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Light the Way: Contemporary Kitchen Lighting Tips

contemporary-kitchen-lighting-designs-berloni-americaThe lighting in any room can make a big difference in the overall look, feel, and design of the room.  This holds true even more for the kitchen, which typically—anything from the floors, counter tops, appliances, and cabinets—has a number of reflective surfaces for light to bounce off and create an entirely unique look. Here are some lighting tips for your next contemporary kitchen.

Kitchen Lighting Tip #1: The Perfect Blend There are four layers of lighting that has been noted to be the most effective for the kitchen.  This includes task lighting, ambient lighting, accent lighting and decorative lighting.  Combining and blending these four layers of lighting results in a warm and inviting room that not only makes it practical to work and cook in, but also a place to host events and entertain guests.  The most common mistake that in the kitchen is lighting their entire kitchen with a single light fixture centered in the ceiling.  It is too overpowering and typically does not allow enough light once fixtures, decorations and appliances are put into place.

Kitchen Lighting Tip #2: Focus on Location, Location, Location! When it comes to lighting, location is everything—especially when you’re looking to blend the four types of lighting into one room.  Task lighting is typically used for an area designated for food preparation.  So, typically, task lighting would make the most sense underneath overhead cabinets and over an island, as well as underneath a stove hood.  Another location for task lighting is inside the pantry.  This focused lighting will make working and finding things you need easier.

Kitchen Lighting Tip #3: Don’t Overlook Ambient Lighting Ambient lighting is an important layer for the kitchen that is typically overlooked.  Ambient lighting is indirect lighting that is known for softening lines and shadows on people’s faces and creates a warm and inviting glow in the room.  With the kitchen now becoming the go-to room for entertaining, this is a key layer of lighting you won’t want to miss. Ambient lighting fixtures typically include flush-mounted ceiling fixtures, pendant lights hanging over the island or even adjustable track lighting.

Kitchen Lighting Tip #4: Add Accents Accent lightning is the least common layer used in the kitchen, but it is becoming more common since the kitchen has become the more popular room for entertaining.  Types of accent lighting include track lighting, up-lighters, directional lights that draw attention to a fixture or piece of artwork, wall scones and much more.  You can use hang your favorite piece of art along the wall or behind a table and use accent lighting to draw attention to these pieces.  Accent lighting is also used in combination with tile backsplashes and in glass cabinets to illuminate vases, china and other glassware.

Kitchen Lighting Tip #5: Decorative Lighting to Add Zing to Your Kitchen! Decorative light are things like chandeliers, hanging pendants and other eye-catching type of light fixtures that are more for decoration than anything else.  However, be careful.  Decorative lighting should be used in proportion to the size of your kitchen.  If you have a small kitchen space, a chandelier may not be practical or advised, so be sure that you scale the fixtures to fit the kitchen space that you’re working with.

Kitchen Lighting Tip #6: Use Technology to Make the Layers Work Together The best way to layer these four lighting designs is to have the flexibility to vary the amount of light of each item based on the task and function going on in the kitchen.  You don’t want one simple flip of the light switch to turn on all of these lights all at once at their brightest levels, so invest in different dimmers and switches for each kind of light to ensure the best coordination between the levels.  There are even systems that you can set a variety of scenes, pre-set lighting levels for different functions such as “Breakfast”, “Daytime”, “Food Prep”, “Dinner” and “Evening Hosting”.

So, as you can see, choosing the lighting for your kitchen may not be quite as simple as picking out that ceiling fan or centered light fixture to light up the entire kitchen.  If you’re going to take the time and expense to upgrade and remodel your kitchen, don’t cut out the time and expense involved to properly light your new kitchen.  Proper lighting of your kitchen can make a big difference at the end of the day.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Berloni America—leaders in modern Italian kitchen remodeling.  The designers at Berloni America can help you design your next kitchen with storage and organization in mind. Contact us today for more information on how we can assist you with your next kitchen remodel.  We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo Credit: B50 via BerloniAmerica.com