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What lights should I fit into my new kitchen?

What lights should I fit into my new kitchen?

There are so many different options these days when it comes to lighting your kitchen. Whether you are updating an old kitchen or complementing your new kitchen you need to spend a bit of time trying to achieve the look you are after. A ceiling pendant and a couple of strip lights are very old hat nowadays.

A lot of people think that you just need to light the whole kitchen and that's it. Sadly it isn't and if you get it right the effect can be stunning.

We will cover all the different types of lighting available for kitchens from accent to ambient to the task. A little bit of time spent in the planning stage can reap big rewards in the end look.

Accent style lights

This type of lighting is if you want to show off the main feature of a kitchen such as a glass display cabinet or a nice picture on the wall. You can install accent lighting inside wall units or underneath to highlight a worktop. A spotlight comes under this category.

You could opt for a pendant light, made out of glass perhaps, or a stunning rope style lamp. Both these types use a single bulb for the light source. A good use of these is to highlight an island unit. You are not limited in kitchen style with these lamps as they complement traditional and contemporary styles alike.

If you have a piece of artwork you want to show off or some nice sculptures then accent lighting is a must.

You could always implement accent lighting above your wall units if you have space which gives you the benefit of using up space and having lighting without encroaching on space in your kitchen.

Task lights

You will need task lighting in any area of the kitchen here you will be working such as food preparation areas, the sink for washing up etc. This prevents you casting a shadow onto the area that you will be working in. A fixed pendant style light would not suit this need.

Spotlights would suit this need very well. You can have as many as you need and the wattage of the bulbs determines how much light each one gives out. This will give you several light sources and thus overcomes the shadowing problem. The only downside is that it will cost you more to have these installed as there is much more work involved in the wiring process.

You could even go for track style lights which as the name suggests can be moved around the kitchen on their tracks. They are very good for getting the light just where you need it.

Ambient lights

The most popular way of lighting a kitchen is to use the traditional halogen or fluorescent lamps which work by heating up a wire which is encased in a glass housing that is filled with gas. This is a very economical lamp and very effective.

There is not much difference between any of these styles of bulbs so it is the style of a holder that will give your kitchen the distinction it deserves. Do you need traditional or contemporary style housing? That is for you to decide. This style of the lamp gives off a radiant glow rather than a single source directed at one particular area or feature in the kitchen.

If you are energy conscious then fluorescent bulbs are the ones to go for. They are about 5 times more efficient than the typical incandescent bulbs and thus keep the electric bill down.

Dimmer Switches and Lighting Controls

When planning where to put your lights you must also bear in mind where you want the switches to control the lighting. The most obvious place is just inside the doorway. You will also want controls at the other end of the kitchen so you are never too far away from the controls.

It is a good idea to fit dimmer switches in your new kitchen for two reasons:

  •  You will not always want to have the lights on full power
  •  You will save energy and money by running them at less than full power

This just about covers all you will need to know about kitchen lighting. Just make sure you think of style, colour, cost and energy savings when planning the lighting.