When it comes to lighting any area there are two basic types of illumination to consider. The first type is ambient lighting. The second type is task lighting. The key to properly lighting a kitchen is to layer these two types of illumination in a way that is aesthetic and functional. Ceiling lighting in a kitchen is generally considered to be a type best suited for use as ambient lighting. Task lighting is designed to focus specifically on the areas of the kitchen where tasks are performed. As a ceiling light the new fixtures are designed to provide light to the entire room in a general manner.
Given this knowledge the wide variety of lighting sources that could be used can now be paired down a bit. Certain lighting methods will provide hard shadows that greatly reduce the usefulness of said lighting. There are two types of kitchen ceiling lighting fixtures that are most commonly installed due to the needs of ambient illumination in the kitchen. These types of lighting are ceiling fan style lights and track lighting. There is a third type of ceiling lighting that some homes utilize. This is natural lighting from skylights.
Ceiling fans are one of the most common types of ceiling lighting to be found in kitchens. This is due to several facets that have nothing to do with lighting. A fan on the ceiling can be a godsend when cooking in a hot kitchen and in some instances it might even help keep flying insects, such as flies, at a minimum. Ceiling fan lighting comes in two forms. The first is the shaped single or double bulb. This type of light has a glass or plastic lampshade that completely covers the light. These lampshades must be removed to change the bulbs inside. The other type of ceiling fan light that is commonly found is the multi-directional uncovered lampshade variety. This second type of ceiling fan lighting is popular due to the fact that it can direct lighting to all corners of the kitchen.
Track lighting is often installed in multiple locations as ceiling lighting for a kitchen. This type of lighting fixture is created by affixing lights to a continuous track. When placed on a ceiling in one or more key locations that can greatly improve the light level and aesthetics of any kitchen. Track lighting in a kitchen can provide clear visibility that ceiling fan lights can’t. This is due to the fact that the light is not generated from one singular source but from a long strip of lights. Two, sometimes three, of these strips are generally enough to provide ample kitchen lighting. Some smaller kitchens can make due with only one strip if it is installed in a key location.
Natural lighting is one of the least expensive methods of lighting available. It allows the light from the sun to provide illumination in the kitchen and gives this important location in the home a natural look. However, there are a few drawbacks to natural lighting. A skylight can only let light in when it is actually available. At night this lighting disappears to a drastic extent even when the moon is full and directly overhead. Due to this factor natural lighting is only suggested for use in a kitchen environment when there are other methods of lighting as well.
Outside of these three popular forms of lighting many people have also considered the usage of fluorescent ceiling lighting. The reasons for using this type of lighting is the lesser expenditure of energy. Fluorescent lighting can generally create four times as much light per unit of electricity than incandescent lighting. Another reason this type of ceiling lighting is preferred in a kitchen is that the bulbs tend to last a great deal longer than many typical incandescent bulbs. The only real negative to this type of lighting is that it doesn’t have as great a capacity to change light levels.
Proper kitchen ceiling lights can be provided in a wide variety of methods. The four types mentioned herein are the most popular and easy to install. Whichever method is used it is important to remember that location is key. In a kitchen that is large or possesses a central island there may be need for further lighting that is not generated from a ceiling location.