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The best kitchen lighting – and how to achieve it.

 

Light – it affects your mood and whole ambience of a room. Glaring, bluish light makes us feel uncomfortable, sometimes even stressed. Dimmed, warm lighting, by contrast, meets our need for comfort and cosiness. That’s why we use low-wattage uplights and light bulbs to immerse our living rooms in twilight reminiscent of a sunset. But what would be the perfect lighting scheme for a kitchen?


The kitchen is the heart of your home; it’s a workplace, but also a social space where family and friends gather. If the kitchen lighting brings memories of flickering fluorescent tubes in a railway station, you’ll be less inclined to spend your time there. Again, if the whole kitchen takes on an ochre tinge, then cooking becomes a chore. If you have to screw up your eyes while slicing vegetables, you’ll know your kitchen is too dark. You need workplace illumination that avoids reflections and shadows, but is also friendly and welcoming.


These requirements are met by the LED (light emitting diode) technology. Especially if you’re concerned with energy efficiency, this is the illuminant of choice – and ideal for modern kitchens. “Stiftung Warentest” (a German consumer protection organisation) sums it up: “LED lights use a little current to generate a lot of light. They consume just 1.2 to 8.6 W. By contrast, an equivalent energy-saving lamp consumes 5 to 15 W, a traditional incandescent light bulb as much as 25 to 75 W.”

The small size of the diodes and the minimal heat dissipation give huge scope for designers. The result has been a large variety of lighting designs that offer kitchen manufacturers countless opportunities for deploying these small light sources. Thanks to creative lighting ideas, LEDs have found their way into shelves and kitchen cupboards, pull-outs and drawers and glass display cabinets. And they’ve come to stay. Because their maintenance-free operating life stretches from 50,000 to 100,000 hours depending on the manufacturer. In addition, LEDs contain neither mercury nor other toxic substances.

 

Author: Hendrik Jürgens

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