We've put together a selection of kitchen lighting design advice based on questions we frequently get asked. We hope you find it useful!
- Why is kitchen lighting design important and at what point in the design process should lighting be considered?
The kitchen lighting scheme is possibly the most important one in the home and certainly one of the trickiest. Sadly, kitchen designers often design a beautiful kitchen with little or no regard for the lighting scheme. The lighting design is then left to the builder or electrician without sufficient planning. In order to make sure that work areas are well lit and social spaces feel comfortable, it is essential to incorporate a lighting design, with specific reference to products and controls, as part of the overall kitchen design.
We often receive architectural drawings and kitchen designs where the designer has proposed/specified a very basic kitchen lighting plan with no reference to products or controls. It’s not an easy thing to retrospectively correct once second fix is complete and getting it wrong can be very costly.
2. What are the different types of lighting needed in a kitchen?
It is essential to have multiple layers of light in a kitchen; task lighting can be achieved by means of simple stylish pendant lights hung low over an island and LED strips on the underside of eye level cupboard illuminating the work surface. Depending on the size of the kitchen it is also nice to supplement this scheme with some carefully positioned recessed down lights. Ideally these would be located in front of floor to ceiling & eye level cupboards to create scallops of reflected light, but should be positioned to ensure that if you are preparing food on the work surface the downlight isn't behind you, or your body will block the light and cast a shadow over your culinary creations! Dimmable fittings and controls as well as the careful grouping of circuits will help to achieve the right mood.
3. Where can people go for help planning and installing their kitchen lighting (all budgets, all options)?
We offer a bespoke lighting design consultation service tailored to a client’s needs. The consultation is versatile and can consist of either simple advice on lighting placement and fitting choice or a personalised lighting design scheme complete with technical drawings.
When a budget restricts professional help with lighting design we suggest utilising home design and interior magazines and taking note of the different schemes used in the kitchen spaces featured. Create boards of inspirational spaces and discuss with your electrician how to incorporate these ideas into your kitchen before first fix.
4. What are the current regulations concerning wiring?
The Institute of Electrical Engineers have wiring regulations that are followed by all qualified and registered electricians. If you are unsure about your specific requirements at any stage then consult a professional and always prioritise your safety. If the lights are near a kitchen water source it is worth considering whether an IP rated light fitting is a sensible solution.
5. How can homeowners control kitchen light sources, such as dimming, wireless, home automation etc.?
App and smart home controls are all very well but may offer more flexibility than is really necessary. Focus on getting the basics of the scheme correct and incorporated as part of the whole design and a simple dimming system will be more than sufficient to control the level of your kitchen lighting.