Let there be light

We’ve blogged before about how to light your kitchen, suggesting spotlights, plinth lights and under-cabinet lights as ways to brighten up the busiest room in the home. Our basic guide proved a popular post, so now it’s time for a more in-depth look at clever kitchen lighting:

Track lighting is ideal if you want plenty of light but only one light fitting. Light fixtures are fitted to a single ‘track’, making them easy to install, and often the individual lights are flexible, allowing you to angle them towards a particular spot on the work surface or into a dark corner under wall cabinets.

Many kitchens benefit from ceiling track lights, whilst you can also buy under-cabinet track lighting. We love the ingenious Sensio Click Slideline LED track, available from our sister site Socket Store, which can be cut to the length you need. Simply choose the shade of the lamp and the colour of the LEDs, click the lamps onto the track and slide along to the area you want to illuminate!

Whilst we’re on the subject of under-cabinet lighting, Socket Store has a wide range of round, square and triangular spotlights. You can even draw some light over your cutlery and pans with clever in-drawer lighting, such as Sensio’s battery operated, wireless option and its high definition LED drawer lights.

If your kitchen has a high ceiling, pendant lights with long chains will cast the task light required over islands and work surfaces. If, on the other hand, your kitchen is small, you’ll need to employ a few cunning tricks to create the illusion of space and light, such as replacing wooden cabinet doors with glass panels and adding in-cabinet lighting to focus attention on pretty contents like glassware and spice jars.

Don’t forget that the darker your kitchen cabinets and work surfaces, the more light they absorb. As well as perhaps investing in a few extra downlights and spotlights, maximise natural light by avoiding heavy curtains and fussy blinds. You could even consider whether window fabrics are needed at all if neighbours or other buildings do not overlook your kitchen.

cabinet-sensioWhite cabinets and worktops reflect the light, bouncing it back into the room – so you might get away with fewer and lower-wattage light bulbs!

Make sure you understand the difference between warm white and cool white LEDs. A whole spectrum of colour is used in the creation of LED lamps, meaning the light emitted will vary depending on which you buy. Warm whites are the closest to the ‘traditional’ glow of incandescent bulbs, which explains their popularity in bedrooms and living rooms, where you want to be cosy. In the kitchen, however, think about ‘daylight’ or natural white LEDs, which tend to be better for prepping and cleaning.