Lighting Styles

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Kitchen Lighting Ideas: We are here to help

Ahh, the humble kitchen! Once a room reserved purely for food preparation, the kitchen is now the hub of our homes and an integral space for our day-to-day lives. The kitchen is now the place for socialising over a glass of wine, supervising homework, eating meals, working from home, relaxing with a coffee, and of course cooking! With the changing times, our kitchens are having to work much harder to serve our busy lives and be adaptable and intuitive to how we use them. Your kitchen's lighting is central to this! In choosing to incorporate different lighting styles into our kitchens, such as a mixture of spotlights, feature pendant lighting, and under-cabinet lighting, your kitchen can be adapted to suit everything from an impromptu instagram photo shoot, to cosy low-level lighting for a glass of red in the evening.

Not only do our kitchens now need carefully thought through lighting to help us to use the space for any number of activities, but the aesthetics of our kitchens have also changed. The rise of the kitchen island is a perfect example of how our lighting requirements have altered regarding aesthetics. Where a set of spotlights may have done the job smartly 10 years ago, now, feature lighting above a kitchen island is a design must and serves as the centrepiece of the modern desirable kitchen!

Scroll to the bottom of this page for further advice and kitchen lighting tips.

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Downlights - low voltage or mains?

Downlights - low voltage or mains?

When you have no knowledge of lighting it is difficult to know whether you should install low voltage or mains downlights. We are often asked the question and give the following advice.

So, why would you choose low voltage (12 volt) or mains voltage (220-240 volt) downlights? The simple answer is they are both great ways to illuminate an area however there are some important differences to consider when deciding which option to choose. 

Remember low voltage does not mean low energy – it is simply converting mains voltage down to a lower volt.  If you require low energy then you could choose a mains LED or CFL.

Major Differences
Apart from the voltage, there are some important differences between the two types of light which may help you decide on which is the best for you. You may have noticed from our website we offer our downlights in both mains and LV versions. The fittings look identical as the same castings are used for both. It is the type and quality of light they give which is the most noticeable difference. Low voltage dichroic halogen lamps will make the colours in decoration more prominent and give a better definition to paintings, pictures and objects. Mains voltage halogen provides a good overall spread of quality functional light for general purpose lighting.

You will also find with LV lamps that there is less heat, this is because the heat is directed backwards whilst GU10 (mains) lamps give out heat forwards.  Low voltage is great for commercial environments when the lights will be on for long periods of time.

Replacement mains halogen lamps can cost nearly twice the price of LV lamps yet can have half the expected lamp life.  LV downlights however require a transformer so whilst you win on some aspects you lose on others!

Mains lamps last on average 2,000 to 2,500 hours whilst low voltage last on average 3,000 to 5,000 hours.  Both consume approximately the same amount of electricity however the 50w LV halogen lamp gives out approximately 20% more light than the 50w Mains lamp.

Mains lamps are available in 35 and 50 watt versions and LV 20, 35 and 50 watt.

Mains lamps are available in 25 and 36 degree beam angles, LV beam angles are 12, 24, 38 and 60 degree – depending on availability and the manufacturer.

A transformer like all electronic products, can occasionally fail, our transformers are sold with a guarantee for peace of mind. Mains lamps do not require a transformer which reduces the initial purchase price.

Both LV and mains downlights are dimmable however with the mains option you need to allow an extra 25% capacity in your dimmer unit. A 400w dimmer can run only 6 x 50w Mains lamps. Although you also need to leave some extra capacity in your dimmer with LV say 10%.  Please note you must check your dimmer unit is capable of running low voltage transformers.

In summary:

Mains voltage - cheaper initially as no transformer is required.  Lamps last potentially less hours but are cheaper than the LV option but will give more heat and when the blow (fail) they may trip the MCB board.  Lamps are less awkward to change than LV.

Low voltage – more expensive as a transformer is required (which may fail in the future) but LV have a long lamp life and give out less heat.  More than 20% more light is output with LV.

Our Advice
Ultimately the decision is yours but hopefully this information has been helpful.  If pushed we would always, if possible, suggest using mains voltage downlights only when it is not possible to use low voltage. Either way, please always employ a qualified electrician to do the work.

If you still require advice please call our sales team who will happily assist you.

3 Easy Ways to Modernise your Kitchen Lighting

3 Easy Ways to Modernise your Kitchen Lighting

Always felt like your kitchen’s a little gloomy? Maybe you want more modern lighting to match your new units? Well below we’ll talk you through the proper way to design your kitchen lighting along with a few secrets to really make it shine.  

Standard kitchen lighting has always left us wanting more, after all the kitchen is now the centre of the home; most people eat in the kitchen, watch TV and chat around the table as well as cooking, and our range of modern kitchen lighting reflects this, we need versatility for such an important room.

The kitchen is one of the few rooms that requires real task lighting, so while these fittings really brighten up the place, they also need to look great. So presuming you already have the basic downlights, what else can we use?

Under Cabinet Lighting

So in all good kitchens you need a well-lit work surface, and under cabinet lights brighten up that area that’s normally overlooked by downlights. This helps with food prep, storage and adds some real depth to your counter-tops, making them appear bigger. The fittings below offer a versatile range suitable for any space.

Linear LED Under Cabinet Lights IP44 RAted Under Cabinet Lights Surface Mounted Slim LED Under Cabinet Light

Plinth Lighting

That board running along the bottom of your cupboards, where they meet the floor, is the plinth. It offers a brilliant way of lighting the floor space as well as adding some ambience for dinner parties and romantic meals. Things down here are a little more creative, there’s colour changing lights, eyelid lights, and tiny little LED markers.

Plinth LED Light KIt Eyelid Round LED Plinth Light Kit Square LED Plinth Lights

Breakfast Bar Pendants

Every interior designers dream right now! With the resurging popularity of breakfast bars these hanging pendants offer the perfect statement piece in a new kitchen. Vibrant colours and interesting shapes can really complete a look, and in a minimalist space the splash of colour can really set it off. These normally hang low, around a metre above the bar surface, so just keep in mind big fittings can block the view, but use this to your advantage to divide up open plan rooms.

Classic Metal Bullet Pendant Light Rise And Fall Scandinavian Pendant Opal Glass Pendant White Gloss

 

And there you have it, follow these 3 steps and your kitchen will be bright, beautiful and look straight out of an interior designers' dream. Need more advice or looking for some lighting ideas? The Lighting Styles Design Team are always available to offer professional advice to help create your perfect kitchen.

Ready to Install LED Tension Wire Spotlight System - 7 Spots

Ready to Install LED Tension Wire Spotlight System - 7 Spots

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Kitchen lighting - Advice and Guidance

Let us set the scene...

You've dreamt of your perfect kitchen, you've thought about everything from your dream cabinets to your dream kitchen surfaces. But alas, what about lighting? Lighting is a commonly overlooked element of a kitchen's design, however, it is truly essential for completing both the aesthetic, as well as the functionality of your kitchen.

Perhaps you're at the start of a kitchen project and considering feature lighting above your kitchen island. Or perhaps, you've had your dream kitchen fitted and you're struggling with shadows from overhead lighting. Whatever your situation and whatever your kitchen lighting project there are some basic rules which can help you to maximise style and functionality, and minimise potential lighting issues.

There are three main categories of lighting requirements that, when all are considered together, provide the perfect combination of both style and function for your kitchen. These three categories are laid out below and we would always recommend considering mixing more than one lighting type together for your project. Believe us, when your kitchen is finished, you'll be more than glad that you didn't scrimp on just one lighting type and considered all three categories of lighting requirements before jumping in and ordering.

 

Ambient Kitchen Lighting

Ambient lighting is general lighting that is designed to bathe your entire kitchen space in light. This category includes single or multiple pendant lights over a kitchen island or breakfast bar, which is the kind of lighting that many of us do consider (and dream about) when thinking about our kitchen's design. Ambient lighting also includes using spotlights evenly distributed across your ceiling to create a general cast of light reaching across the entire kitchen.

Top Tip! Ambient lighting works best when installed with a dimmer switch to enable you to choose the light level the occasion requires, such as full brightness for cooking, and low-level for a relaxed glass of wine in the evening. 

 

Kitchen Task Lighting

Task lighting is the category of lighting focused on helping you to function in the space. This type of lighting helps you to see when completing tasks and is often incorporated over your sink, cooker, or areas where you will be food prepping and therefore require extra light. Examples of kitchen task lighting that we'd recommend include down lights, under cabinet lighting, and track lighting.

 

Accent Kitchen Lighting

Accent lighting is used to highlight the most beautiful parts of your kitchen, the things you want to show off and that bring you joy. Whether you're thinking of highlighting beautiful cabinetry, a stunning range or AGA, a favourite piece of artwork, or a sculpture poised on open shelves, accent lighting is here to help it shine. This category is vast and can include shelf lights, under-cabinet lighting, kitchen island lighting, pendant lighting, the list goes on!

 

As always, if you'd like any help or advice on your kitchen lighting needs, please do get in touch via phone, email, or our online chat function. We love to hear from you!