How to light a kitchen with LED lights
Lighting a kitchen with LED lights is an increasingly popular choice for anybody looking for a solution that guarantees environmental sustainability, practicality and a definite reduction in energy consumption.The technology is also popular because, amongst other things, it does not generate heat or overheat.
Let’s look at the options for LED lighting in a kitchen.
Lighting wall units, under-units, base units and worktops
Getting kitchen lighting right means providing task lighting for worktops and tables to avoid creating those annoying shadows while preparing food. To help you cook better, LED lamps can also be used as a source of lighting inside kitchen cabinets, making it easy to find what you need.
In a kitchen without handles, LED lights can be installed in the special aluminum profiles in the lower front part of wall units used to open the units themselves: placed here, the LEDs become an integral part of the wall unit and cast a central light onto the worktop, keeping everything well lit.
Alternatively different types of LED fittings can be positioned under wall units: they can be used along the entire length of the wall unit or in varying lengths, and it is always possible to have them as a single light source in the middle of the cabinet. Strip lighting solutions can be situated in the centre of the wall unit, or closer to the wall. This doesn’t affect the amount of light emitted, but it can give a different aesthetic effect as the light bounces off the walls.
Lighting the inside of cabinets with the right LED fittings makes everything inside much more visible. LED fittings in hinged doors, tall units or drawer boxes are usually equipped with a sensor that automatically turns the light on when the door is opened. However, for a walk-in pantry a motion detector activates the light when movement is detected.
You can also opt for downlights with an integrated switch, so you can turn light sources on or off when needed.
When you fit lights on the side walls of tall units, it is a good idea to use glass shelves inside the cabinet to diffuse the light evenly throughout the larder.
The colour temperature of the light emitted by a bulb is measured by the Kelvin (K) scale.
Bulbs with a lower colour temperature give out a “warmer” more yellow light with a colour temperature between 2670 and 3500K. Instead, those with a higher colour temperature have a “colder” blue hue; with temperatures above 4500K.
In the past LED lights typically gave off a cold almost blue light, but today this type of lighting comes in a wide range of colour temperature choices. In most cases the right LED colour for a kitchen should provide a neutral white light (4000k). This will be less invasive and easier on the eyes.
It is also possible to adjust the intensity of the light from soft to bright. By using dimmer switches on LED lights in the kitchen, light intensity can easily be changed by simply holding down the button.
To ensure you can easily hide cables behind wall units, the best time to think about LED lighting is at the kitchen design stage.
Emotional Dual Color Technology
In kitchens with multiple light sources where you are unsure of exactly what colour of light will be needed when, you can opt to add some LED lamps that can be adjusted for both colour intensity (soft-bright) and light colour (warm – cold). Not only does this provide an excellent source of lighting but it is also an elegant design feature.
Emotion dual color technology allows you to progressively change the light from warm (2700 k) to cold (4000 k) primarily for an ambient effect, but it can also help during food preparation (cold and bright light is useful during intricate stages of cutting or food preparation).
Various switch types
While LED fittings mounted inside cabinets are usually operated by presence detectors, which turn lights on instantly when doors are opened, lights inside cabinets can have individual switches which can also be set to work in tandem with other lighting.
In this way, LED lighting can be synchronised with other kitchen light sources (e.g. with the main light in the room) or have their own switches. An electrician can fit either option without difficulty.
(Individual switches must be turned on to allow operation from the master switch).