As discussed in our previous blog, 3 Tips for Lighting Your Bathroom, there are three primary sources of lighting for your home: ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. These three methods of lighting can very well come in handy in every room of the house, whether it’s the bedroom, bathroom, living room, or kitchen. Not only does layering your sources of lighting aid visually in the overall aesthetic of your home, but as we’ll see, it’s a source of support in the kitchen when completing day-to-day tasks. Let’s start at the most basic form of lighting, ambient lighting.
Ambient lighting is best described as the “starting point for a space or room.” Think of ambient lighting as the base amount of light in a room. Whether it’s a skyscraper or a modern home, designers, engineers, architects, and anyone else in the home-building field will take into account sources of lighting that offer the best functionality for the building.
Essentially, ambient lighting can be both natural and man-made. For example, natural sunlight is a source of ambient lighting. Far, far away from our lighting showroom in Lafayette, La is the glorious Apple Store in New York City, which has quickly become a destination experience due to its “glass cube” construction. The Apple Store is mostly lit by natural sunlight, however, during the night time and on cloudy days, the store is lit by tons of LED lights. Both the natural light and the LED lighting are forms of the store’s ambient lighting.
When it comes to ambient lighting in the kitchen, most homes already have some form of ambient light because sunlight shines through daily. But how else can ambient lighting be included? Recessed lighting is a great option, especially if your kitchen is on the larger side. Recessed lights fit in hollow holes in your ceiling and work tremendously well to bring some extra light to any room in the home. Hanging light fixtures, such as chandeliers and pendant lights, can also be used as a form of ambient kitchen lighting. These fixtures add a beautiful glow to any room, and in the kitchen, you can most often find them hanging above the kitchen island or dining room table. When performing a farmhouse kitchen remodel, many designers opt-in for pendant lights as they make a statement, look great, and feel timeless.
Moving on to the next method of layering your light fixtures is task lighting. As the name suggests, task lighting is lighting that is used when performing certain tasks. Sewing, brushing your teeth, painting, combing your hair, the list goes on—all of these are tasks that may have better results if you have a pristine source of task lighting in addition to that crucial ambient lighting. Even in the professional service industry, task lighting maintains its importance. A dentist wouldn’t clean your teeth without bringing down that necessary operatory lighting component, right?
So why exactly would someone need task lighting in the kitchen? You’d first need to ask, “what is the most important task in the kitchen?” And the answer to that is cooking. Many people do not have any form of task lighting in their kitchen, except for the already standard light that is installed in hood vents above the range. Think about your kitchen as a workspace. You need the proper lighting in order to cook, including all of the chopping, measuring, and cleaning. Perhaps consider adding some lights underneath your overhead cabinets. This will give you some much-needed brightness when performing your cooking duties. Maybe even add a pendant light above your sink, which will allow substantial light while washing the dishes.
Finally, accent lighting aims to highlight certain objects that you want to be illuminated, whether it’s art, pottery, or plants. Accent lighting can also be used to spruce up a room and highlight a specific area, such as the cabinetry. Typically, accent lighting in the kitchen isn’t as popular as it would be for the living room. It definitely comes in handy more so for commercial businesses as well (museums are very popular businesses that rely heavily on accent lighting). Still, you can absolutely incorporate accent lighting into your kitchen, especially if there are certain design elements that you wish to highlight. Above-cabinet lighting is a popular choice in the kitchen, especially since many people arrange beautiful plants above their cabinets. Track lighting is another great option; many people use this form of lighting in order to bring some light to the island when pendant lighting supplies are not desired. Always make sure that you have a dimmer switch with this kind of lighting because it may be too bright for certain occasions, especially when using LED lights.
Keep in mind that layering your space with lights can be done in any room. It may seem obvious, but in most, if not all scenarios—always start with the ambient lighting, proceeded by task lighting, and accent lighting if desired.