Good lighting is one of the keys to a complete remodeling effort in any room, but especially in the kitchen. It can be expensive, but in the long run, it will be worth the investment. Always install more lighting than you think you’ll need. When the original project estimate comes in, you may see an allowance for lighting, rather than a detailed plan. This is because the custom builder will subcontract an electrician to work on the lighting with you – from planning to execution. The electrician will be the person who makes sure the lighting is up to code and that you have outlets everywhere you need them.
A practical and effective lighting plan for a kitchen includes layers of lighting. Again, consider how you use your kitchen and balance the various types of lighting accordingly. Task lighting offers illumination directly above where you’ll be performing tasks like chopping, sautéing or reading recipes. Under-cabinet lighting gives brightness to shadowy areas created by cabinet overhangs and can also add a soft glow to the room. Under-cabinet lighting can be handy for reading recipes or labels, as well. Include a light under your hood fan or over-the-stove microwave to light up the cooking area. Ambient lighting softens the hard lines in the kitchen and creates a warm effect. It can come from built-in fixtures or free-standing lamps. It can also come from natural light during the day.
Accent lighting to highlight a special piece of artwork or cabinetry design is becoming more popular in kitchens. While this may seem like a luxury, don’t underestimate the effect it can have on the overall look of the kitchen. Finally, decorative lighting fixtures can be added both to provide light in the space and to complement the décor. They might be chandeliers, track lighting or recessed lights.
Your custom remodeler and electrician will have good ideas for lighting, based on experience and knowing your plan. Let them help you light the way.