Replacing or revamping your kitchen is one of the biggest home improvement projects that home owners undertake. For those looking to sell their house now or in the near future, a modern well planned and fitted out kitchen will add considerable value to your house and make your whole property more attractive to potential buyers. For those not looking to sell, upgrading their kitchen can have a transformational impact on their enjoyment of their homes and indeed can even alter the way they live. With the modern focus on cooking and baking, the kitchen has become more and more the centre of the home so getting it right becomes ever more vital. Add in the added benefit of more energy efficient appliances and lighting and the case for a new kitchen becomes ever more compelling. Here we are going to focus on lighting your kitchen and the options and considerations you have.
Fundamentals of Lighting your Kitchen
Lighting in general tends to get overlooked when people are carrying out building and renovation projects, when getting it right can make such a difference to the success of your project. Lighting technology has advanced leaps and bounds over the last few years and it is now possible to install energy efficient lighting that is both attractive and practical, making the kitchen a pleasant place to be as well as a comfortable place to work.
Three categories of lighting to consider;
Activity Lighting – here the focus is on making your kitchen a good place to work, with targeted lighting for those areas of the kitchen where it is needed. In practice, this means lighting cabinets, cupboards and occasionally drawers so that the contents can easily be seen when required. It also means having good light sources directed onto those work surfaces where food preparation normally takes place.
Ambient Lighting – this is the background lighting in the room and needs to be sufficient for you to see and work clearly, while providing a pleasant feel for anyone just passing through or relaxing in the room.
Accent Lighting – As the name suggests, the purpose of this kind of lighting is not primarily to enhance the practicality of working in the kitchen but has a more aesthetic intent, with light used to highlight areas or artifacts (such as ornaments or pictures) which you want to draw attention and which will improve the overall feel of the kitchen space. Clever use of accent lighting can also lighten dark corners, creating the illusion of space.
Getting Professional Help
Superficially, the above lighting concepts appear simple enough, but in practice they can be quite difficult to implement successfully for the novice DIY enthusiast. It is at this point that you should consider bringing in professionally help. Renovating a kitchen is never a cheap project so paying a suitably qualified and experienced electrician for advice, while still at the planning stage, can help ensure that your project goes well without the need for expensive remedial work at a later stage.