Lighting matters, no matter the room. However, it’s especially important when it comes to the “functional” parts of your house.
Last month, we talked about bathroom lighting tips.
However, that isn’t the only room in the house where lighting is so important – this time, we’ll be shining a light on the importance of kitchen lighting!
Need ideas for your kitchen renovation? Looking for ways to brighten up your kitchen a little bit? Or do you simply want something to read to kill time?
Today, our Melbourne electricians explain some of the most critical considerations inherent to kitchen lighting.
Kitchen lighting: why does it matter?
Never underestimate the power of kitchen lighting!
As any homeowner knows, light is a big deal. Kitchen lighting in particular is especially important.
As an aside, it’s also important that you leave the job to a qualified Melbourne electrician.
But first: what makes kitchen lighting so important?
Accidents can happen in any room – however, they’re especially common in the kitchen!
It makes sense. In the kitchen, you’ll typically find yourself working with knives, stoves, grates… the list goes on.
While it’s no substitute for safe kitchen habits, proper lighting can go a long way towards making the kitchen a slightly safer place.
With good lighting, you’ll be able to better avoid accidents when cooking, chopping, frying, and dicing food.
Increase the aesthetic value
The kitchen is a functional room first and foremost – of course, that doesn’t mean appearance is completely irrelevant!
The right lighting can make your kitchen feel considerably more spacious and warm.
Not to mention, in many houses, the kitchen shares a space with the dining and living areas. As such, the aesthetic in your kitchen spills over and affects how your living and dining areas feel.
Why planning matters – and how a Melbourne electrician helps
As electricians in Melbourne, Briggs Electrical have worked on many kitchen improvement projects, renovations and new-builds.
Some of these projects have gone off without a hitch; others have been pretty dramatic.
In many cases, the root cause is a lack of planning.
Many are eager to dive right in with their new kitchen without going through the planning process.
Unfortunately, this often results in less than ideal kitchen lighting, usually tacked on to the project at the end as a hasty afterthought.
Wiring and circuitry
In particular, many don’t put the required amount of thought into planning out the wiring that comes with kitchen lighting.
As a result, homeowners may be caught off-guard when their sparkie arrives and announces that they’ll have to do considerable rewiring and other electrical work like upgrading electrical circuits.
If you have no idea about what the lighting aspect of your kitchen plan involves, we suggest seeking help from a Melbourne electrician who can give you advice on the lighting effect that you want to achieve for your kitchen.
The key here is bringing in an electrician during the planning phase. We’ll look over your plan, and conduct an inspection of your current electrical wiring.
Based on this, we’ll provide qualified advice about how the work required to bring your plan to life.
When you’re chopping up vegetables, you want bright task lighting so you can see exactly what you’re doing.
Unfortunately, with your current kitchen lighting, your head casts dark shadows that make it harder to avoid an accident while cooking.
In many kitchens, lights are centralised – they’re installed in the ceiling, near the very middle of the room.
The problem is that in most cases, the kitchen benches run along the walls, meaning that whenever you work, you’ll be casting a shadow.
To get around this, we suggest spreading your lights out more. Instead of a single light fixture in the middle, consider downlights throughout the room, with some lights close to the outer walls (and therefore, closer to the benches where you’ll be working).
This reduces shadows, and allows you to see more clearly.
What’s the difference between ambient, task and accent lighting?
Did you know: when it comes to kitchen lighting, there’s more than just one type of light!
In fact, there are three main types of light, each of which serves a distinct purpose:
When it comes to your kitchen, you’ll need to think about each of these different types of lighting, and which of them meets your kitchen needs.
1) Ambient lighting
Otherwise known as global lighting, ambient light is the main source of light in your kitchen (or any room for that matter).
While it includes your main kitchen lights, during daylight it also includes natural lighting and windows.
How much ambient lighting you get installed in your kitchen depends on how bright you want your kitchen to be.
For example, say you choose dark colours for your kitchen such as charcoal and maroon, with dark floorboards. This has the effect of making your kitchen feel smaller than it really is – your kitchen lights will have to compensate.
2) Task lighting
Ambient light is great for navigating around the kitchen. However, it often leaves shadows in areas that require more focus.
One solution is to distribute ceiling lights throughout the kitchen.
Another is task lighting.
Like the name suggests, these are dedicated lights installed directly above kitchen benches, cooktops and sinks – where most of the action takes place.
They can take the form of hanging lights, as well as compact lights installed directly underneath cabinets and cupboards.
Controlled by a separate switch altogether, these lights help you focus on the task at hand.
And since they’re separate from your main lights, you can also stand to save quite a bit of electricity when preparing dinner!
3) Accent lighting
Do you have a shelf of expensive wine and spirits you want to show off?
Or a kitchen bench, complete with barstools?
Perhaps your kitchen features an island, complete with potted plants and other features?
Draw attention to each of these features with accent lighting.
Like task lights, accent lighting can take several forms.
In some cases, it might be an angled downlight, while in others it could be a pendant light – there are plenty of options, allowing you to choose the style that best suits your vision.
There isn’t really much else to say about this type of lighting!
How are you going to control your lighting?
Think about all those times you’ve hit the kitchen in the middle of the night for a midnight snack. And what if your commute requires you to wake up before the sun has come out?
Anybody who’s ever found themselves in either of these two cases knows that they run the risk of snubbed toes and bruised knees every time they hit the kitchen.
And this isn’t made any easier by the fact that you often struggle to find the lightswitch in pitch darkness!
You can get around this by strategically choosing light switch location, or by investing in voice-controlled lights.
You won’t always need the lights at full power. The sun might still be setting, our you may have a lot of natural light flooding in from outside.
If so, have you thought about brightness controls?
Brightness controls allow you to, well, control the brightness of your lights.
Depending on outside conditions, you’ll be able to set the lights to a suitable level where they’re strong enough to help, but not so bright as to be blinding
Another thing to think about is assigning different lights to different switches.
This is a great solution if there’s a particular corner of your kitchen that’s darker than the rest. This way, you’ll be able to light just that area.
Not to mention, if you have different types of lights (ambient, task and accent), you’ll be able to control them individually.
In addition to granting you more control, it’ll also help you save power!
Upgrade your kitchen lighting with the help of a Melbourne electrician!
Whatever your kitchen lighting plan involves, it’s important that you get any work carried out by a pro.
Whether you’re renovating or building your new kitchen, Briggs Electrical can help!
Our Melbourne electricians don’t just provide you with qualified advice and skilled workmanship – we’ll also help you choose the right kitchen lighting solution for your home.
You can always trust our reliable, experienced, and skilled electricians in Melbourne to add value and function to your kitchen!