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The Best Types of Lighting to Illuminate Your Kitchen

Posted on: October 7, 2015

The lighting of your kitchen plays an absolutely critical role in how your design will marry together, as well as make a very noticeable impact on the functionality of your space.

Many homeowners put off or ignore lighting in the kitchen, and neglect to plan accordingly. This can only end in tears! What is the benefit of those gorgeous mahogany cabinets, and that handsome granite counter top if no one can see them properly?

Don’t find yourself regretting your kitchen design decisions. Take lighting into account right off the bat! But how do you plan for your kitchen lighting? There are a few types of light to consider, and it all comes down to how you want your kitchen presented, and more importantly, how you want it used. Consider these lighting types for your perfect kitchen design.

Kitchen Lighting Aesthetics

For the sake of giving off the best lighting possible for visual appeal, consider these:

  • Ambient lighting. Also referred to as “general lighting”, ambient lighting is used to provide the bulk of the light for your kitchen space. Ambient lighting often takes natural light into account, and should avoid overbearing the room during daytime, but provide enough light for general use in the evenings. This is easily done using chandeliers, track lights or wall-mounted fixtures.
  • Accent lighting. Accent lighting is used to illuminate aspects of your kitchen you want to serve as an ‘“eye-catcher”. This might be some fine china, or perhaps a particularly fine piece of artwork. Recessed or track lighting is particularly effective to achieve this, as well as soft spotlights.
  • Considerations for visual appeal. Generally, you want to aim for enough light, but avoid overbearing the senses of your family and guests. You want to provide appealing and adequate lighting, but you don’t want to blind anyone. This is why including lighting in your initial design plan is so important!

Lighting for Practical Purposes: Task Lighting

Task lighting is used to provide ample illumination for performing specific tasks (thus: task lighting), and should be installed with a specific purpose in mind. This could be for your stove top, a cutting and preparing area, or a space devoted to work or play. Task lighting is best used when it provides ample, glare-free lighting. These fixtures work particularly well:

  • Track lighting. Track lighting is fairly self-explanatory. Lights are affixed to a track, which is installed in a way that directly illuminates your task space. This option is great, as overhead lighting will likely not impede your work, and provides ample light to avoid eye strain.
  • Pendant lighting. A pendant fixture is a single source of light suspended from a fixture. These come in a wide variety of appealing appearances, and can fit into pretty much any design plan, giving you flexibility in your decision making.
  • Recessed lighting. Recessed lights are installed in a hollow space, usually under existing furniture or cabinetry. They provide a great source of light, without any bulky fixtures or awkward positioning. Perfect for countertop work space.
  • Portable light sources. If none of these solutions appeal, or you need a very specific amount of light for not a particularly long amount of time, a good floor lamp or moveable light might be the solution you need.

Contact Us to Install Lighting in MD, VA, and DC

Whether you need to install new lights in Alexandria, Annapolis, or anywhere in between, you can rely on Kolb Electric’s licensed electricians for a job done right. We’ve been helping DC home and building owners like you with all their electrical needs since 1925 and are ready to help you next!

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