DIY How To

How to choose the best lighting scheme for your new kitchen

When designing and constructing a new kitchen, most people spend an age getting hold of a kitchen planner to help them consider the best colour scheme to suit the ambience of their home as a whole, whilst style and tone of kitchen cabinets and other surfaces is a decision many people spend too long fretting over. However, one aspect of kitchen design that is often overlooked unfairly is the lighting scheme, but getting this right can be the difference between ending up with a kitchen that you want to be in as much as possible and a room that simply serves a basic purpose in your home.

Choosing the best lighting scheme for your new kitchen

When designing and constructing a new kitchen, most people spend an age getting hold of a kitchen planner to help them consider the best colour scheme to suit the ambience of their home as a whole, whilst style and tone of kitchen cabinets and other surfaces is a decision many people spend too long fretting over. However, one aspect of kitchen design that is often overlooked unfairly is the lighting scheme, but getting this right can be the difference between ending up with a kitchen that you want to be in as much as possible and a room that simply serves a basic purpose in your home.

The first decision to get right is the type of lights to have installed across your room. You should aim for a combination of ambient lighting and task lighting. The latter can be achieved effectively by the use of spotlights, which can be angled in such a way as to prioritise surfaces that you use on a daily basis. For example, you may want to angle one spotlight towards the sink area and another towards the main kitchen worktops that you use for preparing food. If you're looking for something a little different, consider installing glass-fronted cupboards, which are illuminated by LEDs and can add a modern but relaxing feel to your kitchen as a whole.

More ambient lighting can be achieved with under-cupboard lights, which provide additional light for food preparation and other tasks but also allow you to control the mood of the kitchen to a greater extent. If you're tucking into a late night bowl of cereal, for example, you may not want to be under the glare of spotlights, making the dimmed lighting of under-cupboard lights ideal. On this point, it's essential to make sure your lighting systems run on different circuits so they can be controlled separately at all times.

If your kitchen is a room in which you spend a lot of time and eat the meals you prepare, you may want to consider installing a pendant light over the locations in which you spend the greatest amount of time, such as over the dinner table or breakfast bar.

Once you've decided upon your lighting choices, it's worth employing the services of a qualified electrician as cutting channels into pre-existing walls to fit the wiring is a tricky task to undertake on your own. Make sure you test your new lighting scheme both during the day and at night, and also try it out whilst sitting down to eat a meal and whilst preparing food. This sort of testing is essential to identify any parts of the room that aren't receiving enough light or need to be altered in any way.

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