Partner Content: Illumination, simplified. Consider these four elements when selecting fixtures for your kitchen and dining areas
Sean Sauter, owner of Light Gallery Plus, shares the four elements to consider when picking lighting fixtures for your kitchen and dining areas.
“The key to a comfortable environment is multiple layers of light,” Sean says. You should have three layers of light in every area of your home—ambient, task and accent lighting. Ambient lighting provides the overall illumination in a space—think chandeliers, pendant lights and ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures. Task lighting provides focused beams for reading and cooking. Recessed, down and track lighting are perfect for this. Accent lighting such as wall sconces, under-cabinet and toe-kick lights help add interest to a space.
“If possible, all lights should be dimmable,” Sean says. “Without that capability, it’s like having a stereo with only one volume setting.” With dimmers, you can easily create a wide range of moods in a room—from cheerful to calming—with a few simple adjustments.
When hanging your lighting, whether a chandelier above the dining table or pendant lights over a kitchen island, you want to make sure to choose the right height. “Dining room ambient lights—those centered over the table—should hang 30 to 36 inches above the table setup. If it is higher than that, it won’t be part of the dining area.”
How big is the room? How tall is the ceiling? What are the dimensions of the table? You want everything to be proportionate. “A dining room ambient light should be at least half the width of the table it’ll hang over,” Sean says. “So, if you have a 42-inch-wide table, for instance, we would recommend a 30-inch round chandelier. For a 10-foot-long kitchen island we generally recommend a 10-to-14-inch pendant if you are using three of them.”
In the Mood?
Seratonin and dopamine, the mood-enhancing, motivation-inducing neurotransmitters, are triggered by the cool white and blue frequencies of daylight. That’s why you opt for “high temperature” lights in the kitchen.
In the dining room, select neutral, mid-range temps that you can dim or turn up to fit the party atmosphere—be it mild and mellow or dance ‘til dawn.