The kitchen is the centre of our day-to-day living. This area has slowly morphed from a place initially dedicated for just preparing meals into the epicentre of a home where family and friends can gather over meals. Lighting is therefore paramount to shed light on the areas we spend the majority of our time in. The concept of an open-plan kitchen is not unusual, especially in modern homes. The lighting scheme that one chooses to have in this kind of kitchen can help create an intimate cosy space. Nevertheless, open-plan floors often present a challenge during light installation due to the multiple levels from high and low ceiling levels. Below are some clever ways to seamlessly light up your open-plan kitchen;
CONSIDER NATURAL LIGHT
Natural light is a factor to consider during your kitchen designing process. For instance, a north-facing kitchen is likely to be constantly light-starved while an east-facing kitchen will receive little light in the afternoons as compared to those on the south and west. It’s wise to consult with your architect first about the position and layout of the kitchen to get maximum natural light.
ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING COMBINATION
Just like a healthy meal, your kitchen requires the right balance of lighting for one to accomplish the necessary tasks. When planning your kitchen lighting scheme, consider focusing on the three basic types of lighting; task, ambient and accent lighting. As budget permits, go for the perfect combination to add style and function to your kitchen.
WORK ON POSITIONING
Precise placement of your furniture and accessories including lighting fixtures is vital. Open-plan living means limited fixing points for the lights. The solution here is to know where exactly to place the light. You want the fixtures to be over a workstation and not along walkways. Feel free to experiment with outdoor lamps for your open-air spaces to create a unifying feel between the inside and outside.
ZONE USING DIFFERENT LIGHTING
An open-plan kitchen requires different light treatments to properly differentiate where the kitchen and dining area are. The key to zoning a space is to employ different lightings to either open up a space or shrink it down. The actual food preparation station such as countertops ought to be bright enough to avoid accidents occurring while the dining area needs more decorative fixtures. Elaborate chandeliers over the island will help define the kitchen space as well as deliver a shadow-free work surface.
EMBRACE LIGHTING CONTROLS
Controls are often overlooked when planning a lighting scheme for an open-plan kitchen. A lighting control system allows one to brighten or dimmer a particular light from multiple locations. Conventional switches often made it a challenge in controlling the lighting from different points but thanks to technology, a single keypad replaced multiple switches. Zoning became easier and helped in changing the feel and balance of a space.
PICK AN EYE-CATCHING FIXTURE OVER THE ISLAND
The kitchen is the workhorse of a home. A proper lighting mix should include a pendant over the kitchen island to draw attention to this area for family and friends to have a cheerful area to have their meal on.
ILLUMINATE BOTH DIRECTIONS
Huge open-plan kitchens often have a standard ceiling height of about 2.4 meters. While this is a great room height, it may feel low from the size of the room. This can be corrected through the use of downlights for work areas and wall lights that provide strong vertical lighting that directs your eyes upwards to ‘lift’ the space.