When installing pendant lights, ensure they are positioned so the light falls in front of the worktop, rather than behind (the latter will cast shadows over your work space).
Three pendants v two? Objects arranged in odd numbers, are more pleasing to the eye. I.e. groups of three or five, look more appealing than two or four items. With odd numbers the eye focuses on the central object, which is then evenly balanced by objects either side.
Although, most extractor fans have built in lighting, incorporating spot lights behind the extractor, can help to effectively light the top of the range. This also ensures the 'colour' of the light remains constant in your design (read on for more information). Light shining off the splash back, provides further illumination and interest in the room.
Perhaps one of the most common types of lighting, this allows dark corners to be illuminated and provides effective light when working/preparing food on worktops. To add an heir of luxury opt for 2 lights under each individual cabinet, rather then 1.
Ensure the light is shining in front of you, when stood at the worktop, to prevent working in the shadows:
I was given great advice by an electrician - spot lights should blend into your ceiling, rather than be a feature. Choose white rather than silver rims.
7). Washed ceiling light
Hidden, low-profile linear LED fittings can be used to wash the ceiling with light. This requires planning at an early stage, so the ceiling can be constructed to house the fittings. It can be used to highlight architectural features and adds a contemporary feel to your design. It is often used with recessed ceiling spot lights.
1). Understanding how to 'layer light' is the key to fabulous lighting design. The principles of layering light can be aligned to fashion.
An outfit all in one colour (i.e. a black dress), can be likened to a single ceiling pendant. Practical, if slightly boring and inflexible (you can either put the dress on or take it off/turn the light on or turn it off).
However, add a scarf, belt, shoes and bag to the black dress and it completely changes the outfit. Furthermore, adding and subtracting these items, creates different looks and mood.
This is just the same with lighting. Adding a combination of different lighting types as in the photo below (spot lights, under cabinet lights, pendant lights over the island, a LED light strip under the island counter and lights under the cooker hood), creates different options and moods (i.e. practical for food preparation, an intimate atmosphere for eating).
2). It's important to think about where you're going to need light at various times of the day i.e:
Food prep/cooking on the island? Choose task lighting to shine directly on your prep zone.
Entertaining family and friends? Choose dim-able lighting over the dining area/island. Also consider dimmer switches in the areas you don't want to highlight post eating i.e. functional lighting over the sink/hob.
In our kitchen renovation we opted for the following combination:
Spot lights (x9) on dimmer switch
Pendant lights over the island x 2 on dimmer switch
Strip LED lights under the wall cabinets x 2 on dimmer switch
Cooker hood spots (x2)
Wall lights shining onto side return wall (x4) on dimmer switch
In real life ...
Once you've decided on your lighting design ensure it's clearly written out and marked up on your kitchen plans, to promote effective communication with your builder and electrician.
In an open-plan kitchen, it’s a good idea to put your lights on separate circuits, so you can control them independently. This provides the flexibility to create different moods. We found a dimmer switch was a must!
MyCasa Tip: If you're renovating a period property electricians often recommend you select light switches with screws, as walls are often uneven.
I had no idea the colour of 'white' light can vary so much and there is no such thing as 'standard white light', before starting our renovation.
Consider using warm white light, rather than cool white light (which can look very blue and feels quite cold). Remember, the colour of warm white light can vary according to the manufacturer. As such it can be helpful to opt for one supplier for all your lights i.e. Astro.
MyCasa Tip: Finalise your lighting design plan before the building work starts. Once the room has been stripped out, the electrician will run the cables (first fix). Late changes can escalate the costs and make your budget harder to manage.
Look out for the next installation of my blog STEP 4: Electrics