HomeSmart   - Home Adaptations for Independent Living
RSS Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner

Recent Posts

Long Term Care: When to Plan and How to Pay
Benefits of Hiring an Accessibility Specialist
Current Trends in Senior Housing
Universal Design & Aging in Place
Product Spotlight: Flip A Grip

Most Popular Posts

The In-Law Suite
Trends in Housing: Part 2 The Tiny House
Tub to walk-in shower conversion
Managing Stairs: The Stair Lift
Modifying Narrow Doorways


Fixing To Stay
Homes for a Lifetime
Other Resources
Product Spotlight
Project Files
Questions & Answers
powered by

For Boomers & Their Aging Parents

Recent Questions: Kitchen Lighting Levels

Question:  We are about to remodel our kitchen and want to incorporate universal design ideas for aging in place. We’ve read that we will need increased room lighting, but we don’t know how standard lighting is calculated let alone increased lighting.  Can you give us an idea of how to determine correct lighting for our new kitchen?

AnswerA well-lit kitchen layers and blends four different types of light: general or ambient lighting in the ceiling, task lighting over sink, cooking and work areas, display lighting in cabinets, and possibly some decorative lighting, like lamps, chandeliers, or wall sconces. The most important lighting to consider for the purposes of aging in place is both general and task lighting.

I recently worked with clients who also were remodeling their kitchen. They had already gone to a kitchen designer/contractor for a new layout but wanted me to review their plans with an eye towards aging in place, and one of the questions that came up was that of adequate lighting.  

My clients' windowless, 10’ x 12’, galley kitchen had a single ceiling fixture and there was no task lighting at all.  And while the new plan called for under cabinet lighting, there was no plan to change, or add to, the ceiling lighting

After researching the question of illumination levels, I found the simplest calculation to be 8.5 lumens per square foot – walls, ceiling, and floor included.  This calculation pertains to general lighting levels only and excludes any under cabinet lighting, which is considered to be task lighting.   

So here’s an example:

A 10’ x 15’ by 8’ kitchen has a walls/floor/ceiling surface area of around 700 square feet.  An 8.5 in/sf target suggests you might want to build in the capacity to generate at least 5950 total lumens.  A basic 50 watt PAR 30 bulb produces about 660 lumens, so I’d use about 9 of them to light up that kitchen.

As for task lighting, islands, areas over the sink and stove, and counter tops require more concentrated, direct lighting since they are work areas.  Every section of kitchen counter top needs task lighting. Such lighting can be provided by under cabinet lighting attached to the wall cabinets or by small pendant  

fixtures.  When planning for task lighting, remember to allow for separate switches rather than a single switch which will allow you to turn on only that counter top lighting that you need rather than all the fixtures at once.   
   Susan Luxenberg 
  HomeSmart LLC

19 Comments to Recent Questions: Kitchen Lighting Levels:

Comments RSS
Jill Oakson on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 1:09 AM
Great job! Generally we don't give enough attention to the kitchen but it requires most as one of the most important job done in this place so I'm impressed to see your effort of making the place prettier and handier to run cooking smoothly. Thank you so much for placing the details with some cool snaps.
Reply to comment

switches on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 4:56 AM
Informative content! I think your suggestion about switches is helpful for all of us. I really like your suggestion about switches and I must follow your suggestion. Thanks for this allocation.
Reply to comment

kedarnath yatra on Friday, April 5, 2013 5:34 AM
Nice post.Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful! I've been looking for books of this nature for a way too long. I'm just glad that I found yours. Looking forward for your next post. Thanks
Reply to comment

Local Plumbing Experts on Friday, April 12, 2013 4:40 AM
Kitchen is the main thing in our house. Thanks for posting this post.
Reply to comment

sand blasting Sumner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 1:17 AM
You blog post is just completely quality and informative. Many new facts and information which I have not heard about before. Keep sharing more blog posts. !!!!!
Reply to comment

led strip lighting new zealand on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 12:40 AM
Thanks for sharing your ideas with me such a nice post very useful for us..
Reply to comment

ivory research uk reviews on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 2:13 AM
We are about to remodel our kitchen and want to incorporate universal design ideas for aging in place.
Reply to comment

Quick Property Sale in London on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 1:18 AM
Lighting are also an important part of the home. You nicely described about the kitchen lighting levels. Nice job
Reply to comment

visit here on Friday, June 28, 2013 4:24 AM
Thanks for sharing these valuable tips to remodel my kitchen. I like the layout shown here and would like to have a kitchen like that. Thanks for sharing this with us and this is very helpful for everyone to add a better design to their kitchen.
Reply to comment

skuts on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 9:10 AM
Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say excellent blog!
Reply to comment

Forklift Training Melbourne on Saturday, January 18, 2014 4:10 PM
Your article is very nice. You have provided interesting information.
Reply to comment

rental cleaning canberra on Friday, April 11, 2014 7:02 AM
Thanks for contributing your important time to post such an interesting & useful collection.very useful blog on Recent Questions: Kitchen Lighting Levels..thanks for sharing..
Reply to comment

Commercial food equipment on Monday, May 19, 2014 3:18 AM
I am going to Repaint my kitchen Cabinet soon and i found your post related to that and very informative for me. Thanks for sharing!
Reply to comment

shopping online on Sunday, June 15, 2014 3:28 AM
I am very happy to read this. This is the type of information that should be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc .
Reply to comment

Allena on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 5:43 AM
This blog is very informative for me.i read your full blog.Great Job you is quite importance that which type of light we used in our kitchen bcoz it give special effect in our kitchen as well as our home.i really want to thank that you post such a amazing blog.My best wish is for you for next time.
Reply to comment

Jayden Harris on Thursday, November 13, 2014 6:27 AM
It's really a good and very informative for me.
Reply to comment

Jaime harold on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 1:57 AM
Its really awesome post, i used to live this kind of place only.
Reply to comment

Curtains Palmerston North on Saturday, October 8, 2016 2:31 PM
Awesome post.It's looks so good. I will follow your next post must.
Reply to comment

Blinds Palmerston North on Saturday, October 8, 2016 2:32 PM
Awesome post.It's looks so good. I will follow your next post must.
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website provided by  Vistaprint
provided by Vistaprint