Basic Kitchen Lighting Guidelines

Kitchens are constantly evolving at an unbelievable pace. Modern day kitchens have turned dramatically from a room wherein we prepare our meals to the core of modern family activities.

With the multitude of activities going on in our kitchens, we do need the right lighting for performing each and every task, right? The right lighting may help provide us comfort, ease and aids in highlighting designer pieces or other interesting focal points.

But do you know what kind of lighting you need? Not all lights are created equal! There are just about as many types of lighting required for every area around our kitchen to help us perform our tasks better.

We carry out many different activities in our counters, sinks and stove area. This is the area we use to prepare the ingredients for our sumptuous dinner, wash the dishes and cook our food. Sadly, however, these areas are also the ones which are generally in shadows. So that you can choose the most appropriate lighting for every nook in your kitchen, here are some basic tips which may help you.

. Task lighting may be needed to be installed in the counter, sink and stove areas to facilitate ease and comfort of doing our tasks. Lighting fixtures should preferably be fitted under the cabinets. The light source should be enclosed close to the front part of the cabinets and should up to two thirds of the length of the counter. This should give us ample light.

. If there are no cabinets directly above the counter, pendant fixtures can be considered as the best way to go. A general recommendation is to provide a 60 to 75 watt bulb for every 20 inches of counter space. That will provide you with enough illumination for the task at hand!

. You may also want to consider installing recessed or surface mounted lights. These are ideally placed 16 to 24 inches apart. Just remember that there should be a constant flow of air around the fixture enclosure to prevent overheating.

. To illuminate the stove area, you can use a 60 watt bulb for the built-in hood light. If the stove has no hood, you can opt to install a recessed or surface mounted lighting unit over the center of the stove (approximately 15 to 18 inches apart). Either of these options will provide you sufficient lighting for your cooking needs!

. For the sink area, a pendant lighting centered at about 30 inches above the area can provide the correct lighting requirements.

Let's go a step ahead of the basics. To add character to our kitchens, here are some ideas which may stir the creative artist in you!

. If you have it, flaunt it! Arrange fine china and other eye-catching display items or unique collections in glass-fronted shelves. Highlight these by backing the cabinets in an outer window to use the natural light of the sun in highlighting the items or by directing surface mounted halogen lights towards them. Voila! Drama is played wonderfully in your kitchen area!

. Add focal interest to your eating area. Consider hanging pendant lights on the ceiling above a breakfast nook or dining table.

. Down light, anyone? If you use the dining table for other purposes such as getting paper works done, having bills organized or as a study area for the kids, you may want to consider installing a down light. It can certainly cater to these varied needs!

. Mix and match it! If you use the kitchen as a family gathering place, a place to entertain guests or for such other purposes, you can elect to mix different kinds of lighting fixtures. Standing lamps and table lamps may be great to provide ample lighting for sitting and reading areas around the kitchen.