How to Pair Natural and Artificial Lighting in Your Kitchen or Bath

We all know that adding natural light to a space makes it appear spacious and open. Paired with the right artificial lighting, natural light can make the space feel much larger than it really is.

Natural light comes in two flavors: direct and indirect. Direct sunlight means the rays of light come directly through a window or skylight. 

Indirect sunlight means the rays are bouncing off of another surface like a ceiling, wall or floor (or your head!) before they reach your eyes as light.

Making the most of the natural light in your home requires some time and consideration, but the results will be well worth it. Let’s see how you can pair natural and artificial lighting in your kitchen or bathroom.

What Is Natural Lighting?

natural lighting

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Natural lighting is light from the sun that’s reflected into a building by the surrounding landscape. Natural light is a great way to illuminate an interior space. That’s because it’s consistent and has the most balanced color (doesn’t have strong yellow, blue or red tones) 

Natural light works best for kitchens and bathrooms that are adjacent to a home’s front or side when the sun is low in the sky. When designing your kitchen or bathroom, it’s important to use natural lighting as the primary lighting source–usually from windows. But if your windows aren’t large enough to bring enough light into a room, a skylight may be a great addition. Don’t want to install a skylight? Artificial lighting is a great choice as well. Let’s take a look.

What Is Artificial Lighting?

natural lighting

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Artificial lighting is light provided by a man-made source such as an incandescent bulb or an LED lamp. It’s typically much brighter than natural light and can be turned on and off at any time. You can use artificial lighting to create a cleaner, more modern look or to warm up a space. Artificial lighting is also helpful for activities such as cooking or reading that require more consistent and brighter light than you’d receive from a natural light source.

Natural vs Artificial Light: Which Is Better?

Natural light and artificial light are both important for the design of an interior space. Natural lighting is consistent and balanced, but it varies in intensity from one hour to the next throughout the day. Artificial lighting is a lot more consistent (unless you have to change a bulb!), but it’s not balanced and varies in color depending on the type of bulbs used. 

Natural light is best for spaces that need to be functional and livable at the same time–for example, kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms. 

Artificial lighting is best for creating a specific mood or vibe in your home. For example, you might want to use it to create a more intimate or romantic feel in your bathroom at night.

Tips for Pairing Natural and Artificial Lighting in a Kitchen or Bathroom

Want to achieve the perfect amount of lighting in your kitchen or bathroom? Start with the windows in your home, then add artificial lighting where necessary. The best lighting design is one where both natural and artificial light are used in unison to create a beautiful and functional space.

Here are some things to consider when pairing natural and artificial light in a kitchen or bathroom.

How Much Natural Light Does The Room Get?

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The first step is to assess the natural light in the room. Make sure to take into account the time of day and the season. Then, determine how much artificial light you’ll need to supplement the natural light. Have plenty of natural light streaming in? That’s great, but maybe you want to set a particular mood in your space. This would be a great opportunity to add artificial light.

Not that lucky? You can bring in artificial lighting to fix shadows and any dark areas in your kitchen or bath.

Choose The Right Artificial Lighting

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Once you know how much artificial light you need, choose the type of light fixture you want to use. There are many options available, so be sure to pick one that will complement the style of your kitchen or bathroom. 

Most kitchens and bathrooms have one overhead light fixture, although some have two or three additional lamps nearby. A single vanity light also works well as a secondary lighting source near the mirror. Additional lighting options include floor lamps, reading lights, and table lamps to illuminate more of your space at once.

One of our favorite artificial lighting features is under cabinet lighting. This can be installed with a variety of fixtures such ad LED pucks, light bars, and tape lights. We like to recommend Task Lighting for all of your under cabinet lighting needs.

When choosing artificial lighting, it’s also important to pay attention to the color temperature of the lightbulbs you’re using. For a more natural look, choose lightbulbs with a warm color temperature, like 2700K or 3000K. For a more modern look, choose lightbulbs with a cool color temperature, like 4000K. 

You can also pair natural lighting and artificial lighting by placing a mirror on the wall that faces a window. This will reflect natural light into the room and make it appear brighter. 

Another option is to install an overhanging pendant lamp above your kitchen counter. This will provide an even distribution of both types of lighting and give you more options for where you want to put your cookware or food while cooking.

Placing Your Light Fixtures

natural lighting

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Another important factor to consider is the placement of the light fixtures. You’ll want to place them in such a way that they evenly distribute the light throughout the room. In general, you want to use artificial lighting to brighten up dark corners and highlight certain features in your home. For example, you might use track lighting to highlight a piece of art on the wall or recessed lighting to create a minimalist, clean look.

Create Ambiance

natural lighting

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Use artificial light to warm up your kitchen or bathroom. If the area is cooler or has a blue or gray hue to it, artificial lighting can add some warmth to the area to create a more homey and comfortable environment. 

You can also use wall sconces near the stove or sink to further illuminate the space and create a beautiful ambiance. Using multiple lighting sources creates a more inviting atmosphere that’s ideal for meal preparation and relaxation.

Need Help Lighting Your Kitchen Or Bath?

Overall, the above ideas will help you create an inviting atmosphere in your kitchen or bathroom. Consider incorporating color and lighting options when shopping for new furnishings to enhance your natural light sources and help you relax at home. 

Also, consider where you’d like each type of light. Task lights underneath your kitchen cabinets? LED puck lights to highlight a special piece on your countertop? Or perhaps an elegant wall sconce to bathe your bathroom in soft light? With just a few simple ideas, you can transform your kitchen or bath into one that suits your needs and tastes. Whatever you choose, McManus Kitchen and Bath is here to you achieve the kitchen or bath remodel of your dreams. Contact us today to learn more.

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