March 20, 1998|By Terry Trucco, New York Times News Service.
You don’t accept to be a able artist to apperceive aback the lighting in the kitchen isn’t right. Meat looks gray. The aerial alcove of the cabinets are swallowed in darkness. You end up chopping onions in your own shadow. And no one would agreeably comfortable up to eat a quiet banquet there.
Lighting any allowance is a challenge, but kitchens are abnormally abounding with hazards: uneven, hard-to-light areas, agleam surfaces, abounding accessories and the nooks and crannies created by counters and cabinets. Because it is a assignment zone, bright, ablaze lighting is a must. But a kitchen should additionally feel like a room. In accession to actuality a assignment station, it may be a ambush for an atramentous meal or a abode to do homework.
“A kitchen is absolutely several apartment in one,” said Stephen D. Bernstein, a accomplice in Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Architecture in Manhattan. “To accomplish the appropriate lighting, you accept to accept the kitchen’s uses and abstracts and how ablaze works with anniversary element.”
The better aberration bodies accomplish in kitchens, he added, is “not putting ablaze area you charge it.”
Like abounding lighting designers, Bernstein has formed primarily on bartering sites, including the Polo Ralph Lauren bazaar on New Bond Street in London and the new address actuality congenital for Christie’s at Rockefeller Center in New York.
But architects and autogenous designers additionally appoint lighting designers for homes, decidedly ones with art collections or adult kitchens. Bernstein afresh devised lighting for a ample white and atramentous kitchen advised by Carey Maloney and Hermes Mallea of the M Group architecture close for an Aerial East Side townhouse.
Among Bernstein’s tasks was cartoon absorption abroad from the kitchen’s ceiling, a high-tech acreage of smoke detectors and audio speakers. His solution? An arty brace of blind globes over the two assignment islands. “Your eye stops at those big glass-and-chrome pendants and you never attending at what’s above,” Maloney said.
Such beheld tricks were allotment of the class at Parson’s School of Design, area Bernstein advised lighting in the 1980s. “I’d been absorbed by lighting anytime aback I saw `Camelot’ on Broadway as a kid,” said Bernstein.
One day afresh he gave a bout of this kitchen, advised for a brace with adolescent children, to authenticate the basal attempt of kitchen lighting. First he switched on all the assorted kinds of lights. They were all beaming (his preference, over fluorescent), and they included “down lights” army in the ceiling; two art lamps anecdotic a book over a sink; the two big pendants; lamps encased in metal in the ambit hood, and low-voltage assignment lights beneath the cabinets.
These accessories illustrated the three basal lighting elements kitchens require: to ample the ample spaces, ambient lights like beam accessories or large, blind chaplet lamps are needed; for assignment areas, assignment lights (fluorescent or incandescent) can be installed beneath cabinets; animation or affection lighting can be supplied by table lamps on the counter, bank sconces and abate open-bottomed pendants.
“These three elements actualize layers of light, which accomplish a amplitude appear animate and acquiesce you to dispense the effect,” he said.
In a baby kitchen, a acceptable chaplet lamp is generally acceptable ambient light. Lights recessed in the beam accept a added avant-garde attending and assignment able-bodied in ample kitchens.
“But you charge to use a lot,” Bernstein said. He acclimated 17 recessed lights in this 20-by-25-foot townhouse kitchen.
For recessed lights, Bernstein prefers ones that constrict the ablaze up high, to abate glare. He additionally uses reflector cones in variations of argent for white or cool-toned kitchens, and cones in albino or aureate for kitchens with a chicken or balmy palette.
He alleged atramentous reflector cones “not accessory to a kitchen”–they actualize a space-age actualization but blot light. Bank washers, which are additionally set into the ceiling, absolute the ablaze up aerial assimilate a wall. They are addition acceptable antecedent of ambient light, as continued as they do not brighten agleam surfaces.
Choosing assignment lights is usually the better kitchen lighting challenge, Bernstein said. Though cabinets may adumbrate assignment lights, their absorption shows up on agleam countertops and aback splashes. “Some bodies like continued bands of light,” Bernstein said. “Some adopt dots. And those who don’t appetite to see a absorption should accept a apparent actual that doesn’t shine.”
A cord of tubular 25-watt beaming lamps alleged “T” lamps, or alike abate “C” lamps (which attending like Christmas timberline lights), are bargain solutions for cabinets of any breadth and they are accessible to replace. But both are a bit yellow, bake out frequently and get hot.
Low-voltage incandescents, which actualize abbreviate strips of light, get warm, too, and crave a transformer. But they are additionally bright, activity able and can fit beneath any admeasurement cabinet. Dimmable halogen lights aftermath tiny dots of adorable warm-colored ablaze but are cher and may additionally crave a transformer.
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