Luxury Lighting for the Contemporary Kitchen

October 02, 2019
Carmel Kitchen

By Ira Asturi

The kitchen is one of the most expensive rooms to upgrade. Today’s standards for what makes a kitchen beautiful and functional are a big change from decades past. Electrical upgrades and lighting are essential to any renovation, especially with the newest appliances and features that are standard in the contemporary kitchen. It all can be so confusing, from understanding beam spread to CRI (color rendering index) index. I’m a general contractor certified in aging-in-place design and a strong background in electrical services with a specialty in lighting and here are a few tips:

  • Natural lighting is best. Adding a skylight or larger windows will make a big difference in daylight levels and create a welcoming effect that you will appreciate as you drink your morning coffee.
  • Your kitchen upgrade should start with designing a functional workspace. Adding lights where you need them the most, such as above countertops, sinks and cooktops.
  • Under cabinet lights are essential to illuminate the countertop work- spaces. Proper placement is essential if you want to have an effective workspace.
  • Design in ambient light, to help you see without turning on every light in the kitchen. Recessed lights and track lighting are a great option to light the floor and bounce light off cabinet fronts to create a bright, well-lit space.
  • Adding toe-kick lighting underneath cabinets and islands is also a great way to help prevent stubbing toes at night, same for above cabinet lighting and in-drawer lighting.
  • Consider the lighting color that will work best with the style of your kitchen. Do you want warm, yellow tones or a more neutral whiter light? LED lighting has come a long way from the harsh blue we associate with it to offering a range of color temperatures. Use a consistent color temp across all fixtures to coordinate the look.
  • Over the island is the best spot for dramatic pendant fixtures that reflect the design and beauty of your kitchen. Kitchen islands have become the essential design element that creates a center for cooking, seating and entertaining. Many luxury kitchen designs forgo a bar in favor of a larger island with a lot of seating.
  • Don’t forget the dimmers. Light levels should set the mood from functional bright prep time to dramatic, subtle dining time is where CRI should be consistent and proper lumens.

Keep in mind that our eyes require more light as we age. So if you anticipate staying in your home during your senior years or if your parents are frequent guests, design more light into the original plan, you can always control the light levels if you have installed dimmers, this is where in-drawer lighting goes from a luxury upgrade to an essential feature. Aging-in-place design and great lighting are key features for the elder community. All of this can be designed into your kitchen from the initial planning and permitting stage so that your kitchen can be stylish and functional for your lifestyle.



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