The kitchen has become a multifunctional room in the modern family home. It is where we cook, eat, entertain friends, work on our laptops and read the Sunday papers.
All of these different zones need to work individually for their chosen purpose, but your choice of decor and lighting can help to bring them together while enabling the smooth flow from one zone to another.
Kitchen lighting generally falls into three separate categories of Ambient, Accent and Task. We’ll explain exactly what these terms mean, how they help to enhance the kitchen space and the best contemporary lighting solutions for each type of lighting.
Ambient lighting is also referred to as general lighting, and as the name suggests this lighting provides a general light source to the entire room.
Ambient lighting plays a particularly vital role in a dark or small kitchen that does not receive much natural light, as this will be the main source of light.
It is important that ambient lighting provides adequate light to the cooking and dining area. One contemporary lighting option is to install modern pendant lights.
These are available in a range of shapes and colour finishes and look fantastic when hung over a kitchen island or dining table.
Not only do they provide a wide source of light, but they add an attractive and aesthetically pleasing touch to the room.
An alternative source of ambient lighting is track lighting. This works well in a long galley-style kitchen with a lack of natural light.
Accent lighting is all about highlighting specific areas of your kitchen for decorative reasons. It’s best used to highlight those areas that you wish to ‘show off’, such as a stunning wine rack, glass storage cabinet or a central kitchen island.
This type of lighting allows you to personalise your kitchen space and to put your own stamp on it. You can be very creative with accent lighting in terms of placement and colour. A contemporary accent lighting solution is that of coloured strip lighting.
This works well around kitchen cabinets and open shelving. Recessed lights can also be placed into a glass cabinet to highlight the contents, showcasing your best glassware and crockery.
LED lights can also be placed along the skirting board or along floor cabinets to make them appear as if they are floating.
Task lighting, as the name suggests, is lighting that is used in specific areas of the kitchen. These areas generally need to be well lit in order to perform certain tasks safely and efficiently.
In most kitchens, task lighting is placed above the sink, food prep areas and the hob. The most common type of task lighting in the kitchen is under kitchen cabinet lighting in the form of recessed downlights.
These lights are ideal because they are bright, offer concentrated light that is focused on a specific area and does not cast shadows. You can also place them exactly where they are needed.
Making bold contemporary lighting choices gives you the opportunity to create a kitchen space that is highly functional with a unique sense of style, so you can immerse yourself in the process of preparing and sharing food in your home.