Lighting and your Kitchen – How to Design a Lighting Plan that Cooks!

Your kitchen, more than any other room in your home, needs a good well thought out lighting plan. Today’s kitchens have many more functions than just cooking a meal. For many families it is the most frequently used room in the house. Besides the obvious preparation of meals, kitchens today are also a place for the kids to do homework, parents to pay the bills, reading, eating and watching TV. For this reason it is important that the light not only be adequate but flexible.

The first place to start in any room when devising a lighting plan is to address general lighting. This is the light that will be used most of the time. In the case of a very small kitchen, one light in the center of the room will provide the general light. With most of today’s kitchens being larger, a single light fixture in the center of the room probably won’t satisfy your lighting needs. The most common solution is recessed lighting. Depending on what part of the country you are in they may be called high hats or pot lights or can lights. All these terms mean the same thing. Recessed lighting is a good way to provide general lighting in a kitchen in a neat and clean way.

The placement of the lights is very important. When designing a layout for the general lighting in a kitchen, we want to take into account the areas where tasks will be done. This includes counters, islands and tables. In most cases, by designing the light to illuminate these areas, the rest of the room gets a good spread of general light as well. Try to have the recessed lights fall out on the ceiling so that they are directly above the outside edge of the cabinets. The key here is getting the lights close enough to the work area so that you don’t create a shadow with your body. Putting the lights to far away from the counters is a sure formula for shadows. Don’t overlook any nooks that may be dark.

Islands can provide a great outlet for adding a decorative fixture or fixtures to the room. There are a multitude of pendants to choose from that can really enhance the room. I find it is probably one of the most commented on aspects of a kitchen lighting plan when the homeowner sees the finished product. Simply installing 2 or 3 pendants in line over an island can be quite stunning.

The next step is the task lighting. In a kitchen this is the light directly over the counters, stove and sink. Having one or two small recessed lights on a separate switch over the sink is both attractive and useful. The stove these days is almost always lit from a fan hood or microwave but if it is not it should be addressed. The way the counters are illuminated is with under cabinet lighting. This can be in the form of simple fluorescent fixtures on an economical level. A very nice effect is to use low voltage linear track. These can be dimmed and provide very good light to the counters. There are also xenon fixtures and halogen fixtures. If you can try and stay with xenon as they burn cooler and have a longer bulb life than halogen.

After you have your general lighting and task lighting covered the last thing to consider is any accent lighting. On some kitchens where there is a space above the cabinets, lighting on top of the cabinets can look spectacular. Tray ceilings with crown molding can also benefit greatly from this type of lighting. Using either a low voltage type track or rope light, you can add that extra touch that makes your kitchen unique. For more lighting tips and lighting design help visit the links below.

Paul Forte has been in the lighting and electrical field for over 25 years. He has helped countless homeowners across the country with their lighting needs through his website. He will be appearing on an upcoming episode of “It Takes a Thief” on the discovery channel installing some security lighting.


Lighting Up a Living Room Can Be Fun

There are several ways to illuminate a living room. Depending on the wished-for ambiance as well as atmosphere, different lighting effects and techniques may be used to achieve various settings that accentuate this. Even though standard illumination has been limited to lamp usage, systems like recessed lighting effects have acquired a foothold as a common home decor Whether it be cost-sensitive or expensive, lighting style can make a big difference in the manner a room feels. Because the living room could be the most commonly utilized room in a residence, you should develop a comfortable ambience with light.

Natural Light

Playing up this particular cost-free supply of light inside a room will not merely be less severe on a budget but better on the eyes. Throughout the day, the sun can illuminate a room much more efficiently than electricity. Pure or pale-colored draperies permit much more light to get into a room. Skylights are another way to combine natural lighting to illuminate a living room. Determine whether or not natural light is adequate for the room, then use extra lighting effects accordingly.

Table and Floor Lighting unit

Traditional lighting units tend to be affordable and may increase personality to a room. Because lamp shades and bases come in a number of styles, they really provide a good number of options. When utilizing this sort of lighting, think about the actual size as well as form of the actual lamp shade. Deeper shades produce a dimmer light, while brighter or white-based shades permit more light to come through.

Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting effects have become popular home based decor. Recessed lighting style makes it possible to have a living room to be free of table lamps and it is mounted into your walls or even ceiling to allow for even lighting throughout the room. This lighting is managed by the area’s primary light switch, which makes it simpler to turn on and off. Nowadays, recessed lighting includes back lights, low lights, dimmer lights and accent lights. A wide selection of recessed lighting available in most hardware stores makes it easy to customize.

Task Lighting

In areas of a living room, it is crucial to have task lighting available if the main source of light is not sufficient. A dark reading corner, can have a small lamp. This will work well to provide task lighting specific to an area in the living room that is conducive to quiet reading. For entertainment, task lights placed near the systems be they televisions or other devices, will allow for easier control of the lighting source. Recessed lighting or a lamp in low-light areas can also help to build up the ambience in a living room.


Dining Room Lighting Ideas

Lighting is an essential aspect when it comes to decorating a home and it is no less important in a main room like the dining room so don’t leave this out when deciding on a design. There are a number of options to choose from in this room in the house just like other rooms.

This room is in need of good lighting because of the function that it plays in the home. It is often used for entertaining and people enjoy eating and talking in a well lit room so it makes this a critical aspect.

Let’s look at a few ideas that we can implement when it comes to lighting a dining room and how to achieve the best looks in that room. It is important to get it right the first time so that you don’t have to pay a lot to undo what was done.

You will want to focus on allowing people to have an enjoyable eating experience so you have to get the right balance of light so that it is not too dark or too bright. This way people can eat and just sit and chat without any inconveniences.

An important factor to consider is the placement and size of the table as this is usually the center of focus when it comes to a dining room. So place the lights in a fashion that the table will be usable but again, not too dark, and not too light.

Chandeliers are a great way to provide light to a room and they also create a luxurious look at the same time. They can be hung right above the table and while they cost a lot it might be worth it if you have the money to spend.

A pendant is also a good option and whereas a chandelier has many lights, a pendant generally has one and is a less expensive way to light up the dining room. It is easy to pick one out from the many that are available.

Wall sconces, track lighting, and recessed lighting are also potential options for a dining room but not always recommended if you want to get a really nice look. They are great in other rooms but it is nice to have something eye opening.

So enjoy making the choices of dining room lighting because when you pick one out it will make all the difference. Enjoy the new dining room lighting.