When working with clients one of our jobs is always to do a lighting plan or reflected ceiling plan (RCP). Today, I thought I would share some lighting tips for planning where your fixtures should go. There are 3 types of lighting that one should include when designing –
1. Ambient (general) Lighting | This type of lighting provides the overall illumination for a room. Bright, but not glaring, it can come from ceiling fixtures, pendants, and chandeliers, and wall-mounted fixtures.
2. Task Lighting | Focused directly on a specific area where activities such as food preparation, cleanup, or ready take place, this type of lighting typically comes from pendant, under cabinet, recessed, or track fixtures.
3. Accent Lighting | This kind highlights design elements, such as items displayed on shelves. It comes from wall-mounted lights or pendants and should be significantly brighter than surrounding ambient lighting.
Kitchen Planning & Buying Guide | Consumer Reports | July 2012
See above Kitchen RCP Plan showing all three types of Lighting.
Typically for a Kitchen Design we normally choose to use recessed pot lights to take care of the Ambient Lighting – spaced 30″ from the wall and about every 4 to 6 feet. There are a few different types of bulbs for your recessed fixtures (and sizes – 4″, 5″, and 6″ typ.) – Par 16, Par 20, GU10 (line voltage) and MR16 (low voltage) lamps are most common. (Both come in great LED options – that cost so little to operate – they should really be considerations – they also can give off a great warm light – about a 2700 K)
LED PAR Lamp
We take special care to note areas where more “work” is happening – and include Task Lighting in the way of under cabinet lights mounted in places such as a sink (overhead/bulkhead lighting) and then lighting the countertop and also the cooktop (choosing a hood fan with a good light source). Some options for under cabinet lighting are a 2″ puck light, a 12″ under cabinet light (Halogen/LED – Halogen much hotter than LED) or LED tape lighting – ($$$) which doesn’t allow any “dark spots” in the design.
2″ Undercabinet Puck Light
12″ Undercabinet Fixture
LED Strip Light
Strip Light Example – used on a stairway.
The Accent Lighting is usually represented by a pendant fixture or a directional wall mounted fixture – something with a little more “sparkle” or “pizzazz” about it. For use above an island – the size of your island will determine if you choose two larger scale pendants or three smaller pendants. Want to know the height to hang your fixture above a table or countertop???…. 30″. To check out some great pendants – go HERE.
(we are using the one above in the kitchen shown)
SOME CANADIAN TALENT BELOW
There is so much to learn when it comes to lighting – but there are some basics to get you started! Happy planning – and if you need an added hand with any ideas or tips – email us at email@example.com or comment below!