Kitchen are typically the busiest rooms in our homes. More
than just a work room for food preparation, the kitchen is also used
for eating, entertaining, homework, games and just relaxing.
if the kitchen is to used by a serious cook, it needs serious lighting.
Those who don't spend much time or effort preparing meals will
have different priorities. The more sociable the kitchen, the more one
will want flexible and aesthetic lighting choices.
Kitchen lighting consists of three layers :
Localized task lighting at several locations,
General (ambient) lighting for the room
Supplemental accent or mood lighting.
The size and complexity of the kitchen dictates the lighting
requirements. A small kitchen may require only under-cabinet task
lighting and a central ceiling fixture for general lighting.
A larger kitchen will need additional lighting over the sink, over a breakfast table, and in a pantry.
in lighting will blend with any style of cabinetry and
appliances. Exposed fixtures need to be style coordinated.
Watch out for dark surfaces! Some kitchens feature rich
materials, like dark marble, that just eat up the light. Be
sure to allow for extra light in those areas the feature dark
countertops or cabinetry.
Counters need to be free of shadows. Flourescent or low
voltage incandescent task lights mounted under the cabinets provide the
most effective lighting for counter tops. Flourescent is more
efficient, cooler and creates fewer shadows. Incandescent (mostly
xenon) dims more easily and lights decorative objects more
dramatically. Place the lights at the front edge of the
cabinet. Shield the lights with a fascia so that they
cannot be seen from any seated position in the kitchen or adjacent
area. For counters without overhead cabinets, use downlights 16
-24 inches apart.
Over the Sink. Light
the sink well. It is the most frequently used location in the
kitchen. If cabinets extend over the sink, use undercabinet
lihgts. If not, hide a flourescnet light behind a fascia, or hang a
decorative pendant or use a recessed can.
Range or Island.
Cooks need effective lighting for rangetop cooking. Provide
at least 50 to 100 footcandles. Teh built in light in a range
hood should accommodate at leaset a 60-watt lamp. The light
should reach into deep pots. Otherwise, provide separate task
lighting, as for the s ink. Use fixtures that are shielded both
from view and splatter.
A pendant provides pleasant lighting and sets off the eating
area. The localized brightness relieves the flat uniformity of
the general and task lighting in other areas of the kitchen.