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July 21, 2016

The Three Layers to Lighting Your New Kitchen Design

White kitchen design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre
With so many important elements vying for the attention of homeowners during a kitchen reno, it's easy to understand why many DIYers often make the mistake of leaving lighting decisions to the end of the renovation process. This can be a huge mistake.

Lighting plays a significant role in a kitchen's overall design. It not only serves to highlight select elements of the space, it enhances the practicality of one of the most used rooms in your home.

"When planning your new kitchen or bathroom, be sure to pay attention to your lighting plan," says Monarch designer Jackie Schagen. "To create effective lighting for your space, you should consider both function and aesthetics. Spend time considering who uses the space, at what of time of day and what tasks are being performed."

White kitchen design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre
Layering is essential to good lighting. There are three main layers involved in lighting a space effectively.

General Lighting

The purpose of this lighting is to illuminate the overall space. "Most often we are using recessed LED pot lights, but ceiling fixtures can also be installed," says Jackie.

Task Lighting

In the kitchen, under-cabinet lighting is both useful and safer than chopping in a dark, shadowy place. In the bathroom, it's important to have good lighting at the vanity area to reduce shadows on your face and ensure good makeup application.

Ambient Lighting

This includes decorative ceiling fixtures and lights inside glass cabinets. This use of lighting is intended more for decoration than function.

"It's important to remember that all of these lights will perform best when switched separately, especially with individual dimmers to accommodate different times of natural light," says Jackie. "The beauty of a well-lit space is not to see the light but know that it is there."