5 Methods for Ambient Kitchen Lighting

Ambient lighting, or general indirect light, creates a base level of illumination in a particular room or environment. During the day, ambient sunlight streams indirectly through windows, and at night we achieve great ambient lighting with an assortment of fixtures that illuminate a room in whole and in specific locations.

Ideally, each room in a home or office should be well-lit with the flip of a single switch, and this is often achieved through ambient lighting. The idea of ambient lighting is to illumine an area with the glow of light as opposed to a visually abrasive beam from an exposed bulb.

Ambient lighting can be functional and/or decorative. For instance, the glowing globe of a simple rice paper Chinese lantern can provide adequate illumination for a small to medium-sized area while also setting a tone of design for the space and serving as an aesthetic focal point at the same time.

A more subtle example of ambient lighting can be seen with walls and ceilings that are washed with splashes of light from torchiere lamps that cast a broad beam of light upwards. The current trend of utilizing a softly glowing band of white or colored light above bookcases, entertainment centers, valances, and even along the interior lines within our cars is an effective and appealing use of decorative ambient lighting. These bands of light bring dark corners into the visual field and are psychologically comforting.

Ambient Kitchen Lighting

ambient_kitchen_lightingThe kitchen environment requires ample ambient lighting that is supported by task lights for specific workstations. When we walk into our kitchens, we usually want to be able to see the whole room clearly with the flip of a switch. This can be achieved with an assortment of styles of fixtures that are available in a myriad of designs, and this is where we can grant expression to our creativity and sense of design.

1. Flush and Semi-Flush Mounts

Flush and semi-flush fixtures are perennially popular for kitchen lighting application. These fixtures lay flush to the ceiling and just below, and they wash large areas with illumination.

2. Under-Cabinet Bar Lights

Under-cabinet lighting is a great asset in the kitchen. LED tape lighting and other LED under-cabinet lighting sources cast illumination unto sink surfaces, enhancing visibility during food preparation. Many people enjoy the soft glow of under-cabinet lighting after the dinner rush to grant a cozy ambiance and low-volume illumination to the kitchen when not in use.

3. Recessed Lighting

Recessed kitchen lights modestly deliver even illumination to broad areas. They’re appealing in contemporary, modern, and industrial design applications, and can be effectively integrated into rustic settings as well.

4. Chandelier, Pendant, & Bar Lighting

Contemporary chandelier designs are finding their way into kitchens. They can add a touch of sparkle or a soft ambient glow to the room.

Pendant lights are often used in kitchen lighting design plans. With an abundance of appealing designs, pendants can cast light downwards or up and down.

Bars of chandelier lights are usually hung over kitchen islands and the family table, and can be found with pairs of lights, and up to eight.

Bars of glowing ambient illumination can make a dramatic statement in a modern or industrial designed kitchen while being gentle on the eyes.

5. Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches add much desired flexibility to any lighting design. In the kitchen, these handy gadgets grant the homeowner the ability to turn up the light while preparing food and during the after dinner cleanup, and soften the lights a bit during the meal and later in the evening when activity diminishes.

As you explore our bountiful offering of fixtures with an eye towards ambient kitchen lighting, you’re sure to be intrigued by the abundant design opportunities presented by the various worlds of our artisans.

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