No single light source can provide adequate lighting for an entire kitchen,even a small one. The inevitable result of one overhead light fixture is glare, which overpowers the room. Recessed ceiling lights set in a grid pattern can also do a poor lighting job, resulting in some over-lit areas and some shadowy places.
An ideal lighting plan for any kitchen will layer light fixture installation in a way that crea
tes a just-right, warm and welcome feeling throughout the entire space. The lighting should not only illuminate the functional areas of a kitchen, such as the countertops, but also enhance the areas used for family time, conversation and entertainment.
Three Essential Layers of Well-Lit Kitchens
Use at least three layers of lighting to optimize the efficiency and beauty of your kitchen:
1) workspace lighting, 2) ambient lighting, and 3) decorative lighting:
Workspace lighting provides a proper level of light for common tasks like food chopping or recipe reading. Workspace lighting should be placed between an individual's head and their work surface. Under-cabinet lighting is an ideal way to light the task areas of a kitchen.
Ambient lighting is an important, but often overlooked, aspect of kitchen lighting. It fills the room with a pleasant glow that softens shadows and instantly make one feel welcome in the kitchen. The area between the tops of cabinets and the ceiling is a good place to install this type of lighting. A professional lighting specialist can suggest other locations for ambient lighting in your kitchen.
Decorative lighting adds design interest along with functionality to a kitchen. It can highlight your kitchen's architecture, add shine or shimmer, if desired, and create eye-appeal that enhances the overall style and décor of your home. Light fixtures are available in a wide range of styles and materials, such as brass, copper, steel, and glass to customize the look of your kitchen.
You can add another layer to your kitchen lighting by using dimmers on some or all of your light fixtures. This will give you the ability to adjust the level of light for special occasions, romantic dinners, or to minimize kitchen lighting after nightly clean-ups.