Have you noticed how shopping in an extremely brightly lit mall can zap your energy? Or how extreme office lighting can wear you out? Alternatively, have you noticed how annoying is it when you can't read a newspaper or magazine in the dimly lit local cafe?
Lighting has a huge bearing on how you feel and on what you can do. So when planning your home renovation, don't forget the lighting plan. Don't just add it as an afterthought, or worse still, leave it out altogether!
Each room in the house has different lighting requirements depending on the size and use of the room. The kitchen is one example of a room with specific lighting needs.
Kitchens are often a hub of activity in a home: a place for homework, reading, cooking and having a cuppa and a chat. So the lighting in your kitchen should be both functional and pleasant.
A central overhead light is usually not enough. You want to prepare food on the benches without standing to one side to avoid casting dark shadows and to read at the table without straining your eyes.
Task lighting specifically addresses needs like these. In the kitchen, benchtops can be lit by track lighting attached to overhanging cabinets or by lights positioned directly above on the ceiling. Remember to use warmer colored lighting in bench areas so food does not look unappetizing simply because of too-bright white lighting.
Overhead halogen down lights over a table provide good reading light for the morning newspaper or homework assignments. Pelmet lighting over a window can add general lighting to the kitchen for extra brightness even on the most gloomy days.
General And Accent Lighting
As well as planning lighting for specific tasks and general lighting, why not plan for some kitchen accent lights to spotlight the new work of art you picked up while on holidays?
Natural Daylight And Decor
While working on the lighting plan for your kitchen, don't forget to factor in natural daylight sources. Natural lighting is always a plus; glass doors, a glass splashback to an outside garden, or a skylight all allow more daylight to flow throughout a kitchen.
Glossy light-colored surfaces reflect light, whether natural or artificial, whereas darker matte surfaces absorb light. So the color and finish of your kitchen benches, cabinets and walls will all become part of the specific interplay of light and dark in your kitchen.
An interior consulting expert should be able to advise further on the lighting needs of each room in your home. By paying attention to the lighting plan when doing your home makeover, you should avoid those annoying situations where you can't read where you want to or see yourself properly in a mirror to shave or put on makeup. And your home will be that much more functional and pleasant to live in.