As more people start exploring the advantages of installing an outdoor kitchen for family gatherings and recreation, you may find yourself wanting to jump into the trend. One of the things that you cannot overlook when installing an outdoor kitchen is your lighting choices. You're going to need lights for several different purposes throughout the outdoor kitchen space, and planning ahead will help you to ensure that your kitchen is functional, well-lit and safe for your summer parties and family gatherings. Here's a look at some of the basics of outdoor kitchen lighting for you to consider.
Task Lights For The Cooking Area
The first place to focus your efforts is the cooking area itself. After all, without sufficient task lighting, it will be hard to see what you're doing when dusk begins to steal the sunlight. Put your focus on food preparation safety by making sure that everything is well-lit at all times. You can opt for either LED or Halogen bulbs for your task lighting. The key is just to ensure that whichever one you choose gives you a bright, white light in your work area. This will help you see as clearly as possible, which is essential for safe preparation and cooking.
Along with the task lighting over the cooking surface, you're also going to need cabinet lighting. LEDs are a great light source for this, because you can install them under the lip of the cabinet where they'll be completely out of sight but still able to cast light where you need it the most. If you're trying to balance functionality with appearances, LED lighting installed like this can give you just that.
Ambient Light For Your Dining Area
The dining area is an equally important part of your outdoor kitchen, and it should be lit accordingly. After all, how can you expect to enjoy a good meal if you can't see well where you're eating? When you install the kitchen, an electrician can run wiring to the dining area. If you've already set up your outdoor kitchen space, you can have the wiring run later if necessary.
Your main goals for lighting the dining space should be to keep things bright enough to see clearly, adjustable through the use of a dimmer switch, resistant to weather and affordable. Of the many lighting options you could consider, LED lights are often the most durable and efficient for this type of outdoor application.
Pathway Lighting For Visibility
Once you have all of the other spaces adequately lit, you'll want to make sure that your pathways from the house to the kitchen and around the entire outdoor kitchen space are all illuminated as well. You can use most any kind of low-voltage lights for walkways, but LEDs and solar lighting can get the job done easily. Whether you want the lights installed on a pole or you plan to insert them in the ground so that the light is cast closer to the walkway itself, there are options for both.
Before you install any lights in your outdoor kitchen space, talk with an electrician about any special considerations you'll need. For example, with so much power draw around the kitchen, you're going to want a separate circuit for your lighting. This keeps the power draw more balanced between all of the resources in your outdoor kitchen space.
Additionally, make sure that any and all lights used in the outdoor kitchen are rated for outdoor use and designed for wet or damp environments. You may think of your outdoor kitchen as an extension of the house, but it's exposed to the elements, and your lights will be, too.
With the support of a licensed electrician, you can not only choose the perfect lights for each section of your outdoor kitchen space, but you can also ensure that they are installed safely.
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