A Kitchen Lighting Guide for Solid Oak Kitchens
Lighting is an incredibly important area of consideration for any kitchen design. It’s easy – and very tempting – to fit a grid of spotlights that is inconspicuous and flush to the ceiling, but unless your budget is particularly tight, it is the kitchen’s design and layout that should dictate the lighting requirements. Your kitchen should be practical, comfortable and effortlessly sociable, so planning the right lighting scheme is essential.
Unobtrusive, low powered and perfect for lighting all areas of the kitchen, spotlights are the main light of choice for most kitchens. Be careful with positioning, a grid of spotlights may be aesthetically symmetrical, but even lighting in all areas of the kitchen can wash away much of your kitchen’s character and ambience.
If you have a kitchen island or counter, pendant-style lighting is ideal. It not only adds additional depth and style to your kitchen, but the lower lighting can create a much better atmosphere for occasions where you may use the kitchen as a dining area.
Ideal for lighting your main worktop areas, under-cupboard lighting is well hidden and reduces the risk of shadows, which can obscure your working areas. The latest lighting products are based on LED technology which means lower energy usage and heat output, so you will save money and prevent food from becoming unnecessarily warmed. LED lighting is available in traditional replacement bulbs for existing fittings, or can be bought in LED strips that easily stick to the underside of the cupboard and are powered by a low-voltage transformer. Also consider lights mounted on top of kitchen wall cabinets facing upwards to reflect additional indirect light into the room.
Plinth lighting is ideal for adding low-level lighting with extra ambience to almost any kitchen. Low-voltage LEDs can be easily retro-fitted to any kitchen plinths, making the room feel lighter and larger. Sometimes plinths can be purchased with ready-fitted lights, but fitting aftermarket versions is very straightforward.
Positioning: use your creativity when deciding where to put your light sources. Incorporating lighting below an island, for example, will make it appear to float. In kitchens with tall ceilings, consider using upward facing lights on top of cabinets. These forms of indirect and reflected light are often much more pleasant than a direct light.
Additional accents: once you’ve decided on the main source of artificial light in the room, consider further lighting accents and ambient lighting. Layering a few different types of lighting gives a kitchen more depth, whilst individual lighting control allows you to more easily set a desired mood.
Smaller spaces: in a smaller kitchen, you can increase the sense of space by directing spotlights towards cupboards and walls. The reflected light spreads further and is considerably more effective than shining light straight down onto the floor.
Hobs and cookers: when deciding upon lighting that will surround hobs and cookers, make sure they can easily be wiped clean, as over time they will collect grease and other cooking detritus.
Internal lighting: if fitting glazed kitchen unit doors, consider internal lighting for a soft effect that adds plenty of character. Just make sure your lit-up cabinets are home to things you won’t mind people seeing.
Adjustable spotlights: these spotlights provide very flexible lighting in a kitchen, but be careful to aim them in appropriate directions so that you won’t be caught regularly in the glare. For this reason, track-mounted spotlights are better offset rather than located in the centre of the room.
Types of bulbs: consider what type of bulbs or the ‘colour temperature’ of LED bulbs that you plan on fitting. Paints can look a considerably different colour under warm or cool lighting. For solid oak kitchens it’s usually best to go with a warmer light to best show off the warm hues of the timber.
5W Warm White LED
Colour schemes are very important when considering your lighting design: so if you’re considering painting your walls a certain colour, or buying pre-finished cabinet doors from us, why not order one of our mini oak door samples first? They’re just £20 including delivery, measure 355mm x 296mm and can be provided in a natural lacquer finish or in a Farrow & Ball paint colour of your choosing. These small items are ideal for testing; play about in your kitchen and see how natural light will react with your favoured colour before placing a full order – and have fun!