, will go a long way in creating the best possible working, gathering, and entertaining space. Lighting from Quorum International and other places needs to provide a purpose, otherwise it's a waste of energy. One idea to consider with kitchen lighting is to add dimmer switches. In many cases, the amount of light created by overhead lights is more than needed. The ability to dim the lights can create a soothing, relaxing feel to the room.