An Architect's approach to kitchens and kitchen renovations - part 4 - lighting

This is Part 3 of our series on Kitchen Renovations. Scroll down or click the links for the previous posts.

When an architect is designing a kitchen in a new home or in a kitchen renovation project they try to make clients aware that this space is best approached by prioritizing what you want both functionally and aesthetically and then working in roughly this order:

  • GENERAL LAYOUT (Part 1, below)
  • APPLIANCES (Part 2, below)
  • CABINETS (Part 2, below)
  • SINKS (Part 3, below)
  • COUNTERTOPS (Part 3, below)
  • BACKSPLASHES (Part 3, below)
    • General, accent, task

Lighting is obviously critical in all design work. In the kitchen it is sometimes helpful to try to break the artificial lighting up into three main areas:

  • General
  • Accent
  • Work

General lighting typically brings the entire room or space into light. This is often achieved with either recessed or surface mounted fixtures that don’t bring attention to themselves. They offer added flexibility when they are on dimmers.

Accent Lighting can bring attention to a specific area as well as itself. Often in kitchens this is done with some type of pendent light over an island or peninsula. They often hang down and are beautiful to look at as well as highlighting a specific area on a countertop or table.

Work lighting can vary based on the aesthetics of the kitchen. Sometimes the accent lighting can double as work lighting, but typically the under counter lighting should be strong enough to allow you to see the food you are preparing.

Generally speaking with lighting we have traditionally worked with Incandescent cans and some form of fluorescent, but in the last 2 years LED lights have made amazing inroads and offer unlimited design opportunities not to mention incredible efficiency.

This was the final post in our series of kitchen renovation considerations. Please let us know if you have any questions, comments or requests for future posts.