More Than Just A Bulb
More Than Just A Bulb
November 30, 2022
Thought of more as a functional aspect that needed to be dealt with, very little attention was given to planning the nuances of lighting in the kitchen. This mindset has undergone a marked change in recent years. Be it because of the economic slowdown that has tightened purse strings or growing health awareness, there is an increasing trend to entertain at home, with the kitchen being the centre point of interaction. Shabnam Gupta, Principal Designer, The Orange Lane says, “Nowadays lighting, especially in the kitchen, has become one of the most important aspects of home decor.”
The process of planning kitchen lighting does not start with the selection of luminaries but with an evaluation of the occupant’s needs, visual and physical capabilities, age and lifestyle.
Hitesh Modi, Principal Architect, Modi Srivastava & Associates says, “Lighting in the kitchen is a crucial parameter to be taken into account while designing a house. It is very important that the quality of lighting in this area is equivalent to that of an office area.” But there’s no “One size fits all” light that can meet every need – be it functional or decorative – so great care should be taken before you make your pick.
Some of the LED lighting products that are now readily available – under cabinet and in-cabinet lighting, pendants, recessed – are perfect for the kitchen. Photo Courtesy: Bilal Mansuri on Unsplash
Categories of lights
Types of lights used in the kitchen can be broadly categorised as task, ambient and accent.
Task lighting like self- illuminated hoods and under-cabinet lights localise the rays and illuminate specific work areas. “You normally design the placement of the hub and chimney near the source of maximum light, that is, where there is a top or direct light of about 4000 Kelvin, ” says Modi.
Under-cabinet lighting is very effective in providing illumination for countertop activities. A wide variety of under-cabinet lights are available today like slim, energy-efficient fluorescents, miniature track lights and low-voltage linear systems. Ambient lights mainly focus on overall illumination and are used to light up the entire kitchen. Surface ceiling lights or even chandeliers can be used, depending on budget and design constraints. This type of lighting, usually around 3000 Kelvin, is increasingly being used in open kitchens.
The ceiling also dictates the type of lighting to be used. Salunke says, “Even if there is enough space above a sloped ceiling to install recessed luminaries, take care to select special designed lights that don’t glare into peoples’ eyes.”
The process of planning kitchen lighting does not start with the selection of luminaries but with an evaluation of the occupant’s needs, visual and physical capabilities, age and lifestyle. Photo Courtesy: Simona Sergi on Unsplash
In the spotlight
The third category - accent lighting -- is used to emphasise key objects and specific points and can be used in the kitchen to highlight cabinets and accessories. Apart from adding light to a specific object, it also helps set a particular mood in the kitchen. Track, recessed and wall-mounted lights are the most common types of accent lights. Dimmers can be used to vary the lighting in the kitchen. Dark surfaces absorb more light, whereas white ones require 20% to 30% less lamination.