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Lighting in an open plan kitchen/ diner/ living area

(20 Posts)
SunAtLast Wed 10-Oct-12 17:06:35

My kitchen knock through/ extension is being built. We have been living on microwave food and dust for a few months now and builder has just asked me about lighting. I have no clue. I have only been obsessing over work tops up until now.

Can anyone make good suggestions?

lalalonglegs Wed 10-Oct-12 17:38:20

It sounds like a large space so get several different types of lighting for the different "zones" and different lighting within those zones if possible (ie. in the kitchen area, have task lighting but also something that might show off your nice worktops such as lights under the wall-hung units; in the dining area have pendant lights over the table, for example, plus some softer lamps or wall lights as well). If possible, get the zones on different switches so not all the room needs to to be lit at the same time and get a dimmer switch.

I'm trying to investigate lighting at the moment as I think it is something that it is hard to get right. If you have serious money to spend, then you can get a run of concealed lights around the picture rail or build a recess for them, that looks great. To be honest, the builder should have been asking about this a long time ago.

ilovemydogandMrObama Wed 10-Oct-12 17:40:11

we have down lighters on two switches. It's a dining room and kitchen which we had converted into one, so the kitchen lights are on one switch and what was the dining room lights are on another.

dikkertjedap Wed 10-Oct-12 17:53:23

I would put lots of built in spots, preferably LED

GerMom7 Wed 10-Oct-12 18:00:00

Trying to work out same thing here. If you have a look on channel4.com/houses there's a video by the architect George (can't remember surname) where he discusses lighting in kitchens. It gives lots of good ideas like those of lalalonglegs.
Good luck!

lalalonglegs Wed 10-Oct-12 18:14:45

blush modestly.

FWIW, I think lots of built-in spots looks awful. Sorry dikkert.

SunAtLast Wed 10-Oct-12 18:41:49

So spots in kitchen area.
A row of pendant lights in dining area.
Lamps and a couple of spots or down lighters in living area.
All on different switches with dimmers?

Why should builder have asked before lalalonglegs? They are doing electrics in a fe weeks I think.

SunAtLast Wed 10-Oct-12 18:42:32

Thanks for the suggestions everyone smile

SunAtLast Wed 10-Oct-12 18:43:15

No serious money here I'm afraid. sad

golemmings Wed 10-Oct-12 19:08:34

We've just started our extension (floor goes in tomorrow and they'll be out of the ground before the end of the week. I'm very excited.)

Because its a multi purpose family type kitchen, part with a flat ceiling, part sloping and 3 rsjs that will stick out, I've admitted defeat and I'm paying a couple of hundred pounds for a lighting designer.
It's less expensive to buy her design skills than I thought... Whether she cam do much within the budget remains to be seen!

Yorky Wed 10-Oct-12 19:08:49

We got PP last week for our kitchen diner knock through extension so are a few months behind you.

I saw an episode of 'double your house...' (the Beeny does get up my nose) where they had a raised section in the middle of the ceiling with lights around the edge of it which gave a nice general light without the splodginess of spots which I don't like.

My current idea is to get a large sheet of patterned recycled glass from here and suspend it from the ceiling with 4 or 6 bulbs behind/above it.

I definitely want under cabinet lights, but am not having many wall units to put them under

Can't see the point of plinth lighting, drawer lighting is probably handy but only if you're looking to use up spare in your budget! I like wall lights, but can you have dimmer switches with low energy bulbs?

BerylStreep Wed 10-Oct-12 21:29:56

Yes, you can buy dimmable led spots, but they cost quite a lot.

Friends of ours have this fantastic lighting control unit in their kitchen that are used in bars and hotels - they have about 7 circuits, which are programmable for different moods. We were going to do it in our house, but decided we were spending too much money and didn't go for it in the end - a year on, I really wish we had gone for it. if I recall, it was about £300 (although that may have been wholesale).

Pannacotta Wed 10-Oct-12 21:58:37

I would make sure you get under cabinet light fittings as these are pretty much essential to prevent you working in your own shadow.

Also try and work in lighting above/in front of your sink, if this is going infront of a window then try and mount some spots into a pelmet, again this will prevent you washing up in your own shadow.

Agree about having the fittings on separate circuits and on dimmers and yy to LED spots for kitchen ceiling just dont go too mad too many spots can feel a bit OTT.

sweetmelody Thu 11-Oct-12 08:02:11

Sorry to crash the thread but need advice too! In my open plan kitchen there will be a run of units along a wall, but there won't be any wall units. Almost three metres of pan drawers with the hob in the middle and a chimney extractor above, and tall units/ovens at either end. Since I dont want wall units, how can i light the worktops? I saw a kitchen in a magazine that had small light fittings that were fixed to the wall in the middle of a tiled splashback. Looked alright, but wondered if any alternatives...

lalalonglegs Thu 11-Oct-12 10:22:48

If it's quite a modern kitchen, I'd think about getting some wall-mounted downlighters like this one and fixing them in a very symmetrical row. You could also think about working some sort of pelmet/panel into the design which would be open at the bottom and concealing some rope lights in that. Or you could box out between the ceiling and the wall and fix in a row of spotlights although the light might be quite harsh.

SunAtLast Thu 11-Oct-12 13:36:17

I'm not having cabinets it's all low level drawers plus one big larder cupboard.
I think spots will work best in kitchen area. Thanks for heals link. They have some lovely pendant lights.

lalalonglegs Thu 11-Oct-12 13:42:38

Oops, last suggestions were for sweetmelody. Good luck with your kitchen though smile.

Yorky Thu 11-Oct-12 13:49:57

We're having a breakfast bar between the kitchen and dining areas, would something like this be too much? Looking for a good light for middle-ish of a long room, but not to get in the way of the imaginary friends sitting drinking tea while I create amazing cakes healthy balanced meals grin

Kahlua4me Thu 11-Oct-12 14:01:09

You could ask the electrician to come over and offer his advice. My dh is an electrician and helps customers with their choices as he has completed many kitchens and knows what style works where.
We have open plan kitchen/dining/sitting space with several different types of lighting.
under and over cupboard in kitchen with leds in ceiling
leds and central pendant in dining area
leds in sitting room and wall lights that spread across dining and sitting areas.

I really only use leds if dc are doing craft stuff and homework. They are useful but personally I cant stand them as too bright and show dust too easily!
I love the walllights best as they give off a fab warming light and makes the whole space cosy in the evenings.

sweetmelody Fri 12-Oct-12 08:52:18

That Heal's light is gorgeous, lalalonglegs. I think wall lights either side of the extractor hood is definitely the way forward.

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