Sourcing the White Lights….
We get regular feedback from our customers that, whilst the introduction of LED lighting has added so much flexibility and choice for lighting a kitchen, this can also cause confusion and mistakes you have to live with for some time if you get it wrong. You only have to try and buy a replacement light bulb in your local DIY store to appreciate where the confusion might lie.
There also seems to be a great variance in who actually chooses the lighting in a new kitchen design. Whilst there are a growing number of kitchen retailers that now specify lighting schemes within their designs, there are still many cases where it appears to be the consumer that decides and sources the lighting. Then they contact us in numbers every month to ask for advice to avoid costly mistakes. Many have seen well lit kitchens presented in the home interest magazines, they may have even seen the promotion of new light fittings that they ‘pin’ to their wish list, but when they visit some retailers they are simply offered a standard under cabinet light that the retailer has sold for years and feels confident to sell.
It’s important that when selecting a light fitting, it is fit for purpose and carries the correct IP rating for the area it is to be fitted. If you add to this the plethora of choice in LED colours and beam intensities, it’s not surprising that the consumer can become overwhelmed. The goal must be to train the retailer and give them the confidence to specify the lighting for a kitchen design. It’s important that this is done at an early stage in the planning process so that the result shows off the kitchen design to maximum effect.
At Sensio, we specialise in supplying the Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom market with light fitting solutions. Everything we sell is specifically designed for these rooms, which is imperative because it gives reassurance that these fittings have been tested for the most stringent environments in the home. We also package our fittings, complete with bulbs, colour-coded instructions and the correct drivers included to make it simple to fit and install.
From the experience we have gained over 10 years of selling lighting for the kitchen, here are some easy steps to help you avoid costly mistakes when planning the lighting for your next kitchen project:
(1) Ensure you plan in the lighting at the early stages of a kitchen design so that exposed wiring can be minimised and LED drivers are hidden above the wall units or under the floor cabinets.
(2) Consider lighting in layers. First ‘task’ lighting which is typically under the wall units in a kitchen to illuminate worktops and provide lighting exactly where it is needed for the task of everyday food preparation.
(3) As the kitchen is often used as a social space, the inclusion of more ambient lighting adds atmosphere to the room. Commonly called ‘mood’ lighting, this can feature in several places: along the plinth, as up-lighting above the wall units, beneath a breakfast bar, on the underside of a worktop or inside any glass fronted cabinets.
(4) As incandescent, halogen and fluorescent lights will soon be no longer available, LED lights are the ones to choose. LED Lights are energy efficient as they use between 50-90% less energy and are made from fully recyclable materials. They have a much longer lifespan, generally quoted at around 18 years with an average usage of 8 hours per day. They don’t flicker, they emit no UV emissions, they require less maintenance and are therefore overall a more cost effective option. The initial higher cost is far outweighed by these long-term benefits.
(5) Ensure you select the correct brightness of light fitting (bulb) for the room you are designing. An LEDs brightness is measured in Lumens. The higher the Lumen the brighter the light. As a guide 450 Lumens is the same as an old 40W bulb and 800 Lumens like a 60W bulb.
(6) LED’s come in lots of colours. If you are choosing a white light, ensure you choose the correct shade of white that enhances your kitchen cabinetry and worktop. A white LED bulb is measured on the Kelvin (K) scale. A warm white, like the traditional halogen bulb, is around 2700-3200K. Alternatively, a cool white is around 5000-5500K, which is a stronger blue white beam. Ensure that all your white light fittings emit the same K value so you have matching lights within the room.
If confusion still prevails, contact Sensio Lighting. Established in 2007, we specialise in providing the latest technology in high quality lighting solutions to the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom (KBB) market. Based in Yorkshire, the company design and develop inspiring lighting products for the UK and selected export markets. We sell our products through KBB Retailers nationwide.
For further details contact Sensio on 0845-034-0780 or visit www.sensio.co.uk