Make it Multitask
Lighting is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to transform your kitchen and bath into comfortable, functional and attractive living spaces. When lighting a multi-purpose room, such as a kitchen or bath, “layering light allows you to effectively perform various functions within the space and always brings about the most noticeable transformation,” says Kathy Buck, lighting manufacturer for Ferguson Enterprises.
These kitchen and bath lighting tips, shared by experts from the American Lighting Association (ALA) and the American Society of Interior Design (ASID), will help you properly layer lighting to maximize the potential of highly-used spaces
“Today’s kitchen has become the hub of the house,” says Larry Lauck, vice president of communications for the ALA. “Such multi-tasking kitchens demand equally versatile lighting. Gone are the days when a single 100-watt fixture centered in the kitchen’s ceiling was sufficient.”
A blend of general, task and accent lighting is the perfect recipe for kitchen lighting—a combination that allows for kitchen functions from cooking to entertaining.
Placing a light in the center of the ceiling supplies well-diffused general lighting and provides safety, allowing you to see in drawers and tackle chores.
Avoid working in your shadow at countertops by installing under-cabinet lighting.
Recessed down lights over the sink or range provide adequate task lighting for cooking, baking and scouring.
The kitchen table is often used for homework, hobbies or business. A decorative pendant, operating with a dimmer control, furnishes sufficient task lighting, while allowing the option to lower the light for dining purposes. For best results, pendant lights should be mounted 30 inches above the tabletop.
Island counters and breakfast bars benefit most from miniature, low-voltage pendants, which can add a decorative touch as well.
Low-voltage linear systems inside cabinets accentuate the items stored inside.
“Whether putting on makeup or combing our hair, we want a positive view of ourselves, which can only be accomplished by using the right light source,” says Todd Phillips, ALA member and president of lighting manufacturer Quoizel.
Bathing in light
A mix of task, general and accent lighting provide ease and comfort while you are performing a variety of bathroom activities, such as grooming, bathing and relaxing.
Decorative wall fixtures, placed on each side of a mirror, provide even, shadow-free illumination for daily grooming tasks. For best results, fixtures should be mounted 60 inches off the floor. At a large mirror, a strip of horizontal vanity lights, mounted 78 inches off the floor, ensures everyone using the space has sufficient light.
Shower or tub lighting should be bright enough for safety, grooming and reading product labels. Recessed down lights, suitable for wet locations, are recommended.
Front and center
A decorative fixture placed in the center of the ceiling serves as an attractive accent, while providing adequate light for safety, cleaning and moving about.
Whether you want to light up your kitchen or bath, just remember: No matter how much is spent on a space, without the right lighting, it will
never be maximized, easy to use or as enjoyable.
The most popular types of kitchen lighting
• Ceiling Fixtures
• Wall Sconces
Source: The American Lighting Association