Heart Kitchens


The Importance of Lighting

If you’re planning a new kitchen, it is very important to create a strategic lighting plan for the space.  Lighting adds functionality, drama, and beauty.  It is a key component to a great kitchen design!  Unfortunately, despite its significance, lighting is often an afterthought in the design process or is simply left to the electrician or contractor.

Specific to lighting and kitchen design, sometimes the most obvious details are overlooked.  AGE is one of those details!  As we age our eyes often change.  Optometrists talk of our eyes “yellowing”; in simple terms this translates to how much light we see.  Kitchen planners definitely need to respect the age of their clients.

“Natural light” is another obvious consideration!  Kitchen designers should take advantage of daylight whenever possible.  If structural restrictions don’t allow for a window in the kitchen, find a way to filter light in from an adjacent room.

So the sun is setting for the day…

Good kitchen planners will incorporate 3 major types of lighting into a new kitchen; Task lighting, Accent lighting, and General lighting.

An example of task lighting is “undercabinet lighting”. Task lighting illuminates surfaces where food preparation might occur.  Today, low voltage LED strip lights or puck lights are commonly used as task lights.  When specifying, be respective of the countertop you are selecting.  With a high gloss surface diffusers on your lights might be advisable.  Discuss the pros and cons of where the fixture is positioned with your electrician.  Think about the beam spread.

Accent lighting is another important lighting choice when planning a kitchen.  It is an excellent way to highlight a decorative hoodfan or winerack, a beautiful painting, or an architectural feature such as a stone fireplace or vaulted ceiling.  Lighting specialists typically advise the accent light is 3 times brighter than surrounding lighting. 

General lighting is defined as light that fills in any gaps where more lighting is required.  Today, kitchen planners typically recommend recessed lights.  Pendant lights over an island or a “chandelier style” fixture are also classified as general lighting.  Pendants might mean a cluster of lights.

Bocci Light Cluster.jpg

Or it might mean two or three fixtures covered in glass, fabric, concrete, or metal.  One of my favourites is a dark metal fixture, maybe black or a charcoal grey, with a gold interior.

Tom Dixon lights.jpeg

So you’ve selected some beautiful pendants as general lighting.  How do you select the right bulb?

💡 Lighting Tip: Consider these 3 things when selecting your light bulbs

1.    Lumens: the amount of light produced

2.    Kelvins: the light temperature; is it a warm light (2700K) or a cool light (5000K)

3.    CRI: Colour Rendering Index, how true is the colour of light that is produced.  A rating of 85-95 out of 100 is preferred.

Lighting can make or break the ambience of your new kitchen.  Take the time to plan the appropriate lighting for your space.  Ask for help from your kitchen designer or lighting specialist.


Al Schiewe, CKD

Jen Amundson