Downtown Boston condos have some show-stopping kitchens with high-end professional appliances, gorgeous stone countertops, and stunning custom wood cabinetry, each helping to make the kitchen a comfortable and enjoyable place to create a culinary masterpiece or to share a meal with family or friends. Yet, an important feature of any kitchen, which is often overlooked, is the lighting.
Kitchen lighting often takes a back seat to some of the more noticeable and popular kitchen design features, like flooring and countertops. But, the right lighting in a kitchen is vital, not only to the overall aesthetics of the design, but also to the ease and safety of using your kitchen.
The American Lighting Association has some tips and ideas for creating a useful lighting design.
- Under-cabinet lighting makes countertop food preparation easier on your eyes. Adding dimmer switches allows you to turn on these lights even when you’re not using them for attractive, visual impact.
- Over-the-sink and stovetop lighting should also provide better work visibility.
- Overhead lighting, whether recessed, pendant or chandelier, is ideal for a kitchen table, island or breakfast bar.
Knowing where to put your lighting is only the first step. To achieve a truly stunning condo kitchen, select the type of lighting that will enhance the overall look of your kitchen yet provide the functionality you need. Ideally, you’ll want a combination of ambient lighting to set the mood along with task lighting that will provide a stronger focus over an island or countertop. Lighting can make a big difference and take any kitchen to a new level.
Below are various types of lighting to consider:
A chandelier can easily take center stage in your kitchen, offering elegant, traditional beauty or cutting-edge bling. There are so many different options available that you can find one for nearly every design preference with materials ranging from crystal and cut glass to wrought iron to candle-style! Your chandelier should be hung about 28-30 inches above the surface it is illuminating, and does not necessarily need to be the exact same style as your room’s décor to complement the space.
Pendant lights are single fixtures that hang down from the ceiling, like the pendant of a necklace. They can be hung alone or in groups of two or more (usually in a straight line), and should be mounted 30 inches above the top of the kitchen table. They are an excellent choice for lighting over islands or breakfast bars as well. They’re able to provide ambient or task lighting and come in a variety of styles, colors and materials to suit your taste and your kitchen design.
Recessed lighting looks good in any kitchen, and can function on its own or complement pendants or chandeliers to create ambient overhead lighting. Because it’s installed in the ceiling rather than hanging down, it provides light without taking up any extra visible space in the room. You can also design your lighting scheme with recessed lights over the sink or stove to be used as task lighting.
Track lighting is an effective, versatile and stylish approach. Whether you want to add ambient light over the entire kitchen, focus light over a kitchen table or island or add a decorative design element to your space, track lighting may just be the way to go. The key is to consider the purpose of your lighting as that will help determine the proper placement. You can direct the light according to your needs and adjust the brightness through a dimmer switch. And there is great variety in the tracks themselves and the lights that hang from them – contemporary, transitional or traditional – to complement any décor.
Cabinet lighting can be used beneath, above or inside cabinetry to add task lighting to a work area or to highlight a display of kitchenware, art or knick knacks. Under your cabinets, you can add lighting via three types of bulbs: incandescent, fluorescent or LED lights. Each type of bulb can be found in a variety of fixtures, from puck lights, to linear fixtures to light strips. Each will do the trick, but the choice will depend on your style preference (including the amount of light and the light’s color) and costs. You can also add recessed down lighting or uplighting inside or atop your cabinets for accent or ambiance.
What is your ideal kitchen lighting?