As in any room in the house, the ability to adjust light levels in the kitchen is ideal. When cooking or cleaning up, a bright punch of illumination makes the job easier. For lingering over a meal and conversing, dimmed lights create great ambiance. One dimmer in the kitchen won’t do the trick, however. Make sure the design calls for separate dimmers for each type of lighting: task, ambient, accent and decorative.
Consider Using a Lighting Designer
Consider adding a lighting designer to your remodeling team. (Visit the International Association of Lighting Designers website at www.iald.org to find a professional.) A lighting designer will study the kitchen’s layout, as well as other elements of the design, such as ceiling height, natural light and surface finishes, to determine the amount and placement of light needed in the space.
If your budget doesn’t allow for a lighting designer, Whitehead’s latest book, Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide, includes an extensive section on kitchens.
One last kitchen lighting tip from Whitehead: “Even if you don’t have the budget for?a series of pendants over the center island, at least install the three junction boxes [during the remodel],” he says. Then fixtures can be purchased at a later date and easily added to the kitchen.