The secret to great cabinet lighting - Lifestyle AU
The secret to great cabinet lighting

The secret to great cabinet lighting

Australians have been spending more time in their kitchens over the last few years, partly due to lockdowns and the increased time spent in the home. People have been using the opportunity to fine-tune different aspects of their kitchens and cabinet lighting has emerged as one of the most popular areas to improve.

Words by Yohei Guy

The great thing about cabinet lighting is that it's one of the simplest kitchen updates you can make in terms of installation. The key to success is thinking about it in the context of functionality and style. With a few additional features thrown in on top of this, you'll be on your way to creating the perfect cabinet lighting setup for your home.

Cabinet and under cabinet lighting utilised with style at Tuerong in Mornington Peninsula - Photography by: Janis House Photography

Think about cabinet lighting applications

The first step in cabinet lighting design is to spend some time and think about your personal goals for redesigning your cabinet lighting.

Are you looking to overhaul the general mood of your kitchen? Ambient lighting done well will make you feel like you've got a whole new kitchen.

Or are you looking for better task lighting?

Getting clear on the intended usage for your new lighting will help decide what kind of lighting fixtures will best suit your needs. If you're looking to improve the ambient lighting in your kitchen, for instance, an LED light would be a good pick. If lighting is more task-focused, then some sort of spotlight might work better.

Consider backlighting

Furniture doesn't have to be strictly functional and cabinetry can be as decorative as it is functional.

Updating your lighting design can even help them excel at both.

If you've got glass-fronted cabinets, you might consider adding some sort of backlight to add some instant elegance to your interior design. Bonus points if you've got some nice glassware you're able to show off.

Your kitchen will feel somewhere between an art gallery and an upscale cocktail bar with one simple touch! If you want to get really classy you could back your cabinets with some sort of coloured glass or mirror, as well, creating an instant conversation piece with your guests.

Domus Line - D Motion Flexyled SEH4 Changeable White from the Furnware Group

Choose adjustable lighting

One of the joys of redoing your lighting design is how versatile lighting fixtures can be. If you plan it correctly, updating your kitchen's lighting can completely change the mood and atmosphere.

Many modern lighting fixtures have multiple light settings. Even something as simple as having two modes - bright and dim - can make your kitchen space much more versatile.

Of course, modern lighting can be adjusted in more interesting and creative ways than a simple dimmer switch. Smart lights are innovative and endlessly inspiring. They offer the best of all worlds with the ability to switch between a psychedelic light show and crystal clear bright white light when it's time to cook.

Don't forget utility

Aesthetics are a wonderful reason for updating cabinet lighting. It's not the only reason, though. The ability to use your cabinets and kitchens more effectively and efficiently easily justifies a redesign of your kitchen lighting.

Perhaps you're not able to read the packaging inside your cabinets very well, for instance. Something as simple as LED strip lights can brighten up your cabinet's interiors so you can read all of your boxes, packets and canned goods.

Under cabinet lights at a private residence in Curl Curl - Photography: Barton Taylor Photography

Give cabinets their own switches

Not every light needs to be on at all times. Giving cabinet lighting their own switch lets you make the most of your lighting design. It even helps you to make the most of your kitchen.

Imagine you're about to retire for the evening. If you rely on a master switch, you'll be plunged into pitch blackness the second you turn off the lights. If you need to turn them on again in the middle of the night, you'll be left squinting and half-blind.

If you've got a dedicated light switch for your cabinets, you can leave your cabinet lights on throughout the night. You'll be left with a cosy ambient light that's bright enough so you won't stumble but dim enough to not wake you up entirely.

Using your cabinets and kitchens more effectively and efficiently easily justifies a redesign of your kitchen lighting.

Use lighting to define areas

Our homes are increasingly modular, especially with work-from-home and remote work scenarios. It's not at all uncommon for an area to moonlight as an eating space, work desk, conference room, and hobby station.

Lighting is an easy way to subdivide your kitchen, making it usable and useful for a variety of uses and tasks. Cabinet lighting can not only provide illumination for tasks like getting glasses or mugs in the middle of the night but it can also provide visual depth to a room.

You may, for instance, choose stronger bulbs for your cabinet lights, acting as a form of accent lighting to highlight the contents within like stemware or other ornamental items.

Shining a light on glassware at a private residence in Bondi - Photography: Thilo Pulch - Pulch Photography

Some great cabinet lighting ideas to rejuvenate your kitchen

Updating your cabinet lighting is one of the easiest, most efficient, and cost-effective ways to rejuvenate your kitchen. You'll see your living space in a whole new light, inspiring you to make the most of your space. By following a few simple tips you’ll enhance its functionality and style, creating the kitchen of your dreams.

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