Decorative interior lighting
Not to use the aesthetic and decorative potential of the original lighting fixtures in the interior of the kitchen is simply inexcusable. The decision to pick a specific lamp should be based on the stylistic solutions in the kitchen. The light fixture should harmoniously complement the overall design, bring some new fresh elements, and provide accent lighting for the most attractive areas. Spotlights, mounted inside the kitchen cabinets with transparent doors can look very impressive, the glare of light on the glass enhances the glow, and in this, no doubt, there is something fascinating.
Lighting of working surface
While cooking food, the person is usually standing with his/her back to the main sources of light, due to this reason the working surface might require additional lighting. This will not only facilitate the cooking process, but also make it more enjoyable. For this purpose it is better to add some local lights: under-cabinet or wall lamps that aim their light towards the countertop, sink or stove. Local lighting has not solely functional purpose, but also decorative, allowing focus on the interesting decor elements. In addition, it helps to create more welcoming and cozy atmosphere in the kitchen.
Light in the dining area
Particular attention must be given to lighting in the dining area. In this area it is suitable to have lighting that is slightly soft and in natural spectrum. This way the light will not look annoying nor “hit” the eyes, and it will not distort the color of the products. For this purpose, it is better to install hanging lamps on long cords with adjustable length; it will allow changing the height depending on the situation. For instance, high-placed lighting is ideal for special occasions, and if it is located lower above the table it can create more intimate and calm conditions. It is desirable that the entire table top would fall into the circle of light, i.e. the boundary between light and shadow should be beyond the surface of the table. Above the dining table it is best to use light fixture with direct flow of light that has covers or lamp shades with opening only at the bottom. In the dining area an alternative to ceiling light can be either an accurate floor lamp or wall-sconces that were placed around the room.
It is impossible to create harmonious interior without properly chosen lighting that would correspond to the specifics, the focus and the overall design of the room. Kitchen and dining areas are special places in the house; here we prepare food or welcome guests, and sometimes, when we are alone, enjoy the silence with a cup of tea or coffee. The optimal solution for those areas should be rich and layered lighting that will help to create the right conditions for comfortable work and for easy relaxation. Using different lighting, you can not only create a cozy atmosphere, emphasize strengths and hide weaknesses, but also to decorate the space in an original way.
How to organize the light in the kitchen
To best accommodate lights in the places where they are really needed, it is better not to put this issue on the back burner. Once decided with the style, overall design and placement of the furniture in the kitchen – proceed to the planning of kitchen lighting. After finishing painting the walls and installing the furniture, placement of fixtures on the walls or inside the kitchen set can be problematic because of the need to create new channels for wiring, so it is better to plan ahead all the possible options. Upgrading the lighting in the old kitchen is easier by installing new ceiling lights, or adding original table/floor lamps. For a more radical upgrade it is better to refer to specialists.
In the kitchen, it is advisable to combine general light that illuminates the entire room (ceiling lamp, chandelier), with local working area or decorative lights (sconces, fitted spotlights in the area of cooking). Priorities in terms of organization of lighting are in two main areas – working and dining, others may remain in the shadows. Overall light cannot be seen as a complete replacement for lighting of working and dining space.
Of great importance are the illumination power and the color of the light. In the kitchen, the most appropriate lighting is in the natural spectrum that does not distort the color of the products. Illumination power depends on the kind of atmosphere that you would like to create in the kitchen. By using dimmers, you can smoothly adjust the intensity of illumination. Moreover, spotlights that are built into the top of the cabinets can make the kitchen more spacious and visually “raise” the ceiling.
General and spot light in the kitchen
Traditional kitchen lighting scheme with a single lamp in the center of the ceiling is hardly to be called complete. To ensure uniform lighting, it is recommended to use multiple ceiling lights. For general lighting it is better to avoid using lamps that have their light directed exclusively vertically downwards since they illuminate a small space and create shadows. If the local and decorative lighting are properly organized, then the central chandelier can be even completely left out from the design. This is true for both small and large kitchen spaces. Ideally, in each functional area separate lighting scheme should be organized.
To be continued…
In Orion Interiors Inc. our main concern is to provide our clients all the needed information in order for them to make a smart purchase that will not only enhance the look of their interior but also will help them with maintaining a healthy environment. In the following article we will try to explain the effects of different light sources on human body and how to create the right lighting environment. Please do not hesitate to contact our lighting store in Toronto in case you have any additional questions.
Studies of biological non-visual effects of light on the human body have shown great impact on human health.
Research has revealed that at the same level of operation and distribution of light sources, the effectiveness of their impact on the human body depends mostly on the proportion of the blue component of the emission spectrum of the light source.
Non-visual biological effect of light is the effect of light sources on the production of the hormone melatonin and its obstruction. This hormone is necessary for not only normal operation of our biological clock, but also has antioxidant and anticancer properties. This effect was discovered by scientists only recently – in 2002. Open type of photoreceptors in the eye has nerve connection with the brain by the pineal gland (epiphysis), which regulates the production of melatonin. This system adjusts the internal biological rhythms for the outside world.
Peak sensitivity of these receptors is in the wavelength range of 440-500 nm (the blue color). Thus, cool white light, which has greater proportion of blue, stimulates stronger biological effect than light with a higher proportion of red (warm white). Under natural conditions melatonin is released at night – from 21 to 7 hours. Peak production usually occurs at 2-4am. However, the melatonin production is suppressed by any light that is in the blue range.
LED lamps, are based on blue diodes with peak wavelength at 450 nm. In this type of illumination, melatonin production is reduced 5-fold compared to the yellow light of the filament lamp in which blue is almost completely absent. Halogen lamps reduce melatonin production by three times. In this connection, for each area in the house it is necessary to consider light sources that emit different colour/temperature of light. It turns out that LED lamps with warm color temperature (2700-300K), where the proportion of blue emission is low, is best suited for evening or night lighting – it is proven that their biological effect is the same or even less than that of incandescent lamps. LED bulb that has neutral and close to the cold light (4000-5000 K), has a higher biological effect, so it is wiser to use it in the morning and early evening.
In addition to the visible light in the range of 400-700 nm, any light source releases collateral radiation. It does not add to the lighting strength but may adversely affect the human body. This include infra-red (IR) radiation, ultraviolet (UV) rays, and electromagnetic radiation (EMR) of different ranges. Different light sources have different levels of radiation emissions.
Incandescent lamps, for instance, produce a vast amount of infrared rays and a small amount of UV while EMR is completely absent due to lack of electronic components inside.
In halogen lamps, especially low-voltage, there are high levels of UV radiation. Therefore, without filter aids in the quartz bulbs and UV filters, halogen lamp can ruin the interior items that are illuminated by it. Also, UV radiation is harmful to human health: it can provokes skin and eye diseases.
Energy-saving (CFL) lamps are characterized as moderate level of IR radiation, noticeable level of UV radiation, and problematic with EMR. Phosphor is used in energy-saving lamps in order to convert UV radiation into a visible light. However, unfortunately not 100% is converted and some of UV radiation is still released to the outside. The more the layer of phosphor will degrade and reduce, the more percentage of UV-radiation will increase. Under normal circumstances, it is not a problem, however, when the luminaires are close to the person, the intensity of the rays is equal to solar. Energy-saving lamps also tend to emit EMR, which comes from a start-up control apparatus. People who are particularly sensitive to this kind of radiation, near the lamps may experience lethargy, headache and other unpleasant sensations. More attention should be given to the sources of EMR in your home.
Unlike all previously mentioned light sources, LED lamp is the purest light source. It has no UV and IR radiation, and EMR have minor figures, since the lamps have small capacities, and the lamp housing partially shields these radiations. The only significant collateral emission that can be attributed to this type is the high level of the blue spectrum in these lamps. And, this level is increased when the coating layer of phosphor on the LED chips degrade. However, this degradation is too slow, due to the technical characteristics of the lamps. Therefore, while adhering to the proper distribution of light by the light colors/temperatures LED lamp can be a reliable and absolutely safe creator of comfort in your home.
Chandelier is an important element of any interior, in which it performs a variety of functions – decorates, emphasizes the style of the interior, gives light and shine. How to transform a room and make it more elegant and luxurious? Sometimes, it is enough to simply hang a beautiful chandelier and the room will start sparkling with new colors.
We offer 4 practical recommendations on how to choose the right chandelier:
Find the right style
When choosing the style of the chandelier, you need to consider the overall style of the interior, and to pay special attention to the colors and shapes.
Chandelier should match the style of the interior, in which you choose to arrange the room. Today the range of chandeliers and lamps is unusually wide. Classic chandeliers with few lamps, decorated with crystal pendants or colored glass, that have metal or bronze frame are perfect for the living and dining rooms. Fixtures with geometric shapes, with frosted glass and metal or plastic elements are suitable for rooms in a modern or high-tech style. To create an eclectic interior, designers recommend for traditional set of furniture to choose a chandelier in fusion style to make the interior more bright and original.
Select the appropriate size
When choosing a chandelier it is good to consider the dimensions of the room in which it will be installed in order not to overload the interior appearance or vice versa not to make the chandelier itself look too small on background of the large space. Proportionality is not the only factor that plays the role, functionality is also important – the brightness of the lamps and their number should be sufficient to cover the entire room.
The size of the chandelier should be selected based on the following parameters: diameter, height and number of arms. Interior designers use a certain formula, which allows calculating the optimal diameter of the chandelier. It is based on the parameters of the room in feet:
Width of the room (ft.) + Length of the room (ft.) = Diameter of the chandelier (inch)
For example, the diameter of the chandelier in the room that is 13 feet wide and 17 feet long should be 30 inches.
To find a chandelier with enough light, it is advisable to use this table:
Generally accepted norms of illumination for rooms with a ceiling height of up to 10 ft.
|Premises where used dimmed light||Bedroom||.9-1.2W per square foot|
|Premises where used average light level||WC, Office, Kids bedroom||1.4-1.7W per square foot|
|Room with bright lighting||Living room||2W per square foot|
Determine the color of the chandelier
For the chandelier, designers recommend choosing the color that is “second” in the interior. This tip is classic, but quite arbitrary; it all depends on the general concept of the design and color scheme in certain premises. For traditional interior, with lots of textures and details, you can give the preference to the chandelier in warm shades.
Select the type of the chandelier
Next, you need to select the type of chandelier – hanging or ceiling. Thus it is necessary to take into account the height of the ceilings, the material and the decoration of the ceiling, and the ability to install and operate the lamp in terms of safety. If the chandelier was purchased for the living room, office or bedroom, where the ceiling height is 8-10 feet, it is recommended to hang the chandelier in the way that the distance floor-to-chandelier will be about 6.5-7.5 feet. If living room has high ceiling, where the distance from the floor to the ceiling is more than 10 feet, then the distance floor-to-chandelier depends more on aesthetic considerations than on practical purposes. In rooms with low ceiling, it is best to give preference to near-ceiling chandeliers.
Today, beautiful chandeliers available to everyone, the selection in stores is overwhelming. When choosing a chandelier you should be guided not only by the advice of designers, but also by your own tastes, because it is important that the owner would feel comfortable in every room in the house, and the chandelier should be an eye-pleasing decoration that attracts admiring glances.