Layering Light Sources
There are rooms in your house, such as kitchens, that play host to a variety of tasks and activities. The lighting goal of such a space is to have enough light to perform your tasks, without having to deal with glare or lights that are too intense. Generally, more light is better than less, but this ‘extra light’ is best allocated strategically as to not overpower the calm ambiance of a social-hub room like a kitchen. This is where layering your light sources comes into play.
Layering lights is a method which utilizes different ‘tiers’ of lighting. Some will provide ambient light to the entire space, while others provide focused and higher-intensity lighting for areas that need it. Kitchen layouts have changed over time. What began as a modestly sized room for preparing meals has expanded to (sometimes) the largest and busiest room in the house. Kitchen islands, breakfast bars, and socializing areas are all common components of the contemporary kitchen. With these new standards, new needs have arisen in the way the space is lit.
Ambient light sources are needed in the kitchen to ‘fill out the space’ and eliminate dark corners. As rooms get larger, there is a reduction in the practicality of the centrally mounted dome lights. Recessed, flush mounted, and track light sources have quickly displaced panel and fluorescent tube ceilings as the utilitarian lighting source of choice for contemporary kitchens. Eurofase offers an extensive variety of recessed lights that suit a number of roles, and utilize the full array of available light sources on the market (LED, halogen, CFL, etc.).
Pertaining to recessed lighting, the offering of products has transcended well beyond the humble pot light. With the advent of smaller, cooler, and more efficient light sources, the options offered by recessed lighting have exploded into new territory. See Eurofase’s Fundamentals catalogue for ideas on how recessed lighting can be used to augment your home.
In addition to ambient lighting, you will need a few layers of task-oriented lighting (this is where the layering comes into play!). Two common locations for other layers of lighting are a kitchen island or breakfast bar, and under-cabinet lighting. Kitchen islands tend to be where people congregate, and as such, provide a space for a bold lighting statement to set the personality of your kitchen. Using between 2 and 3 hanging pendant lamps is a good way to provide higher-intensity light for this key area. Another method that has recently gained traction is the addition of a mini chandelier or ‘chandellette’. This provides a punch of glamor in the room, and can be a bold statement of your refined design sense.
The second area that commonly requires task lighting is under your cabinets. This not only provides better working light for prepping food, but adds emphasis to your backsplash details. Traditionally fluorescent tubes have been used in this application, but again the advent of LED and halogen puck lighting has expanded the options available to the savvy consumer. Low profile options like LED strip lighting can be flush mounted in a groove under the cabinets, eliminating the need for large toe kicks and giving your cabinets a lower-profile appearance.
Stay tuned for the next installment of Lighting 101 as we delve deeper into the plethora of options available for recessed lighting!