We've known for years that natural light has positive effects on our health and productivity. So why are we still relying on harsh fluorescents and struggling with dimly lit spaces in our homes? It's time to say, "Hello!" to natural light and there's no better room to start in than the kitchen!
Natural Light through Skylights
Planning a kitchen remodel? Then it's the perfect time to ask your architect if skylights will work with your design. By incorporating top lighting, you can free up space that would've been used by traditional windows and use it for cabinets instead! Along with the added space, your skylights provide a healthy source of daylight, making it easier to see when cooking and entertaining. PLUS venting skylights are perfect for airing out cooking smells and infusing fresh air throughout your kitchen.
Lighting for Your Layout
If you're working with a center focal point, like a kitchen island, utilize down lighting sources - like sun tunnels - to illuminate its surface. You may also consider pendant lights that hang from the ceiling; they're a direct source of light, help emphasize the island, and add style to your design. If you opt for pendant lights, make sure to use solid shades so the light is directed down toward the countertop, not dispersed to the ceiling.
If you have overhead storage, under cabinet lighting may also come in handy. Like pendant lights, under cabinet lighting provides a direct light source for meal prep and cleaning. Keep in mind that, however, that their light will likely be more scattered than hanging lamps.
In an open floor plan, you have the opportunity to allow natural light from windows in adjoining rooms to spill over into your kitchen area. And, although you may also need to include down lighting, natural light sources are the best lighting options for any room in your home.
Daylight Replicating Bulbs
If skylights don't fit into your kitchen plan, you can always substitute daylight replicating bulbs for the real thing. Just remember that the type and quality of your light source are both critical to how your eyes adjust to any given space. Lighter colors, like those found in harsh fluorescent lighting, can add strain to the eye, especially in older adults. To combat this, look for bulbs that replicate daylight because they're easier on the eyes. If you're not sure what to look for, most light bulb packages have a light color index on them to guide you in your selection.
Remember that when it comes to lighting, your kitchen requires a lot of it. That's why natural light sources should be your go-to choices when designing or remodeling.