The standard kitchen also has standard lighting. This is usually a chandelier or ceiling lamp, and while it can shine quite brightly in general, some areas of the kitchen will remain in the shade. Taking into account the peculiarity of the location of the working area along the walls, the person is constantly with his back to the light source, while blocking it with himself.
This is really inconvenient, therefore, design solutions for kitchen sets have long been replenished with options with built-in lighting sources. It remains only to choose the appropriate option or independently organize the correct lighting.
Lighting in the kitchen: features
Luminaires for kitchen under cabinets
A truly comfortable working environment in the kitchen depends not only on comfortable and functional furniture, but also on lighting, which should be moderately bright and illuminate all parts of the working area, even if it is a mini-kitchen. Modern interior designers often completely abandon a chandelier in the kitchen, preferring to place several point sources of lighting around its perimeter. This is a good option as these few lamps provide better illumination of the work area, but this is not enough.
It is necessary to place light sources not only based on the design concept, but also in the right places. For example, an additional light bulb above the stove will be superfluous, since the illumination from the hood hanging above the stove will be sufficient.
Fixtures can be different
When installing new lighting fixtures in the kitchen, you need to take into account that it can be impractical, inconvenient and even dangerous to power all built-in lamps from one source. Of course, modern lamps of built-in small lamps do not create strong loads on the wiring, but if the wiring is old, it is better to play it safe.
In addition, in this case, the issue of convenience is more relevant. For example, if your kitchen has a chandelier, built-in lamps in the cornice, and even lamps built directly into hinged shelves or cabinets, it is more rational to make three separate switches.
Before you radically change the lighting system in the kitchen, you need to remember a few nuances:
- If you plan to insert spotlights – do not save and choose those with a movable head , so you can independently adjust the direction of the light;
- When ordering a headset or buying a ready-made model with backlight, ask the seller what kind of backlight is installed. Some imported luminaires are equipped with special lamps with non-standard holders . It so happens that you can buy spare lamps only abroad, from the manufacturer, and although in the age of high technologies such a product can be ordered on the Internet, delivery can take a lot of time, and the cost of lighting a kitchen set will ultimately be prohibitively high;
- As for standard lamps for lamps, do not skimp on quality : in the kitchen you will have to operate lamps more often than in other rooms, and low-quality cheap lamps will work out very quickly.
Luminaires for cabinets above the working area
For kitchen sets, special overhead spotlights have been used for many years, which cut either into the cornice above the cabinets or into the lower horizontal of the cabinet itself . Despite the fact that this option is the simplest and most reliable, it is already beginning to become outdated, and it is being replaced by other solutions in the form of LED backlighting or panels called “Mensola”:
But this option has two drawbacks: it is quite expensive, and it will not work to mount it without understanding the electrics.
As for the lower horizontals of the backlit cabinets – in this case, the installation question also remains open: whether to attract specialists or rack their brains over the installation and wiring:
In the last few years, LED lamps have been very popular: they are a fairly bright source of light, while they do not look like a lighting device, but like an original decor.
But installing them on their own is also fraught with some difficulties, and it is very difficult to complete it without experience. You can see this process in the video.
Spotlights were usually always installed in eaves, but in this case, part of the working area still remains shaded, therefore, alternatively, you can build the fixtures directly into the wall cabinet. It is much easier to do it yourself, but you should pay attention to how the correct insert of such lamps looks like …
The advantage of backlit contour lines and LED strips is that the light flow from them is uniform and equally illuminates the entire work surface. Spotlights illuminate certain areas, and in order for the light to hit all the main areas of the working area, it is necessary to install the lamps in the ratio “one lamp per one meter of space”.
There is another practical and time-tested option – fluorescent lamps. Modern lamps of this type are economical light sources that provide good illumination . Such lamps can be of different lengths and brightness.
What to focus on when choosing
In general, when choosing lighting devices, you should be guided only by your taste and the cost of lighting devices. But there are several factors to consider. First of all, these are manufacturers: in the case of lamps for kitchen cabinets, the rule “the higher the price, the better the quality” works, so you should not save on such products. But even if you opt for very cheap lamps, you should not think that they will last for a very short time: in general, the quality is acceptable for all manufacturers.
The only caveat is that if you buy flashlights of frankly Chinese production, you must definitely ask the seller to check them for performance. It will also be useful to study the packaging and instructions (if available) . By law, imported goods must always be accompanied by copies of the information in the language of the buying country.
Obviously, it is better to entrust the work with the wiring to professionals (in the absence of the necessary knowledge), but you can do the installation of the lighting devices themselves without connecting to electricity yourself. An exception is LED lamps, since they are not glued completely randomly, but in accordance with certain rules.
The process of installing spotlights is easier to handle, moreover, it is an inexpensive and aesthetic option.
Despite the “budget”, the range of prices for such devices is quite large – from $2-$3 to $28. Lanterns in the price range from $3 to $7 are suitable for the kitchen. But these are not special lamps for kitchen sets: their main purpose is to be installed in plasterboard ceilings, so you should not buy expensive lamps: they are exclusively for ceilings, and have an appropriate design, as well as more powerful than inexpensive counterparts. Such power for lighting the cutting table is superfluous.
When purchasing, please note that some of the lights are designed to be mounted externally.
But if you do not want to start up the wiring from them in visible places, get lights with latches, the wiring of which will go inside the cabinet.
If you already have furniture, you will have to spend time and effort to modernize the cabinets: they will have to be removed, disassembled, ordered an additional internal shelf, and as a result, the process will schematically look like this.
An additional horizontal shelf is marked in red, which must be made according to the dimensions of the upper and lower contour lines. This shelf is attached to the sides with self-tapping screws. Its purpose is to close access to the wiring.
How to update the tiles in the kitchen can be found in this article.
Installation of lamps is a very difficult process for a person who is far from the profession of a furniture assembler, so those who decide to simply embed a flashlight into the horizontal can only be advised to carefully use the cabinet: the matter is in the wiring, which, according to all the rules, should be inside, go to the back the wall of the cabinet and through it (or a hole in the sidewall) go to the power source. Care should be taken not to snag, cut, or flood this wiring with liquids that may be stored in cabinets.
Care, replacement and operating rules
There are no special rules for the care of kitchen cupboards. It is enough to wipe off dust and grease from them in time, the appearance of which is inevitable . Lamp replacement is done differently from any other luminaire. Even at the stage of purchase, you need to find out from the seller where and how much you can buy replacement bulbs. The fact is that in most models there is no standard base, the lamp is simply stuck into the socket.
The range of prices for such lamps is also quite large: from $1.10 to $21, but inexpensive lamps and lamps are inexpensive. The good news is that, unlike conventional incandescent bulbs, bulbs for spotlights last a very long time – the average life of such a bulb is 4-5 years.
In terms of operation, you can give only one advice: be careful, since inexpensive models are still ordinary incandescent lamps, respectively, they get very hot and you can get burned when you touch them. With halogen lamps, the price of which starts from 7dollars apiece, there will be no such problems.
We also recommend that you familiarize yourself with the installation of a plastic apron in the kitchen in this material.