How to use LED Downlights in a Kitchen?
Your kitchen is one of the essential rooms in the house. It's the place where your sumptuous meals come from (if not from an online delivery service!) the kitchen. Therefore, good lights are a must-have in the kitchen space. Here, I will take you through tips and tricks that will come in handy as you plan the general and ambient lighting design for your kitchen.
So, read on, and you'll know you can use LED downlights in your kitchen and enjoy the dramatic transformation that will last a lifetime!
Choosing the right color temperature
As you read in the above section, LED downlights serve a dual-purpose, i.e., they provide ambient and general lighting in the kitchen. When considering ambient lighting applications, try and find a downlight that offers a color temperature of 2700Kelvins to 3000kelvins. Since the 2700k- 3000k band corresponds to a warm white ambiance, the lights will provide a nostalgic lighting effect to the kitchen space. However, if you plan to install a downlight fixture for general lighting purposes, go for the 4000k0r 6500k variants, as they provide a cool white and daylight white ambiance, respectively.
How many LED Downlights will you need for the kitchen?
The number of downlights you'll need for the kitchen depends on the application, wattage, and lumen output ratings of the fixtures you choose. However, here's a handy way to approximate the number of downlights you will need:
Calculate the kitchen’s area (length X width) in feet – for example: 8ft X 15ft = 120 square feet
Multiply the resultant area by the lighting factor: In general, it is 2.5 for kitchens.
For example:120 square feet X 2.5 = 300 Watts
Later, divide the calculated Wattage by the equivalent Wattage of the bulbs that you'll be installing. Doing so will tell the number of bulbs you will need.
For example, 300 Watts ÷ 45 Watts = 6.1
Thus, you will need around 6 or 7 downlights for the project.
Where should you Position LED downlights in the kitchen?
Focus on the Focal points
Evaluate which areas of your kitchen need more light than the rest of the room, and deal with them before shifting your brain towards other points. Your kitchen counter needs adequate lighting. Therefore, start by devising a lighting design with your kitchen counter as the focal point.
Installing the downlights on the kitchen ceiling edges is one of the most fool-proof ways to nail the lighting design. Furthermore, ensuring a minimum gap of 75cm between the individual downlights and the edge of your ceiling allows a patch-free and even lighting effect while offering a sense of larger space!
The light from a downlight fixture falls downwards and in a conical shape. In general, the beam angles (conical light patterns)should intersect above the floor to ensure a well-lit kitchen. A common practice involves calculating the spacing between downlights beforehand. For the calculation, you will have to divide ceiling height by two and assume the separation distance.
Significance of the Color Rendering Index (CRI) and Lumen output of a lighting fixture
The CRI of any lighting fixture is the measure of how accurate (or sharp) do various colors appear under its illumination. CRI is a scale that spans from 0-100 and is useful in figuring out an artificial light source's lighting-quality, such as metal halide bulbs or LED downlights. Therefore, a high CRI correlates to better illumination and vice-versa. In general, you should go for lights that provide a CRI above 80. (which is common with today's LED lighting fixtures.)
The lumen output of any fixture is the accurate measure of its lighting intensity. When considering super-bright indoor illumination, choose an institution that provides a higher lumen output. Whereas, if you are up to installing lights that allow a subtle lighting effect, install fixtures that offer a lower lumen output.
Today, LED downlight fixtures are available in several designs, styles, lumen outputs, and wattage options. Therefore, it should be relatively easy for you to find an institution that offers the desired lighting effect. Since LED fixtures provide a longer lifespan than the traditional metal halide or fluorescent designs, you'll be glad to install them!