When it comes to design trends for kitchens and baths, designers are often inspired to make simple yet impactful choices that make the space modern and fresh. In addition to choosing materials, selecting colors, organizing layouts, and adding texture, designers are also creating lighting layouts for projects that not only show their design in their best light but also improve the feel and functionality. Incorporating the latest lighting technology into designs adds a new challenge for designers, but the results are well worth the effort.
In a recent survey conducted by KBB, the official publication of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), over 59% of respondents indicated that the kitchen and bath designer is the primary person who oversees the lighting options. Developing a comprehensive lighting plan goes beyond simply choosing fixtures. Designers take the lifestyle of the homeowner into consideration as well as the functionality of the space.
The KBB survey revealed that coordination with the contractor and electrician is key when planning and executing a lighting plan. The survey showed that 74.4% of design professionals do a walkthrough of kitchen and bath projects to approve lighting rough-ins. Being on-site for the rough-in allows the designer to work with the electrician to address potential issues that might impact how the light works in the space before the walls are closed up.
As with other design choices, lighting plans must consider the lifestyle of the homeowners. Health and safety concerns are particularly important considerations for people choosing to age in place. As we age, our eyesight tends to diminish, and concerns about falling also come to the forefront. New lighting technology that allows users to easily adjust the brightness of light and features like motion-activated toe kick lighting can be especially helpful to ensure proper illumination of potential hazards. These are features that homeowners might not think about, but when incorporated into lighting designs, they provide benefits for years to come.
Natural light is an important component of a lighting plan. Depending on the location of the home and time of year, the amount of natural light can vary dramatically. In fact, a growing body of research shows that light exposure impacts our health, mood, and cognition. Lighting plans that incorporate Human Centric Lighting (HCL) are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners. Human-centric lighting aligns the lighting brightness and temperature to mimic natural daylight. ** Innovations like Task Lighting and Power’s tunable white lighting featuring patented two-wire Tandem LED technology mimics natural light and can provide clients with an optimal lighting experience all day and all year long. Using a smart home app homeowners can set light dimming on a scale from 1 to 100 and select from four different Kelvin temperature from 2700K–5000K. They can create personalized schedules that can be set with ease and adjust the light throughout the day. For example, early risers may want to start the day with soothing warm white 2700K light and a low dimmer setting at dawn that gradually brightens and adjusts to a brighter, soft white 3000K light later in the morning. Mid-day the lights could automatically adjust to 4000K cool white or 5000K daylight white, which energizes the body and is good for tasks like cleaning and cooking, while in the evening moving to 3000K to set an ambiance for dining. As the evening winds down, the lights can return to 2700K warm light and set the dimming level to gradually decrease signaling the body it’s time to get ready for sleep.
HIDDEN POWER WITHIN REACH
No matter how much technology and trends change, good lighting and easy access to power never go out of style. When developing a lighting plan, designers should also consider the power needs of homeowners. Everyone in the household has an ever-increasing number of tools and electronic devices that need to be charged. Despite the need for easy access to power, most people would rather not have the visual clutter of multiple wall outlets. Task Lighting and Power offers a range of angle power strip solutions, including options that combine LED light and power in a single housing. LED angled power strips can be installed under cabinetry so it’s hidden from view but easily accessible. It’s an ideal solution to provide light and power without detracting from the design aesthetic of the space.
Developing a comprehensive lighting and power plan can have a major impact on the project, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming for designers. Task Lighting and Power’s Design Services Team offer free support services to help select the right products for your project. Simply submit drawings of your space, and experienced professionals will work with you to develop an ideal solution free of charge.
A comprehensive lighting and power plan gives your clients a solution they will value for years to come. Taking time to plan at the start of the project and leveraging the expertise of manufacturers and contractors can make the process easier. The investment of time is well worth it because lighting improves not only the functionality and ambiance of the space but can also improve the wellbeing of people in the space. Learn more about the KBB lighting trends survey at KBBOnline.com.