How to design kitchen lighting


In order to organize the lighting in the kitchen competently and tastefully, beautiful fixtures alone are not enough. It is important to know how to properly distribute them in the space to get the perfect lighting scenario and make the room infinitely cozy. This is quite realistic if you add to your purely aesthetic perception theoretical calculations and the experience of other people.

The 7 rules of perfect lighting

Light spreads in a room according to the laws of physics. You do not have to remember school theory, if you remember some general recommendations for its ordering.

A lot is not a little.

For starters a simple truth: a well-lit room always looks better than one where the owners for some reason skimped on lumens. In addition, it has a positive effect on appetite and mood.

It is no coincidence that there are regulations that set specific standards. According to them, the light in the room should be at least 150 lux (lux) per 1 m2. Further calculations are easy: just multiply by the area of the room.

It is important to understand that the final figure can be considered in this case only the minimum allowable value. If you want to get a bright positive kitchen, you need to take higher standards. This is especially true for small rooms on the north side, which never get any sunlight.

Find the balance

The fact that light in the kitchen needs an order of magnitude should not be absolutized. Otherwise, it will be too much. The room should not be dull and uncomfortable in any way, but setting records for brightness – not the smartest thing either.

If the windows face the south, then even through the curtains there will always be daylight, including direct sunlight. In this case it is superfluous to saturate the ceiling with spotlights or lamps.

And for the northern side for the balance between daylight and artificial light a little more bright lamps are needed.

Multilevel effect

Multilevel lighting refers to a clear division of light sources into general, accent and decorative lighting. General, as a rule, refers to the central chandelier, and the light that pours from the ceiling from it is used to see the situation in the kitchen as a whole.

Accent lighting is different in that it illuminates specific areas so that the person in the kitchen can see them better. The cooking area, for example, gets its fair share of light from the lamps suspended just above it. As well as the dining area.

At the same time, the aprons are elegantly accentuated with beautiful small spotlighting or a flexible RGB strip light. It’s decorative lighting. For people to look at and enjoy.

The multilevel lighting scenario also works vertically. The first level refers to the ceiling, the second – to the bottom of the hanging cabinets of the set. In some cases, even the floor is effectively illuminated. The goal is obvious – to create a well-tangible and memorable atmosphere. For the amateur? Perhaps, but it is definitely memorable.

Follow the color scheme.

Light does not live in the space by itself, but constantly interacts with all the details of the interior. Therefore, when choosing lamps, take into account the color of the walls, ceiling and furniture. If your interior is dominated by light shades, then up to 80% of the light flux will be reflected from them. For dark colors, the distribution is dramatically different – only 10-12%.

One chandelier in the center is a mauvais ton.

Perhaps in Khrushchev houses, which have never seen renovation, this artifact of the Soviet era still retains its relevance, but not in equipped according to modern standards kitchens. Flexible light distribution comes to the forefront, allowing you to easily eliminate even hints of darkened areas.

Instead of centering the source of light, use good zoning: arrange the lamps according to the laws of symmetry, or just duplicate a few in one area.

If so gravitate to the large lamps, then detach to help the central chandelier spots and tracks – current ways to organize lighting in apartments and houses.

Or duplicate several of the same light sources in a separate area. Nobody cancelled the laws of symmetry in this case.

Don’t go overboard with design

Originality only if it works for the benefit of overall harmony. Of course, everyone has his own idea of it, but at the level of intuition, almost everyone understands perfectly well where the game is on the brink of a foul, and where – alas, the rules have already been broken.

There is no place for provocative forms and complicated concepts in classic interiors. Therefore even a minimal departure from linearity is always perceived as fresh, interesting and stylish.

But in contemporary interiors there is much more room for experimentation: non-trivial cubic forms and artistic stylisations, in which lighting fixtures become a key part of the interior, are welcome.

Of course it is wonderful to see how bold and creative ideas integrate seamlessly into the space. The secret of successful integration is simple: the kitchen design is worked out to the smallest detail and is characterized by a competent balance. Remove even the most insignificant, at first glance, element – and demonstrated below in the photo lights, like a carriage from a fairy tale about Cinderella, will instantly turn into something monstrous and tasteless.

Don’t skimp on the dimmers.

These are dimmers that can be used to change the electrical output. Up or down.

Yes, you will have to increase the budget for lighting, but after installation you will have complete carte blanche to adjust the light output in the room:

  • you can choose a neutral or strictly warm/cold temperature;
  • depending on the implementation, there are interesting artistic concepts like moonlight or romantic twilight in the settings;
  • flexible adjustment to different life situations.

Such a system can be controlled by an ordinary remote control. Or you can connect via your smartphone if the manufacturer has developed a bluetooth app.

General lighting in the kitchen: how not to screw up

Above we have already explained that 150 lux (lux) is the minimum threshold of illumination, recommended by the state standard. Accordingly, when organizing general lighting, it is important not to go below this value, otherwise the kitchen will turn out to be uncomfortable to use.

The main element in many interiors is still considered a central chandelier. However, it is not always convenient: during cooking you can easily obscure the light from it with your head. Therefore it is best to support it (or to replace it) to detach a couple of additional lights, located precisely in the area of cooking and dining area.

When making a project, you need to remember that the center of the placement of the main chandelier does not coincide with the center of the room at all. For a simple reason – the garniture, located near the wall, takes away a certain part of the ceiling. Take this into account if you are a perfectionist and you are frantically irritated by any asymmetry.

Sketch your plan for lighting the room on paper. You should clearly know the layout of your kitchen: where the zones are located, how best to organize the connection to the network. It is at this stage, you can prevent the emergence of conflicts. For example, when you can not organize the right outlet for the lighting or insert a switch in a convenient place.

If there is not enough space, then you can refuse from large fixtures: perfectly cope with their function spotlights. In spacious rooms, you can build general lighting according to the classic scheme:

  • central chandelier;
  • pendant lights over the dining table and countertop;
  • spot lights – along the perimeter.

The most common mistakes in the organization are related to the distribution of light flow between zones. It is required to maintain a balance, so that the final scenario is not annoying with its low optimization and does not interfere with cooking and eating.

Placement of spotlights

One of the most popular ways to optimize light flow in a kitchen space. The image below demonstrates almost all options for their placement on the ceiling. Note that each spot illuminates about 1-1.5 meters around (depending on how many lumens the LED embedded in it produces).

If you mount them on the perimeter, then step away from the wall at least 50 cm. Light from them will evenly pour from the ceiling, regardless of the upper cabinets below the kitchen set.

You can arrange the spots both according to the laws of symmetry, and arbitrarily. The main thing is not to go overboard with the quantity. Otherwise it will be muddled in the eyes – and the level of comfort in the room will noticeably lower.

If the room has spotlights as accent lighting, it is logical to place them around the light source, which is the overall load.

Spotlight is quite in harmony with the track systems. Although, it would seem, in this neighborhood may seem superfluous.

Work area lighting

This is done with the help of accent lighting: the light is specifically focused on the countertop and stove, so that it is convenient to do the cooking.

For this purpose, special halogen or LED lamps are mounted on the base of hanging cabinets. They give a nice and slender glow, quite enough to illuminate all the key points of the work area.

Or RGB strip is stretched along the top, neatly packaged in a plastic profile. Inside it there are LEDs. You can also use a monochrome version. It is not as ornamental surroundings, but does a better job with accent lighting.

The tape can also be mounted at the bottom of the cabinets. It is especially effective if it is “packed” in a glass panel. The glow comes out flowing and immediately creates a special atmosphere in the room.

If you want to save money, buy a cooker hood with lighting already built in. Yes, the brightness will not be enough for the entire area, but overall you get accent lighting of a decent level.


Light over the dining area

The space options depend primarily on where the dining area is located – and what parts make it up. The most common are:

  • table;
  • chairs;
  • sofa;
  • bar counter.

If the configuration of the kitchen allows, it is better to place the table close to the window: so that during the day natural light flows freely into the area as a whole. The lack of lighting in the evening can be made up for with ceiling chandeliers. They should hang directly above the table to get even accent lighting.

Lights should not hang too low from the ceiling, so as not to cause discomfort while eating. In addition, it is important to choose the correct brightness of the lamp: the lower the hanging light fixture, the less it should give out lumens. So you avoid situations in which annoying light endlessly blinds your eyes.

In small kitchens, round or square dining table is best placed against a wall. The function of lighting will be taken by a sconce suspended at a height of about 1.5 meters. Usually two symmetrically arranged copies are used at once: this way it looks nicer, and two sides of the table are better lit at once.

Interior lighting in cupboards

Incredibly helpful when you need to quickly get something out of the cabinets. And also acts as decorative lighting, making the atmosphere in your kitchen warmer and more homely.

Decorated in different ways. The easiest is to wrap it with LED tape. There will not be much light, but you can tweak the color temperature and make a unique pattern in the room.

Simple, but requiring a financial investment – magnetic lights with a motion sensor. Mounted on double-sided adhesive tape and turn on only when you open the door. They are also not very powerful, but they will help to find the glasses or cutlery.

The most complex, but accessible to all – built-in spots. They are cut directly into the cabinet and connected to the network through a pre-wired channel. You’ll have to fudge, but it will always be light in your cabinets.

Decorative lighting

Unlike accent lighting, it is not a mandatory element of the kitchen lighting scenario. However, when used skillfully, it can accentuate the virtues of the interior and make it distinctive and memorable.

If you have a mosaic on the apron, add a tricolor or monochrome LED strip to the bottom of the garnish. It’s flexible, so it’s easy to pull through even with corners. The light emitted will delicately illuminate the glass or stone texture, creating a whimsical play of light and shadows. A stunning intimate setting!

If you run an LED strip around the perimeter between the ceiling and the garnish, you can achieve a useful optical effect of expanding the space. This is a good idea for owners of modest space in Khrushchev houses with very low ceilings.

Similarly, the bottom perimeter is used. Below, the glow creates additional volume: the floor seems to float in space. In addition, it is a very beautiful and unconventional design touch.

Use the tape not only on the outside of the cabinets, but also on the inside. Above we have already written about the usefulness of this step, and here we suggest once again to be convinced of the power of the aesthetics it gives birth to.

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