Know Your Basics
First, you need to know your lighting basics such as what your ideal quality of light should be, your different styles of lighting, and, most importantly, the four elements of lighting.
Quality Of Light
Warmer vs. cooler lighting
Incandescent lighting has the best quality of light, but it’s inefficient at only 10%. LED is more efficient at 90%, and can closely resemble an incandescent light if purchased between 2700-3000 degrees kelvin.
Do not purchase anything over 3,000 degrees kelvin for a kitchen.
3 Most Common Styles Of Lighting
Traditional Style Lighting
Traditional style lighting encompasses classic, timeless designs that are orderly, tranquil, and versatile. It generally includes rich tones, arches, and built-in cabinets with elegant furnishes.
Contemporary Style Lighting
A contemporary style focuses on the look and feel of what’s popular now. Contemporary differs from modern because it adds color and blends a bit of traditional and transitional styles.
Transitional Style Lighting
Transitional style lighting is a combination of traditional and contemporary. It blends vintage styles with modern twists. Aim for unique, bold finishes, appointed features, and interesting shapes.
Whatever your style is, your lighting should complement your design.
Task: The skeleton of your plan as defined by recessed or track and under cabinet lighting
Accent: Highlighting different objects of interest
Decorative: Chandeliers and sconces personalizing the space
Ambient: Up-lighting with sconces, pendants or tape
Having one light to illuminate your entire room is the biggest misconception in lighting. Your room will have a glare bomb in the middle and no task lighting around the room.
Decorative lighting cannot and should not be the only source of lighting to light your room.
Here is the good news. You only need to worry about the kitchen and bath as I said before.
However, since we combined the kitchen and formal dining room into one space, we have more to light, especially if you have a kitchen island in the middle. In larger rooms, you need more light.
You can have a decorative sconce to up-light the ceiling for two elements at once. Under-cabinet lighting can provide task lighting for your counters and accent lighting throughout your kitchen.