Fifteen years ago I did a budget-friendly lighting design for my mother’s total kitchen remodel as shown in the photograph above. I delivered 50 foot-candles to the horizontal task plane, as I’d been taught to do. I had multiple downlights over the sink and placed the downlights directly over the counter. I didn’t like the scallops on the soffit, but otherwise I was pretty happy. And more importantly, so was mom.
But the last fifteen years has seen massive change in lighting, so I decided to do it again.
Mom looked skeptical, but because she’s my mom she let me overhaul the lighting in a whirlwind two-day extravaganza. So my team of Bruce, Kate and I got our hands dirty and did the installation ourselves so we could experiment and learn.
What did we change?
We doubled the light.
We cut the energy usage in half.
We completely eliminated recessed downlights.
We used only LED linear “tape light.”
We hid every source.
We added indirect light.
We grazed the cabinet fronts.
We put light in the pantry.
We added balance-assisting toe kick lighting.
We virtually eliminated shadows on the counters.
The differences may seem subtle, but embedded in the new lighting at the family farm are two indicators of the seismic change of the past fifteen years:
- A major technology revolution has given us tools to do light in a new way.
- Multiple medical science breakthroughs give us new reasons to rethink our approach.
Many of my clients are at first skeptical and ask “what do you do that is any different from what I already have on my plans?” Now I have an answer.
Everything. We do everything differently.