Homes come in all shapes and sizes, but the one room which seems to always be the main focal point is the kitchen area. This is largely due to the kitchen being a place where families gather; where home meals are cooked and coffee and gossip is enjoyed between friends. In a way, the kitchen is the heart and soul of a property and we often define it by its welcoming appearance.
We understand that quality lighting changes the way we feel about our home. Lighting can have many benefits, which affect us both physically and mentally, and so it's extremely important that when we plan for projects which feature LED strips, we plan for something which truly reflects the home-owners personality and aesthetic preferences.
There are many tips and tricks when it comes to lighting the kitchen via LED technology, as well as the types of strips and bulbs on the market. Whether you go for LED Strips or Downlights, the selection process is generally the same in terms of how we supply controls and power supplies. Selecting the right mood, however, is a different matter altogether. And so, we'll give you some examples of what to consider, when it comes to creating bright and cheerful environments or the more subtle mood effect.
A common sight in modern kitchens, LED Downlights - otherwise known as Spotlights - provide an appealing alternative to the common household bulb. However, down-lights work a little differently and care should be taken when installing them, as their very direct beam angles can sometimes prove distracting and therefore allowing for angle adjustments becomes more of a necessity. It's preferable to find something which can house the light and provide a means to alter its angle, such as our Ceiling Mount, because they can be guided to light up important areas and in turn bounce the light for greater effect. Using our 12V MR16 CREE LED Downlights requires the DMX 512 RGBW 4 Channel Controller. If you are using Home Automation hardware, such as the Lutron Homeworks QS, these lights can be successfully operated via this route.
Of course, being a kitchen means accidents can happen and it's important to consider whether or not you will need added protection against water spillage. Generally speaking, LED strips rated IP00 are quicker to cool down and therefore can dissipate heat faster. They are the most reliable type of LED Strip on the market but they do come with a caveat: they are not protected against elements such as dust and water. IP65-rated strips, however, do afford protection against dust and water splashes. It's important to note that this doesn't mean that they are waterproof, only that they can tolerate light splashes. Once you take this into consideration, you can tailor your room to your exact needs, even mixing and matching IP ratings to suit. For example, you may only want the perimeter of a sink lining, in which case IP65 would be ideal.
Considering which temperature to go for in a kitchen often comes down to personal preference, although typically Natural White, whether its Single Colour or RGBW, is often a solid go-to choice, as its 4000 Kelvin replicates as closely as possible natural daylight, which forms the core of any bright and cheerful environment.
If you intend to control your dimming via remote control units, you will need to wire your LED strips to an LED Controller, which in turn must be paired to a Remote Control. All LED tape additionally requires its own Power Supply (Non-Dimmable Driver) - meaning dimming is achieved via remote.
If you are considering dimming straight from the mains (Single Colour Strips only) then you ignore the controllers and go straight for a Mains Dimmable Driver. For more information on how Mains Dimming works, please refer to our Mains Dimming Guide.
Tips for Units:
A popular choice around the kitchen is to provide lighting around cabinets. Sometimes, little more than 4.8 ~ 7.2 Watts per metre is required, as they can serve as much as perfect mood lighting as they do at being practical. Of course, if you are planning to dim your lights, then selecting a strip around 14.4 Watts per Metre, will allow you to go from very bright to very dim. If it's enough to get around the kitchen without having to turn all main lights on, this can equally prove to be energy efficient. It's worth being creative with LED tape, so work with trying to use it as an up-light to create a larger wash effect and therefore making access to cupboards much easier as well. The trick is not to create any negative shadows but with a good designer, this is easily achievable.
A common request we receive is from people wanting to light the perimeter of their island, which is often the central gathering point of many modern kitchen designs. This not only makes for an attractive display, it also distributes light across the floor - more significantly on tiles - to create a comforting and accessible space. Due to LED strips coming in all different types, the amount of LEDs per metre can cause them to display different effects. The more LEDs per metre on your strip means that they are more densely packed and will provide smoother light. The less LEDs per metre, means that spotting may occur and as such - if they are housed very low to the ground - some unwanted shadowing may occur. It's therefore worth considering placing a Recessed LED Profile under your island, which allows a smoother diffusion. You can find our range of LED profiles HERE.
There are no limits when it comes to LED tape supplies. If you can imagine it, you can create it. From floating effects to layering your designs, the flexibility of our LED strips, along with their long life-spans and high-efficiency affords many exciting opportunities for you to come away with your dream kitchen display.
The above advice is but just a small example of what can be achieved and how important it is to think through every aspect of your design carefully. Our team is always happy to provide further assistance; while it's paramount that you have your own lighting designers and installers on hand, we can provide the best possible supplies to match your needs and discuss what kind of ranges might be most beneficial to you.
If you have a kitchen project in mind and would like to discuss more, you can email us to firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 020 3322 9192.
We look forward to assisting you.