How To Choose LED Downlights for Kitchen?

Designing a lighting theme for the kitchen can be a daunting process. You’d need to strike a perfect balance between practicality and aesthetics. Otherwise, it’ll result in subpar lighting, no matter how fancy the downlights you use are.

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Here we’ve sorted out an easy approach to help you choose the ideal LED downlights for the kitchen. Let’s dive into it. 

Modern LED Kitchen Lighting

How To Choose LED Downlights for The Kitchen? Step by Step

A lot goes into the proper design and installation of downlights. You can either do it yourself or hire a licensed contractor. Nonetheless, getting familiar with the process will help you make better decisions. 

Step 1) Analyze Your Space 

First, you must analyze the space for a particular lighting scheme that best compliments the kitchen. If the house is under construction, then you are in luck.  You can easily include new spaces for construction housings. This will give you room to design and customize lighting for the area.

However, older houses come with certain limitations. For old constructions, your best bet is to use retrofit LED downlights, which are cheap and easily available.

Step 2) Lighting Design 

The next step is similar to the first one. You need to define the theme for kitchen lighting. Want it to be strictly utilitarian? Or you desire something comfortable for cooking and enjoying a meal with family and friends.

Thanks to modern adjustable LED downlights, you can have multiple color temperatures and brightness levels with a single fixture enabling you to target multiple themes simultaneously.

There’re several approaches to lighting designs, such as ambient, accent, and task lighting. We’ve listed some exciting lighting ideas later in later sections.  

Step 3) Select the Suitable Type

Now that you have a basic theme, it’s time to go through different types of downlights. Downlights come in many shapes and sizes. Thankfully, there aren’t many restrictions regarding safety ratings, like in bathroom lighting. 

LED recessed downlights for kitchen
kitchen downlights

If you want to upgrade the old lighting, then MR16 low-voltage LED lamps are the way to go. There are also many fixture design options available for LED downlights. Surface-mounted, recessed, pendant and square-shaped downlights are popular these days.  

Step 4) Calculate the Required Lighting

First, you must estimate the amount of illumination required in your kitchen. Typically, kitchen lights are brighter than any other room. To make an educated guess, you must know some lighting terms. 

Lumen (lm)

Luminous flux (lumen) is the amount of light emitted per second by a source of one candela over a certain solid angle. In simpler terms, the greater the lumen, the greater the light is. Be aware that lamps consuming the same power(wattage) can have different lumen values. 

Foot Candle (fc)

Footcandle refers to illumination created by a source of one candela over the length of one foot. 

1 fc = 1 lumen per sq. ft= 10.764 lux

Experts divide the lighting requirement for a kitchen into two areas. First is the general area, used for doing ordinary chores or enjoying a meal if spacious enough.

Second is the cooking area which is a space for practical work. General lighting requires less lumen, typically in the range of 30 to 40 lm, and for cooking, 70 to 80 lm is recommended.

Start by calculating the dimensions of the kitchen. Simply measure the length and width of the kitchen and multiply it to get the area in square feet (sq. ft). 

Multiply the area with 70 fc to get the number of lumens required for the cooking area in the kitchen.

Now divide the answer by the lumen rating of a typical LED downlight, and you’ll know the number of fixtures required. 

Let’s say your kitchen is 8 ft wide and 10 ft long. So, the minimum number of lumens required for good lighting is (8*10)*70= 5600 lumens.  A 24V LED downlight typically emits 950 lm, so your kitchen needs 5 to 6 (5600/950) LED downlights. 

You can also play it smart and add task lighting for the cooking area separately, as this will reduce the total number of downlights to light the area.  

Step 5) Right Color Temperature 

Color temperature plays an important role in setting the tone of the kitchen. Since most active work, like cooking, happens in the kitchen, you need clear visibility. A warm white to cool white (3500 K to 4500K) color temperature range works best in the kitchen area.  Ensure all your downlights have the same color temperature to avoid uneven lighting.

color temperature
color temperature

Step 6) Proper Placement 

Even if you nail everything else without proper placement, the downlights will fail to deliver adequate lighting.

A downlight should be placed 3 to 4 feet away from the wall. In the case of kitchen cabinets, the distance should be taken from the cabinet front. 

Between the downlights, there should be 2 to 3 feet. By doing this, proper wall washing and focal point can be achieved. 

If there is a ceiling fan, avoid placing the downlight above it to avoid unnecessary chopping of the light beam. 

Step 7) Manage Your Budget 

A high price doesn’t always mean better quality. IP65-rated downlights are pricier, though they offer more protection. According to most zonal regulations, a rating of IP20 to IP44 works best for the kitchen. Not to mention they’re also cheaper. 

Another way to get more lighting with fewer fixtures is by properly placing the downlights in the kitchen. With proper placement, there won’t be unnecessary shadows and dark areas.

Compare different vendors and select the one providing the best value.  You would also require the help of a licensed electrician if the lighting design needs a complete remodeling of the place. 

Recommended Downlight Lighting Designs for Kitchen 

Kitchen lighting needs a keen eye to utilize all the features fully. Here we have discussed different lighting designs for your inspiration. 

Ambient Lighting 

Ambient lighting sets the right mood using colors, brightness, and temperatures. A kitchen may serve multiple purposes, like dining and cooking. So it might be tricky to set a particular theme that suits both scenarios. Thankfully, this becomes easy with LEDs as you can choose from a vast color range.

kitchen ambient lighting
kitchen ambient lighting

LED ambient light allows you to adjust the color temperatures and brightness. A warm white color temperature is perfect to fit the kitchen as it’s not too bright or mellow.

Pendants and chandelier downlights work great, especially if installed above a kitchen island and dining area. 

Accent Lighting 

Accent lighting highlights certain features like objects, features, and artifacts. This can be useful in kitchens as there are various features to use, such as cabinets, counters, and windows.

Such lights can also be placed inside the cupboard to create striking contrasts and shadows. Accent downlights will mesmerize your guests right away.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is a must-have for contemporary lighting designs. Such downlights are specifically designed to enhance the cooking experience in the kitchen. By having separate task lighting for cooking, you can design lighting for other kitchen areas without worrying about poor visibility. 

Task lighting can be achieved by surface-mounted or track lights, which come in chic designs. Another way to introduce task lighting is to add downlights under the cabinet. It gives a futuristic look while increasing the visibility for various tasks on the kitchen counter. 

Indirect Lighting 

Indirect lighting works when light fixtures direct light upon a wall or a ceiling, and light bounces off the obstruction and lands on the bottom surface. It creates a smooth wall wash and cool ambiance that is impossible to achieve with normal direct lighting.

kitchen led lights
kitchen led lights

To achieve this effect, you must place the LED lights above cabinets or inside vertical drywall and direct them to the ceiling. The resulting reflection of the light beam from the ceiling will create an indirect lighting effect. 

Combination of Lighting 

Why not combine different styles? And get the best of both worlds. You can combine accent lighting with task and indirect lighting to create an amazing ambiance in your kitchen. All the while using Accent lighting and pendant downlights over the dining area to create a fancy look. 

Final Thoughts

Going through the above-mentioned practical steps, you can surely develop the lightning design that compliments your kitchen. LED downlights work best for lighting up a workspace in the kitchen. Make sure to keep the lighting design practical as well as stylish.

Furthermore, LED downlights may seem like a huge investment, but they last longer and have almost no maintenance costs, unlike halogen bulbs. 

RC Lighting Provides the Best LED Downlights for Kitchen

Once you decide on the lighting theme for the kitchen, it’s natural to search for high-quality downlights. Lucky for you, RC lighting manufactures premium quality LED luminaires and supplies worldwide. 

Our products are made in a high-tech facility under the management of leading experts. Moreover, our vast catalog includes LED recessed lighting, surface-mounted lights, pendant lights, and commercial downlights.

RC lighting also offers customized led products suitable to your project. Each luminaire complies with international standards, making them long-lasting and safe. 

Even with all the amazing features, our products are available at competitive market rates. So hit us up and get your FREE quote NOW! 

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