One of the key elements that is so often overlooked when planning a new kitchen design is lighting.

Just as with all other services, the best time to give due consideration to your required lighting is at the initial planning stage. Retrospective lighting, more often than not, has limited impact and functionality and can also been costly.

At Steve Hills Design, we treat lighting as a key element of the overall kitchen design, for both assisting with maximum functionality in each working area and also to achieve visual impact.

In today’s multifunctional kitchen spaces, you will need to consider what activities may be undertaken in the various areas of your kitchen.

Good ‘task lighting’ is vital. The ‘working triangle’ (cooker to hob, then sink to refrigerator) needs carefully considered lighting. Suitable lighting for these areas can be achieved with spotlights, down-lighters above worksurfaces or even pendant lights over an integrated island hob.

Dedicated under-cupboard lighting, such as strip or LED lighting is designed to focus on the worktops, especially where food preparation takes place. Whilst task lighting can not only look effective, the quality of this lighting has a big impact on your safety.

Accent lighting for shelving and cupboards adds a certain dimension to a room, along with a degree of practicality, whilst ambient lighting is ideal for seating areas. Ambient lighting is best controlled via a dimmer switch, which can be turned up for reading or studying and turned down for entertaining or a romantic meal!

Feature lighting can be used to highlight points of interest such as a pictures or art on the walls, or even architectural features. Certain feature lighting can be integrated into furniture plinths, giving sutle impact to the overall feel of the kitchen, especially its appearance at night time.

Where and how the light switches are positioned is equally important. You need a main point of lighting control, ideally on entry into the kitchen, as well as individual switches and dimmers within each of the kitchen zones. There’s nothing more annoying than sitting down to eat, deciding that you would like you would like to dim the lights in the dining area, then having to walk back to the main kitchen entrance to dim them! Consideration should also be given to the height of the switches and dimmers, to ensure that they comply with current regulations.

For the ultimate lighting system, why not consider and ‘intelligent light system’. This allows you to create and recall pre-set lighting patterns from your smart phone or tablet via Wi-Fi.

If the above all seems confusing, you can be sure that Steve Hills and his design team will guide you along the design process, to ensure that your kitchen has all the lighting it needs to suit both your family and lifestyle.