At the very beginning of the conversation about lighting the kitchen, you should declare a categorical “NO” to the location of the first lamp in the geometric center of the ceiling. Regardless of the planning concept of the kitchen in the overall structure of the apartment, you should very carefully consider the number and appearance of lighting fixtures, as well as the only right place for each of them..
At present, it is quite difficult to find a middle ground among the mass lamps: either they are too decorative or purely functional. Everyone is tired of the lamps giving off a rough, directional beam of light. It’s just that lighting fixtures are boring, the lamp should be a self-sufficient object. It’s time to do nice stylish things, but at the same time they should not go out of the context of the interior.
As for the light at the dining table itself, the meal is a rather intimate action. There should be either very good light, highlighting the texture of the table and dishes on it, but in no way interfering with communication, or a very light decorative lamp that gives almost no light, but is a kind of decoration.
Victor Freudenberg, artist
If the kitchen is small, the general light can be directly formed by sources intended for various functional areas – this will be discussed later. But the room of a fairly spacious kitchen should be equipped with special general-purpose lamps. For general lighting, the top, evenly distributed light, abundantly and softly pouring from the ceiling, is optimal. Several categories of fixtures are used to create such light. First of all, these are all kinds of point sources, both stationary and mobile, freely rotating in several directions..
The main task of overhead lighting is to maintain a bright atmosphere in the kitchen in the evening.. In addition, if the kitchen area in an open-plan apartment does not have a window, the overhead light serves as a complete replacement for daylight orientation lighting. In such kitchens with constantly on lamps, it is difficult to predict the required amount of light. As a rule, spotlights are either not enough, or their light is too intrusive. You can get out of a difficult situation in different ways, creating, for example, the illusion of a window cut into the ceiling. For this, suspended structures are used, modeled from translucent, light-transmitting materials. At the same time, sufficiently powerful evenly distributed lamps are placed between the ceiling and the ceiling plane. It is best to use elongated linear artificial light sources in such a situation. If the kitchen is located directly under the roof of a building, the best solution is to use natural light coming from the ceiling. In this case, “lanterns” of various configurations are arranged using special roof windows..
General lighting can be created with multiple ceiling lights, providing light evenly distributed in the kitchen space. However, this often requires too many sources. Therefore, sometimes it is better not to evenly flood the kitchen with general light, but to concentrate ceiling sources over its main functional areas: the work front, the dining table and the bar, if available.
To illuminate the working front, two types of luminaires are effective: a number of single ones, fixed to the ceiling, and point ones, built into the cornice above the upper edge of the wall cabinets. The higher the ceiling, the longer the light cords can be. But you should not place them below the upper edge of the kitchen shelves, otherwise the lamps will interfere with the opening of the doors..
It is better not to overload low ceilings with lighting forms. A neat cornice, which is a part of kitchen furniture, is an excellent place for mounting miniature sources of orientation light. By the way, spotlights with halogen lamps have the smallest dimensions today. However, this kind of lighting has become too widespread and has already lost its originality. Recently, point light has been successfully replaced by elongated lamps, also built into the protruding part of the hanging cabinets.
Luminaires can be positioned on flexible or movable brackets above wall cabinets without a cornice. Such lighting allows you to adjust the direction of the light flux. This is always convenient, as it creates conditions for the individual “setting” of light.
Often, these types of general lighting are casually referred to as “backlighting” and are considered a decorative excess. In reality, light, correctly installed along the upper cornice of kitchen furniture, plays a leading role in the light zoning of the working front..
Overhead lighting alone is not always enough for comfortable cooking and pleasant dinners at a carefully set table. Since the kitchen is primarily a functional space, one of the leading roles is given to working lighting. The overhead light is sometimes not even necessary, it just complements various types of functional.
Work lighting in the kitchen is generated by local light sources. In this case, the lamp will help the cause only if it is located in a strictly defined place, at the required level, because the tabletop must be sufficiently well lit. In addition, the incident light should cover the area of the work table, sink and stove as much as possible. Sometimes the lighting built into the hood is enough, for which a wide variety of lamps are used. If the light from the hood is supplemented by other lamps, in order to avoid color-light inconsistency, which is very unpleasant for the eyes, it is better to choose spectrally close sources.
However, the most mobile option for working light in the kitchen are clothespin lamps. No responsibility: hung up – did not fit – removed. Ingenious!
Most often, the lighting of the work area is created using lamps built into the shelves. The best option is elongated lamps, which provide an even distribution of light along the work surface, especially if the kitchen has a long front. Such lamps are compact and therefore almost invisible, they are good to use when installing indirect lighting..
If this type of lighting is provided for in kitchen furniture, it may be enough for it to remove the wire from the wall at a level just above the lower edge of the wall cabinets. If the luminaires are installed independently, they will require separate outlets. In the case when autonomous luminaires are equipped with a separate switch, it is enough to bring the wire in the above way.
The space above the countertop is often full of all kinds of household items and kitchen utensils. In this case, hidden light sources will not create or enhance the impression of chaos. But, for example, the design of the kitchen is deliberately laconic. Then the deserted, almost colorless front will be effectively emphasized by several designer lamps with characteristic shapes..
Freestanding lamps are an excellent solution for a kitchen without wall cabinets. (Well, if not along the entire front, then, for example, along the window wall.) Almost all models of wall lamps are suitable for this, the main thing is that they fit into the style of the kitchen. By the way, table lamps can also be used here, why not? And of course, all kinds of lamps on flexible arms and pantograph levers, thanks to which the shape and location of the light spot can be easily adjusted.
An unusual addition to the main kitchen lighting is the light inside the cabinets with translucent doors. On the one hand, such lighting has a purely functional purpose – to highlight the interior space and contents of spacious shelves. Of course, you can do without a light bulb in the shelf, but you only have to try it once, and it is no longer possible to imagine the wardrobe as dark and uncomfortable. This is the same as with a refrigerator, which becomes completely unattractive when a light bulb burns out in it. In addition, the light pouring through the light doors creates a soft halo of unique comfort in the kitchen..
Away from the walls
Modern kitchens are characterized by a fairly free approach to planning. The working front does not have to be extended along the walls, it can be located, for example, in the middle of the room. In this way, a lot of layout options can be created – from a narrow high worktop for eating “on the go” to bringing all the equipment to the center of the kitchen. Such a layout requires a certain approach to lighting, since there is simply no other place for placing lamps, except for the ceiling..
If a stove is placed in the middle of the kitchen, it is advisable to equip the work area with a solid hood with powerful built-in lamps. Together with the upper general lighting, they will be quite enough for all kitchen affairs..
When there is no extractor hood above the autonomous front, comfortable lighting can be created using a variety of lamps on elongated cords. The axes of the luminaires should not go beyond the contour of the working surface, and it is best if they intersect with the axis of the tabletop. The light from hanging lamps should not hit the eyes, therefore diffusing “milky” lampshades in this case are the best solution. The number and power of sources are specially selected in each individual case.
A common illumination option for a free-standing front is a special design with spotlights. Unfortunately, in most cases, such a structure looks too tough and trivial, although its cost is comparable to the cost of several ceiling lamps..
Over the dining table
The light in the dining area should be given special attention. Creating the mood for a meal, it is impossible to do with only general lighting..
The placement of the lamp in the dining area directly depends on the location of the table. There are two main options: the table is located in the room freely or adjoins the wall. In the first case, a single lamp is most often suspended from the ceiling above the table. Its height can be chosen arbitrarily, depending on specific requirements. It is always convenient if it is adjustable: a high-positioned lamp makes the table more solemn, a low one – “cramped” and cozy. The look of the lamp above the table can be complex and highly pretentious. The main thing is that the surface of the table is covered with a spot of light. So the main requirement for a lampshade above the table is to provide an intense light directed towards the tabletop. The rest of the room can remain, depending on the design of the upper part of the lampshade, immersed in darkness, in partial shade or dazzle with contrasting patterns of light beating through the slots of the dense cap.
The space above the large dining table can be delineated with a group of small lamps on long bases. They can be arranged in a geometric order and arbitrarily, vary the length of the bar and thereby create very original compositions..
Often during operation, the position of the dining table is slightly adjusted, while the lamp remains in the same place. If such permutations are the norm for you, then it is better not to make holes in the ceiling initially, but to place a floor lamp with a high arched “leg” near the table, the light from which will be directed directly to the table top.
A table standing against a wall can be illuminated with one or two sconces fixed at a height of about a meter from the table top level. It is best if the sconces have long brackets and the luminous flux is directed downward. By the way, lamps with a pantograph successfully occupy a place on the wall. And on the dining table, a tall table lamp with a dense shade feels great. She decorates the table and is a functional addition to midnight gatherings.
The dining area, as a rule, in almost all houses has an unpretentious, very standard look: a table and chairs, well, sometimes also a vase with fruits or flowers. It is in this situation that the emphasis can be made on the ingenious form of the designer lamp, which will immediately take a leading place not only in the evening, but also in the daytime interior..
In conclusion, it is necessary to say about the main technical indicators of light sources in the kitchen. In the work area, high-quality cooking requires intense countertop lighting and a neutral light spectrum that does not distort the natural look of food is preferred. At the dining table, the lighting should be such that the dish looks pleasant and appetizing. Soft, discreet light creates a favorable atmosphere for both quiet everyday and festive meals at home..