Extension LightingWhen it comes to designing a bespoke kitchen extension, there are a number of things that we need to take into account and one of the most important factors we have to think about is extension lighting.

Kitchen extension lighting has to be considered as early as possible, since electrical fittings need to be installed in the very first stages of the home extension build.

Here, we’ll take a look at the benefits of kitchen lighting and the different kinds available.

The Benefits of Kitchen Lighting

Kitchen lights are important — not least because it’s in the kitchen that we tackle all of our food preparation and cooking. Still, the modern kitchen is much more than just a cooking station.

Our kitchens are often at the heart of a party and, in a kitchen/diner, they’re where the family eats breakfast or spends most of their time. With the right kitchen lighting, we create the right atmosphere in these spaces for whatever occasion.

The 3 Main Kinds of Kitchen Lighting

Your kitchen extension will likely serve a number of functions and your lighting options should illustrate this. There are 3 kinds of kitchen lighting to consider:

•    Working light

•    Mood light

•    Feature light

Working Light

Working light, or task lighting, serves a function — namely to allow you to perform kitchen tasks; and do so in safety. Wherever food preparation is going to take place, we look to install a direct light source; illuminating worktops, sinks and hobs.

Undermounted lights can be installed under storage areas, while extractors are popular for lighting the hob area. If your kitchen extension is going to feature an island worktop, we will look to install an adequate light source directly above.

The hot new thing in kitchen design is the sensor operated light which can be illuminated with the wave of a hand. This means you won’t have to wash your hands of food every time you want to operate the light. Another idea which is growing in popularity is kitchen drawer lighting which, like the fridge, comes on when the drawer is opened.

You might not have realised you needed this light, but you’ll undoubtedly have changed your mind whilst rummaging around in half light for a corkscrew or pizza cutter.

Mood Light (also known as Ambient Light or Dining Light)

Once the hard work has been completed, task lighting can be seen as too hard or bright and this is where mood light comes in.

Enough light is still needed for safe and comfortable eating. If we’re installing a kitchen diner, we ensure that an adequate light source is available in the dining area for dining light.

After dinner lighting, however, is traditionally best served low. Dimmer switches allow the homeowner to set their own tone throughout a dinner party. Other dining light options include LED down-lights. Surface mounted spotlights in warm white light can contribute to an after-dinner tone.

The language of light means that subtle changes in light source can transform the kitchen from a place to get things done to a place to kick back and relax with family and friends.

Feature Light

Not all light sources have to do the job of illuminating the room, they can be used to highlight particular design features or give a new kitchen the “WOW” factor.

Spotlights are extremely handy for picking out a particular feature, while strip lights can be used to create an ethereal, magical feel. These lights can be placed around the base of a breakfast bar, dining table or seating area. They won’t help you get very far chopping vegetables but they’ll leave a lasting impression on guests and make your brand new kitchen a place that you long to spend time.

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