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What to consider when lighting your new Kitchen or bathroom

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

Lighting has a language all its own. 3,000K? CRI? Kelvin? Color Temperature? Can lighting? What does it all mean?

Lighting can make or break the design of a space. If you took the same space, one illuminated properly, one not, the difference would astound you. Lets break down lighting basics for your next project.

LED vs Incandescent. In California the efficiency of your light fixtures affects your plans and permits. You must use high efficacy lighting in your kitchen and bath per Title 24 regulations. With that said, LED offers a high efficiency light option versus an incandescent light(your standard Edison light bulb for example). LED can cost a little more. However, the cost savings on the consumption and the longer life of those lights usually makes up for the cost. Are all LED's the same? no, quality can vary depending on the manufacture. We usually recommend you use only name brand LED lighting. There are other factors to consider in LED lighting as we will discuss below.

CRI - Color Rendering index - the ability to render the color red. The index ranges from 1-100. The higher the CRI number the better. A lower CRI(70-80) tends to make the space look flat and grayish. A higher CRI(92+) is preferred.

Color Temperature. A warm white light will be in the 2,700 kelvin range(candle light is in the 2,400k range). Neutral white is 3,200-3,500K, while 4,000K+ will appear bright white(think fluorescent). The lower the color temperature the better the ability to render red. We usually recommend 2,700-3,000k for residential interiors.

Can lighting is simply what recessed ceiling lights are referred to as. They can sometimes seem like a bad word of sorts to design purists. We believe that a properly illuminated space will be a blend of can lighting, indirect lighting(under counter lights) an other decorative lighting. Cans should be smaller in scale for a residence. We usually will recommend 4" inch cans as they are commonly available and a better scale.

More lighting information to come on future posts. Let us know if you have any questions.

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