When planning a kitchen lighting scheme it can be easy to focus entirely on the present. If you come to replace your kitchen or renovate what you have, the likelihood is that you are going to have your new kitchen for many years to come, so it’s important to think to the future and future-proofing your lighting.
Future-proofing your lighting ensures that the time and money you put into your scheme when you buy it will work as hard as it can for you for many years to come. LED lighting has an extremely long lifespan and can last over 16 years; why not get it right first time?
The way you use your lighting today is not necessarily the same as it will be 10 years from now, which is why future-proofing will ensure no hassle when the time comes. There are many factors at play here, so let’s break down a few reasons your requirements may adjust over time.
It’s widely understood that, as we age, our eye sight deteriorates. After we pass the age of 40 it becomes harder to focus on objects up close because of presbyopia. This is loss of focusing ability due to hardening of the lens inside of the eye. As a result it is important to ensure task lighting areas are sufficiently bright and the correct colour temperature to allow for this change in the future. It may be easy to see the vegetables you’re chopping up today in a dimly light kitchen, but in years to come you may wish you had installed more effective under cabinet lights!
It’s also important to consider areas in the kitchen that may become more difficult to see in the future that are often overlooked when not properly considered. Areas such as in cabinet lighting and drawer lighting are incredibly helpful when lit and can allow us more efficient and seamless use of our kitchens now and in the future. If you have deep cupboards that are difficult to see, put some in cabinet lights with a sensor in that shine light across the space to the very back. This allows you to always see everything in your cupboards, even when it’s dark outside. Drawer lighting is great for deep drawers where we often strain to see to the furthest corners of the unit. Add a drawer light and you will never have to struggle to see what’s inside again!
Our Business Development Manager John Craig comments: “I can speak from personal experience about eyesight affecting your kitchen lighting. At the ripe old age of 57, my eyesight is definitely not what it once was and it’s no longer easy for me to differentiate between the jar of Decaf Coffee and the standard coffee (amongst other things), nor is it good enough for when I decide that to start chopping up food just like the top chefs do on TV. I can no longer rely on my God given faculties. I replaced my kitchen 15 years ago (prior to my time in KBB Lighting industry, I hasten to add) when my approach to it was very much a case of “Oh yeah and I will need some lighting, too”. And now here I am, 15 years on, having to retrofit lots more task lighting to help me with my chopping and food preparation skills. What a difference that has made in itself. However, the other less considered element is that of internal lighting and that’s even more difficult to retrofit, but with the use of profiles and LED Tapes and drawer lights etc I now have kitchen that is fit for purpose.”
One aspect of life that can often change and, with it, alter the way we use our kitchens is our families. As people age, children grow and new members of the family are added, the way we interact with our kitchens also has to adapt.
For example, a couple moving into a new home may choose to replace their kitchen and put a few bright ceiling lights in with under cabinet lights and think this is sufficient for their current needs. Fast forward a few years and they may have just had a new baby. When coming down in the middle of the night to prepare food for the baby it would surely be of huge benefit to have the ability to switch on low and soft ambient lighting, rather than nothing but bright task lights to really give them a 3am shock! The option to switch between dim mood lighting and every day task lights is something that can become a must-have in a lot of situations like this.
Another example is when families move from young parents with young children to a family with teenagers or young adults. This may see the kitchen area become more of a social space, with the children spending time in there with their own friends, parents hosting dinner parties and the family spending days in there all together. This kitchen would need much more than just task lights, it would need soft lights for morning and evening times, the ability to alter the lights using smart technologies, perhaps even the option to change the colour temperature based on the mood of the event. Planning kitchen lighting as effectively as you can really transforms the space and allows it to transition from moment to moment.
In recent years there are more and more new technologies that are revolutionising the way that we do everything in our homes. Gone are the days when every light in the house is controlled by one wall switch. Nowadays, everything is controlled by smart devices, apps or remote controls. At TLW, our range of control options are extensive and up-to-date with current technologies. Considering how to control your lights will save you time and often money in the future, as having better control of your lights will reduce the amount of time they are left on without being used.
Sensors are another fantastic way of saving money on energy bills. Install in cabinet or drawer lighting with a sensor and this will automatically go off when the door/drawer closes, ensuring no waste of energy when the lighting is not in use.
Inspiring lighting from TLW