Custom Kitchen Lighting… So Many Options for Accents!
As a custom home builder we have had the opportunity to install a wide variety of accent lighting in custom kitchens. Depending on the desires of the customer, home design and home style there are many options for kitchen accent lighting. The five most popular in our experience at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC has been 1) underneath upper kitchen cabinets, 2) above upper kitchen cabinets, 3) hanging light fixtures above kitchen work areas, 4) underneath lower kitchen cabinets, and 5) jam switches.
1) Underneath the Upper Kitchen Cabinets: Often popular in custom kitchens are accent lights hidden underneath the upper kitchen cabinets, these can be hidden by the upper cabinets so that only the light itself is seen reflecting onto the kitchen counter. Fluorescent or halogen light fixtures are great for this area, with a different glow, tone, and warmth offered by each. These lights are usually designed to be powered by one or two light switches in the kitchen so that all of the under cabinet lighting is lit with the power of one switch rather than turning each one on individually.
2) Above the Upper Kitchen Cabinets: Becoming more popular in custom kitchens are outlets located above the upper kitchen cabinets. Some customers opt to locate rope lighting above the kitchen counters, but others install lamps as shown in one of the photos below. These outlets are usually electrically connected to the same under cabinet lighting so that these lights come on with the under counter lighting at the flip of a switch. The warmth created by these lights is incredible especially in large custom kitchens with high ceilings.
3) Hanging light fixtures above kitchen islands: Above work or eating areas such as kitchen islands, hanging light fixtures offer good light for working as well as accent lighting. The fixtures selected often match the home’s style and other lighting fixtures in the home. Often customers will choose to hang one large light fixture above a kitchen island, others will hang two separate light fixtures, or multiple pendant types light fixtures. This depends upon customer choice and the size of the island. Photos below highlight both styles.
4) Under lower kitchen cabinets at floor level: Another recent accent lighting feature that we have installed includes rope lighting at floor level below the lower kitchen cabinets, primarily around kitchen islands. A photo below highlights this awesome feature. A rope light installed at floor level is the ultimate ‘Oh wow’, when designing and planning a custom kitchen. It is still relatively uncommon but adds a special element to the kitchen environment. These light sare usually electrically connected toh a sensor on a wall mounted light switch. This sensor recognizes movement in the kitchen and automatically switches on the light whenever someone enters the kitchen. After a period of time without movement, the lights turn off. These are great night-lights when headed to the kitchen for that late night snack.
5) Pantry door-jam switches: Many of our custom kitchens include a walk-in pantry for plenty of additional storage. These pantries are usually large enough to require its own lighting, so we have frequently installed a light switch in the door jam of a pantry that allows the light to come on automatically when the door is opened, and shut off when the door is closed. This is similar to a refrigerator door light switch, an awesome feature in a custom kitchen pantry.
Photos below highlight some of these features. These lighting features are in addition to general overhead lighting installed in kitchens which can range from canned incandescent to canned halogen lighting.