By Sally Storey
From reworking your downlight strategy to learning how
to light glass cabinet, design director of John Cullen, Sally Storey, reveals
how to get the right light for preparing food and setting the mood in your
No more grids
Forget grids of downlights; use light only where
it is required. Work surfaces need good task lighting, whether it is from
downlights or pendants.
As well as adding impact and visual interest, a
row of pendants over an island will help provide a visual divide between the
dining and kitchen areas.
Don't block your worktop
Under-cupboard lighting is usually best for task
lighting because it is well hidden and stops your shadow obscuring the worktop.
The latest LED products have less heat output, which saves money and prevents
cupboards and food becoming too warm.
Using a continuous Contour LED strip or
individual fittings of only two watts is an easy way to create practical and
Think creatively about where you put your light
sources. For example, incorporating lighting below an island unit will make it
appear to float. In kitchens with high ceilings, try adding uplights to the
tops of cabinets. It adds general light to the space so you will need fewer
Use more than one light
Layer the light. I’ve mentioned general and task
lighting, but also add some accent and ambient lighting. Using a number of
different sources lends a more ‘three-dimensional’ feel and so helps you create
the mood you want.
Each source should be controlled individually so
that the scheme can create anything from the feeling of bright daylight to an
intimate atmosphere over dinner.
Go for warm lights
5 The latest developments of LEDs means the most
recent downlights are only eight or 10W rather than 50W. A large kitchen with
14 downlights and under-cupboard lighting can now be lit with only 200 watts.
Be sure to check the packaging for a colour
temperature of around 2,700 Kelvin and a CRI (Colour Rendition Index) over 90
to ensure you end up with a warm, attractive light.
Manipulate the space
If your kitchen or dining area is small, you can
increase the sense of space by using directional spotlights angled towards the
cupboards and walls. The light is reflected back into the room and is much more
effective than shining the light straight down at the floor.
Keep lights close to the wall
Try to ensure that lights fitted near hobs fit
flush to the wall or ceiling – making them easy to wipe clean. Using fittings
with a covered glass is ideal.
Consider the eye
If using track lights, the key is to position
the track so that spotlights never shine in your eye. Too often the track is
located in the centre of a kitchen, meaning a central island may be lit
effectively but people sitting to one side are in danger of being either in
shadow or full glare.
Spots should be placed where you need the light.
Selecting directional versions gives added flexibility. For example, lights
over a kitchen counter often work best placed above the edges of the counter,
but angled across it to create glare-free lighting.
Think about the inside
With glass cabinets, I prefer to light them
internally. They become almost like wall lights, so make sure you don’t mind
people seeing what you have inside them.