Let There Be Light – Even in Winter
Now the clocks have changed, the nights are drawing in fast.
Even in the daytime, it’s not exactly light out at the best of times.
The sun sits low in the sky, often seeming to roll across roofs of houses and the sky is clad with grey clouds. It’s at a time like this when it is important to maximise home lighting; especially kitchen lighting, without costing the earth. Luckily, there are a few solutions for a brighter, winter kitchen.
Maximising Natural Daylight
Lighting considerations fall between daytime and nighttime. So let’s look at daytime first, there are a few design decisions you can make to improve the natural lighting of your kitchen, so even on a dull day, your cooking area seems lighter. Here’s a few ideas:
Window Size: Large windows naturally let in more light, and so can maximise daytime lighting within your home. However, windows are also a major element within a home for heat loss. A balance needs to be struck between the two as any heat loss will require additional heating.
Colours Matter: We all know that white reflects light and black absorbs it. While dark colour designs can be striking when done well, they do naturally darken a room. That’s ok with big windows, but if these are not an option, then you can turn to white paint, white tiles, and so on to reflect more light within the home and make it appear brighter than it is.
Minimalism: While it is also a lifestyle choice, minimalism is about, well, keeping things to a minimum and that means decluttering. Clutter, especially around the window, can impede light flow and like dark colours, make a place feel darker and dingier. Good storage design and secure overflow in the garage should mean a kitchen can appear minimalist while still having all the equipment and food needed to feed a household.
Nighttime Light Design
Even during the daytime, these ideas might not be enough. Some kitchens are just small, face the right direction, are obscured by a big tree in the vicinity, or badly designed in general. However, there is a solution – fix your lighting options. A well-designed set of lights using LEDs to cut costs, reduce heat, and improve design options, and you can light your kitchen easily.
Lighting design requires an understanding of the kitchen and where the natural dark spots are as well as the most used areas. LEDs produce next to no heat while using up to 1/10th of the electricity of other lights. This means you can forego the single ceiling light, and create a mixture of spotlights and downlights.
For example, utilise spotlights on the underside of wall cabinets to illuminate your surface work area without you casting a shadow over your work, while using downlights spread out across the ceiling to create an even spread of light over the whole room. The use of various lights also means you can create a system where only the lights you really need are turned on whether that’s during the day or at night.