Kitchen Lighting – Everything You Want To Know About Them

The scale of activity that takes place in the kitchen makes it an important place where use of effective practical and also decorative lighting is a must. Some things to look at;

Some questions to ask before you start lighting your kitchen

First and foremost question you need to ask while design your kitchen lighting is how much you are ready to spend. After all the light fixtures do cost something – and this are not only the wires and switches but also the type of light fixtures, shades and bulbs. Next question that should come in your mind is whether you have a kitchen lighting plan. A good plan will surely blend lighting into the architectural and decorative details of the room. A plan will help you out it investing wisely into kitchen lighting needs. If you want to go for a gradual lighting design process seeing you don’t have enough budget say for example for a series of pendants over the center island or a glass chandelier at least install enough junction boxes The fixtures can then be purchased at a later date and easily added to the kitchen lighting needs. After determining the budget and a plan, you need to think about the space area of your kitchen. This is important in determining the amount of lighting required and in which areas of the kitchen need specific lighting. One also needs to consider whether the room apart from needing single central light, how many other multiple lighting options may be needed. This is determined by the area or space of the room, all the activities that are place in the kitchen and are important, as well as the placement of all interior objects such as the cooking range, counter top and the kitchen-cum-dining table if present. For example, small kitchens may require only a central ceiling pendant light and some recessed task lighting tucked under a cabinet. More elaborate kitchens will demand a blend of general, task and accent lighting.

Know the types of Kitchen lighting

Lighting a kitchen is a different ball game compare to lighting other rooms in your house since no single light source can provide all the necessary kitchen lighting needs. It is very important to know that good kitchen lighting is not only considered from an aesthetic standpoint, but also from a functional standpoint. This will allow us to make sure that we incorporate different types of lighting and nowadays techno paced LED lights to fulfill the various levels of Kitchen activities. This is commonly referred to as layering of lights which instead of single lighting, demands a blend of three to four varied types of lighting. To meet these demand of layered lighting, there are basically four types of lighting that meet up the mark;

Task Lighting or Chore Lighting: It illuminates the most functional and practical part of your kitchen by providing adequate lighting for kitchen core tasks like chopping vegetables, cooking food and yes, reading recipes. Most of the accidents which occur in kitchen are mostly due to this tasks and proper task lighting design can really prevent them. Task areas should have sufficient light so you can easily see what you’re working on without too much brightness or eye-straining dimness. The main thing to remember here is most of the time task lighting instead of brightening up a task area, shadows it. For this to not take place, task lights is best placed between the actual work place and your head which makes lighting located say below the upper cabinets very helpful. For example, task lighting is placed over the sink, gas cooker and food preparation area, where close work is done regularly. Most of task lighting is achieved by using conventional recessed lights that assure even illumination, surface lights or table tops lights. Remember that each task lights if possible should have its own switch and honestly you will be pleased with the result. Considering the types of bulbs for task lighting then halogen and CFL (in energy efficient bulbs category) being bright and shadow less with large surface area are best to go for. It electrifies the look of granite and marble counter tops and it even let you enjoy your food cooking task, seriously.

Ambient or Glow or Indirect Lighting: This type of lighting lends a pleasant glow to your kitchen, thus giving a warm welcome to the people entering into the kitchen. It plays a major role in softening unwanted shadows, reducing kitchen room contrast and lighting vertical surfaces to give the space a brighter feel. It is generally observed that out of the four types of lighting, ambient is most often overlooked. In fact, the most dramatic and soft look you can achieve in a kitchen is by blending indirect lighting with other types of lighting. It is often created by hiding the light source from view where it bounces off a ceiling or a wall and produces a warm glow that adds enormous amounts of ambiance if done correctly. Best places for ambient lights can be hidden on top of wall cabinets if the ceiling is bit high or they can be installed in layered ceiling areas that surround the entire kitchen space. In case your kitchen has light colored surfaces and lots of windows then you can desire to have plenty of natural ambient light during the day. CFL based lights tubes (light link) are well suited to the job of providing ambient light.

Accent or Prominent lighting: This type of lighting gives a depth and dimension to your kitchen. It helps you to display your most decorative items in your kitchen like a fancy glassware or tableware, stylish luxury cutlery sets, beautiful canvas art prints or may be your nicely prepared food. For example lighting fixtures can be placed inside glass-front cabinets to illuminate glassware, and other collections as well as recessed, adjustable low-voltage fixtures used to spotlight canvas art prints. You can put to use spotlights to illuminate your cooked food which will also help it remain hot for longer period of time.

Decorative or ornamental lighting: This type of lighting is basically used for adding sparkling effects to the kitchen that can be envious to your neighbours. It can be further helpful to look at this type of lighting especially if kitchen is also used as the dining area of the house. Nowadays due to wide range of lights available, you can opt for decorative lights which can be functional also. For example, many functional lighting fixtures come in a number of finishes like wrought iron, rust, nickel which will provides an aesthetic feel to your kitchen. Painted finishes are also popular along with catchy colored glass bypasses plain white. You can also consider a decorative fixture with three or more lights. Like a trio over an island provides good light since it breaks up the kitchen into decorative module areas but you can still see through it. Some other decorative lighting ideas could be like dinner table space is illuminated with a decorative candelabra-style fixture, which provides ambient light during meals.

Finally some tips and common mistakes to avoid

No matter how many lights you install in your kitchen, it is recommended to circuit them separately so the lighting is zoned. This allows you to create ambience by mixing the various lights which is turned on.

If possible even while you shop online, take a picture of your kitchen or at least know your kitchen dimensions. How tall is the ceiling? How much space is there between the cabinets and the ceiling? How much space is there between the cabinets and the countertop? To make sure you cook up the best lighting scheme for your kitchen, use some free advice from light shop professional. The best thing is to do some window shopping before the actual purchase.

You might have found the perfect light fixture, but we can’t forget the equally important light bulbs. To make the most of your lighting, try using bulbs with different beam spreads for different effects. Flood lights are great for creating widespread lighting like a on central ceiling, while spotlights are ideal for shedding light on specific areas like for accent lighting.

No matter how many types of lighting or fixtures you install, use lights of the same color for all the kitchen lighting

If you are spending the money on nice cabinets or a dinner table in the kitchen, for example, you want to make sure they are lit properly. If not, the light actually creates gray shadow areas. If you have deep cabinets in dark corners, you might even want to consider installing lights inside them so you can see what’s hiding in the back

When it comes to kitchen lighting, the most common mistake is trying to light the entire room with one ceiling-mounted fixture. The result ends up visually overpowering everything in the kitchen space. Recessed lighting, if installed in a generic grid, isn’t much better. A lot of people do it incorrectly, and they’ll end up with too much light in some areas and shadows everywhere else

On the other end, another common mistake we all do is over-lighting and result is, the kitchen gets too hot. The goal here is to have moderate, even lighting and more importantly blends of different lightings. For example, you just can’t keep on adding recessed lights for the sake of visual look, instead of mixing various lighting types.

We at in trying to make your better homes gardens really hope the above provided information will help you to make a sound decision on your kitchen lighting design and let you enjoy your food more. So when are you inviting us over a meal!!

You can also view the article in our news and articles section at;

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2013 Must-Know Tips to Build Professional Web Designs

Web sites are the first level of any user interaction. A good web design must be able to easily convey the message to its users. The various elements of a website must be in sync to provide a likeable user experience. Small businesses can benefit tremendously with carefully crafted websites.

Take a look at these simple yet effective web design tips for 2013:

Stress on Easy Navigation

Websites must have an easy to use and maintain navigation bar. Placement and design of your navigation bar play a major role in keeping the user interested in your site. Categorize the content in the bar into highly usable and logical pattern. Use precise words and avoid using long phrases by limiting navigation item to twelve characters or less. Do not provide more than seven options in the bar as this may confuse your user and force him to abandon your site. Keep call to action on the left side of your website as people are used to reading from left to right. Before building your navigation bar decide its purpose and content. The best practice is to design a tress structured navigation bar with sub – categories. Tree structure will be more informative and will consume less space.

Consistent Layouts

Use clean layouts with the inclusion of more white space. This will divert your user’s attention to the central idea of the page while looking very professional and elegant. Use fonts that are legible and do not look cluttered when viewed from a different device. The best way to start doing this is to put your ideas on paper first and then gradually start sketching a theme around it. Explore and experiment with as many typographies as possible. Divide your layout into meaningful sections. Use grids to come up with a balanced and objective web layout. The layout grid will guide you through specific screen requirement and help you build responsive websites.

Adhere to All Screen Resolutions

Encourage users to spend quality time on your website. The one principle that web designs must follow is to be adaptable on the smallest screen resolution. Then align all content and graphics as per that resolution. Measure all tables in percentages before changing them to HTML. The trick to designing for all screen resolutions is to stick to percentages and not pixels. Another vital point to keep in mind is to give a fixed measurement for all your cells except the content cell. You may leave the content cell blank if you please. With time more and more web users will move to higher screen resolutions. Thus it is crucial to design to adhere to all screen resolutions.

Make your Website Cross-Browser Compatible

Before launching, make sure your site is compatible with all popular browsers like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Opera. Test your website in at least three browsers like Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox mainly because these are the widely used browsers. Confirm that your HTML code is validated by W3C as it will help you maintain cross-browser functionality. Choose Dreamweaver as it is the best HTML editor for maintaining cross- browser compatibility. Always bear in mind that no website can be made cross-browser compatible. However, these steps can help your website run well in the most common and widely accepted web browsers.

In Conclusion

To build a reliable web experience, carry out regular usability tests. User communication tests are also extremely beneficial especially in the development stage of the website. Build a dynamic website and invest consistent time in its upgrade and maintenance. After all, you want a scalable website that looks good and can perform well under all situations.

Creating a Data-Driven Web Site (Almost) Automatically

If you have a database of some type and need to create ASP.NET web pages to allow users to list, add, edit or delete records from that database, you have a couple of choices. One way is to design and code all the pages yourself (making use of any existing routines you may have). That can be very involved — not only do you have to create the user interface, you also have to figure out the best way to access the database, provide for user authentication, web site security, reporting, data import and export — a whole list of necessary features. In many cases there may be an easier way — an ASP.NET code generator.

There are various code generators available, ranging from simple template types to very sophisticated programs like IronSpeed Designer. Some of these generators offer only minimal help and some are excellent products, but come with a high price tag. I’ve tried several different ones and finally decided on ASP.NET Maker (www.hkvstore.com). It’s reasonably priced at $200 and includes free download of any minor upgrades for 12 months. It works with Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle or any other database that supports ODBC or ADO connectivity, and just by selecting various options on screen you can generate a full set of web pages to list, add, edit, delete, or search for database records. You can also set up a user registration system, advanced security features, file uploading, simple reports and exporting of data to csv, Excel or Word files.

Need some extra functionality? You can do that too. ASP.NET Maker gives you the option to enter your own custom code (in either VB.NET or C#) for various pre-defined server events (such as “Page_Loading” or “Row_Deleting”). Your code can be stored as part of the.aspx web page or you can select to use a separate “code behind” file. You can also enter Javascript to handle client-side processing like custom form validation. All your custom code is saved as part of the project you’re working on and is automatically included each time you make changes to the project and re-generate your web page(s).

I should mention that ASP.NET Maker uses HTML controls, not asp.net web controls. If you want to use custom code for something other than the server events provided for in ASP.NET Maker, you have a couple of options. There is a switch in the master template file that controls ASP.NET Maker which can be set to add “runat server” to each HTML control; that will allow you to catch certain information on postback. If you’re using a code-behind file and are used to working with regular asp.net controls, you can also add your own form statement. Just insert something like before the statement generated by ASP.NET Maker. Then code your asp.net control(s) inside “form1” and end with a . Once you’ve done that you can manipulate your asp.net controls and the information from those controls in the code-behind page. The only problem is that you’ll need to save your pages that have this kind of customized code and copy them back into your project each time after you re-generate your web pages (to over-write the standard pages ASP.NET Maker creates).

The heart of ASP.NET Maker is the set of screens where you enter the information the system uses to create your web pages:

Data Source Setup:

You use this screen to enter information such as your database type, server name, port (if not the default), user id, password, database name and connection string.

ASP.NET Settings:

This screen lets you set the default date format and whether or not you want to use caching. You can also set various options for file uploading, creation of audit trails, and for form validation processing.

HTML Settings:

This screen lets you enter a title for your website, the character set, font and text size you want to use as a default, a site logo (if you have one), and footer text (if any). There are also tabs which allow you to edit the default theme for your site and the default CSS styles (although I’ve always used the default settings and they seem to work pretty well for our users).

Security Settings:

You can enter a hard-coded administrator ID and password on this screen and you can also set up optional User ID and User Level Advanced Security to protect your data from unauthorized access.

Menu Editor:

The menu editor allows you to modify the default menu that ASP.NET Maker generates for your web site. You can add, edit or delete menu items, move them up or down, hide certain items – even add menu options that redirect to non-ASP.NET Maker pages.

Table Setup:

This is the most complex part of your project setup. The upper section of this page is a grid showing the available options for each table in your database. The lower section of the page contains table-specific options and master/detail setup information for whichever table is currently selected. You can select which tables you want to generate web pages for, what caption you want to display for each field in the table, whether of not you want to apply a filter to the records in the table, how you want the records sorted, and a variety of other items such as whether you want to enable inline add, edit and copy, whether you want to use CAPTCHA on the add page to prevent automated posting, and whether you want to allow updating of multiple records at the same time.

Generate Settings:

This is where you specify the location of your source files and the destination folder for the generated asp.net files. You can also select to automatically browse your web pages once they have been created since ASP.NET Maker uses a copy of the freeware Cassini web server to run asp.net pages.

ASP.NET Maker also comes with a fairly comprehensive help file which covers how to create your project step by step. In addition, the help file includes brief tutorials on master/detail files, file uploading, user registration, advanced security options, custom views, and creating simple reports.

I’ve actually used ASP.NET Maker to generate the majority of the code for a human resources package and for a time clock system. It won’t do all the work for you, but if you’re looking for a quick way to develop a data driven web site with minimal hand coding, ASP.NET Maker may be worth looking into. It has limitations, but it does pretty much what it claims to do and it seems very stable — thanks no doubt to the sizable number of people who use it and have beaten most of the bugs out of it.

I’ve covered the main points in this article, but it’s basically just a quick overview of the product. If you’re interested getting a little more in-depth look at ASP.NET Maker, you can download a trial version at http://www.hkvstore.com.