How To Choose The Best Light Bulb For The Kitchen
Every room of your home needs to have the correct lighting, but it is very important that you choose the right light bulbs for your kitchen. As the kitchen is a functional room, you need to have lighting that can ensure you complete tasks correctly. There are a number of options when it comes to choosing the best light bulb for your kitchen and a number of factors that you need to consider when looking at kitchen lighting.
Consider The Lighting Function
There are 3 different types of lighting functions that you need to be aware of and 2 of them will directly relate to the kitchen. The different lighting will be ambient or general lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. Accent lighting is one that will not often be used in the kitchen as it is used to highlight particular areas. Accent lighting will often be used to highlight a work of art or to create a shadow over an object for a dramatic effect and these are actions that you will not generally need in your kitchen.
General or ambient lighting is the overall lighting that you have in the room. This will light the entire room and is often considered to be the natural light of the room. To have general lighting, you will need track lights, chandeliers, pendant lights or wall lights that are able to light the entire space of the room.
As the name would suggest, task lighting is used to illuminate an area where there is a specific task being completed such as work or reading. This lighting will generally be used in conjunction with the general lighting to enhance the brightness of the area. Desk lamps and under-cabinet lights are the most commonly used forms of task lighting. Of course, the form that your task lighting will take depends greatly on the layout of the kitchen that you have.
A kitchen will generally have a combination of general and task lighting. The ambient light will often be in the center of the kitchen while the task lighting will be placed lower to illuminate the counter spaces. If possible, you should also consider having task lighting over sinks as this can help with the tasks that you complete there.
Choosing The Right Light Bulbs
Once you know the type of lighting that you are going to have in your kitchen, you need to consider which light bulbs will be the best. As the bulb is the primary source of light, you need to choose on that will work with your kitchen. There are 4 different types of light bulbs that you need to know about and consider for your kitchen lighting.
The first type of light bulb is the incandescent which is the most traditional of the light bulbs. These bulbs have been in use for decades, but they are being phased out by many people and replaced with more energy efficient bulbs. Incandescent lights will create a warm and glowing light, but will need to be replaced more regularly than some of the other options.
Compact fluorescent bulbs or CFLs will use 75% less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb and will last longer. The light they emit will generally be a cooler tone, but it is possible to find a range of brightness levels. It is important to note that these light bulbs do contain mercury in small amounts and this means that they will need to be handled and disposed of more carefully than incandescent bulbs.
LED lights are just as energy efficient as CFLs, but they can last up to 3 times longer. If you are going to have task lighting in your kitchen, you need to consider LEDs for these setups. These bulbs will provide a harsh direct light, but they have come a long way in terms of the different brightness levels available. LED lights often have a similar look to incandescent, but they are not as hot to the touch, are more efficient and will last longer. The primary issue with these light bulbs is that they will be more expensive.
Halogen bulbs can also be used if you are looking for a bright white light which is similar to daylight. Halogen bulbs are also ideal for task lighting and they will use up to 20% less energy than an incandescent bulb.
There are other types of bulbs that you could look at, but they will be less common and harder to replace. As your kitchen is a functional area, you may not want to put in any of these uncommon bulbs. The lighting they provide may not be as good as the more common types and kitchen lights often need to be replaced more frequently than other lights.
Brightness And Appearance
When looking at kitchen lighting, you need to consider the brightness and appearance of the light. Brightness in light bulbs is measured in lumens and the more lumens a bulb has the brighter it will be. Generally, a home bulb will be around 800 lumens, but different rooms do require different levels of brightness. For your kitchen, you should be looking at between 5000 and 10000 lumens in total. This is a general estimate and the actual amount you need could vary depending on the size and lighting setup of your kitchen.
The appearance of the light will be measured in Kelvin, but most light bulb boxes will talk about the color of the light. Soft white and warm white bulbs will measure 2700 Kelvin and are best for bedrooms and living rooms where a cozy feel is needed. Bright white and cool white measure 4100 Kelvin and are ideal for kitchens, bathrooms and garages where a more energetic feel is required. Daylight bulbs measure at 5000 to 6000 Kelvin and should be used in the kitchen, basement and bathrooms where tasks need to be completed.
Choosing the best light bulb for your kitchen is important because you need to have enough light. You should look at the different types of bulbs as well as the brightness and the appearance.