Spotlight On… Pendant Lights for the Kitchen
Pendant lights are a stylish way to add character and usability to your kitchen. This group of light fixtures is particularly good for making a strong visual statement because they can easily be changed out to put a new spin on your kitchen’s look if you ever tire of it without needing to get back into kitchen remodeling.
Before you decide on the style you want for your pendant lights, you should first consider what their purpose will be. Pendant lights can be used for functional lighting as either task or ambient lighting, but they can also be added for accent or decorative lighting in the same way that the right jewelry can complement and finish an outfit.
Task lighting is usually over a counter, island, or table, and is meant to give you plenty of light for a specific task or area. This might allow more light for chopping and food prep, or it could be over an area where reading and writing is done such as your cookbook or the space where your kids tend to do homework. Task lighting should be low enough to provide focused light. These lights should be about 30 to 36 inches away from the surface to allow for ample room to work.
Ambient lighting is the general illumination of the room apart from any windows that provide sunlight during the day. A serious chef will probably want strong ambient lighting combined with some good task lighting, while someone who doesn’t cook as much but uses the kitchen as more of a social area may want softer and warmer light. For ambient lighting, you’ll want to position your pendant lights in a way that best lights the whole of your kitchen and increases the feeling of space.
For ambient light, try to keep them 7 ft. or more away from the floor. For taller ceilings, you may want to measure downward 12 to 18 inches from the ceiling and add 3 more inches for each additional foot of height beyond the typical 8-foot ceiling. If the pendant hangs from a chain that’s part of the look, you might want to adjust it to hang further down to expose more of the chain. It’s important to note your line of sight so that they don’t hang at a height that would obstruct your view.
Accent lighting can accentuate other design features of your kitchen, such as the wood in your cabinet refacing or to highlight a portrait on a wall. They have a specific purpose in bringing attention to something beautiful without adding any light to the room or providing targeted light for working or food prep. Since pendant lights are meant to be seen, it’s best to use a different type of light to get this effect.
Decorative lighting is just as unobtrusive as accent lighting and is meant to add an overall mood or look to the space. In fact, the fixture itself can serve this purpose whether it’s emanating any light or not. Apart from the look of the fixture, pendant lights used for decoration might cast an interesting shadow on a high ceiling or just add a sparkle for effect.
Pendant lamps and lights are flexible, beautiful fixtures for lighting your space and making your kitchen into a room you love to be in and share.
Are you lit up with ideas for your new kitchen? Call us to schedule your appointment with a kitchen design consultant who can put you on your way to making those dreams a reality.