Artificial light is a necessary feature for home kitchens. In this space, you work with sharp tools and depend on your eyes to chop, read labels, inspect food and to clean up afterward. With so much importance on kitchen lighting design, you have to be practical. However, this shouldn't limit you from making a bold statement in your kitchen.
Since each kitchen is different, you have to ensure your lighting design is optimal for your particular space.
Find the Focal Point of Your Kitchen
Because each kitchen is different, you want to make sure you focus on the focal point of your kitchen. These areas include a kitchen island, kitchen table, dining room table or a cooking space.
You simply want to focus on whichever area is the most important. If you don't have room for a table or kitchen island, your cooking area would be the biggest focal point. However, if you have an island and a small kitchen table, you might want to focus on the island instead of your small kitchen table.
Pendant Lighting Options
For the most part, pendants are great in kitchens because they provide general illumination that spreads light effectively. Pendants tend to make kitchen spaces seems bigger as well (which is critical if you are working with a small space). However, there are a couple variations of pendant lighting fixtures that can be used in a kitchen.
- Down-Light Pendants - For direct light, you want to use a down-light pendant. This fixture is perfect for illuminating task areas. If you want your centerpiece fixture to go over a kitchen island or cooking space, you will want a down-light fixture to easily see while prepping and cooking food. The pendants in this photo by Feiss are an example of down-light pendants.
- Up-Light Pendants - For a more general illumination that won't feel like a spotlight, you want to go with an up-light pendant. These fixtures are ideal for kitchen or dining tables where you need some ambient light, but not directional light. Also, down-light fixtures can be unflattering to your guests while sitting at the table.
Additionally, there are numerous spherical or chandelier lighting fixtures that can also be used in a kitchen. These types of lights tend to provide ambient light as well. Whichever fixture you choose, make sure it's practical before it becomes the centerpiece of your kitchen.
Visit your local ALA showroom or go online to americanlightingassoc.com to learn more about kitchen lighting options.