Kitchens and bathrooms are increasingly being used for more than just their functionality. Dave Simpson of YESSS Electrical looks at how recent lighting developments can be harnessed to maximise a room’s enjoyment.

The 2016 Kitchen Trend Report, from interior design expert Houzz, highlighted that consumers are spending more time in their kitchen than ever before, and with bathrooms increasingly becoming a room to unwind in, there is a renewed interest in lighting and how it can be used to maximum effect.

Previously just functional spaces, the design of kitchens and bathrooms has vastly improved and both rooms are fast becoming statements of a homeowner’s style. These rooms are also increasingly recognised by home style and DIY shows as a great way of adding value to a property’s price. Despite this, the specification of lighting is often left until last, neglecting the fact that the right lighting can make an instant impact on the appearance of a room in the short term and help the owner save money in the long term.

It is therefore vital that manufacturers and retailers have a strong understanding of what customers are looking for in terms of lighting for their bathroom or kitchen space. Style and quality have always been of paramount importance, but energy saving properties have also improved, meaning LED lighting has grown in prominence. LED technology has developed hugely over the past decade, and with LED products now representing nearly 50 per cent of new sales, this technology is fast becoming the first choice for consumers.

The long life span of LEDs means the technology is cost efficient and the latest developments ensure that LED chips are getting better and produce more lumens per watt. Coupled with its versatile aesthetic possibilities, this makes LED a key development for bathrooms and kitchens, due to the fact these rooms are always in use. From an end-user point of view, energy efficiency needs to translate into cash savings. Consumers should look out for retailers offering usage calculations. This allows them to choose the correct energy saving product that suits the solution which they require.

Due to the increase in awareness of new lighting technologies, consumers have become much more appreciative of the benefits of good quality lighting and this has encouraged manufacturers to produce more sophisticated products. At one time, bathroom lighting used to be practical and clunky and contemporary design was hard to find. Now, design features firmly in most mass-market products, which can include simply yet effective touches such as contemporary wall fixings with polished chrome accents.

LED is finding a wide range of applications across kitchen and bathroom lighting and is being used to great effect for task lighting, installed under cabinets to emit a bright beam of light to make food preparation easier and safer. LEDs are also being used to create mood-lighting to provide the right ambience for socialising.

The kitchen lighting market has gone through some dramatic changes in the past few years and the technology offered has been forced to evolve in order to keep up with changing demand. While kitchen lighting used to be an afterthought in design, it is now rightly being recognised as an important factor in the design process. The recent preference for kitchen islands has brought about a number of changes in the kitchen lighting market. There has been a shift away from simple utilitarian use of lighting towards its use as a key element of overall design aesthetic and to highlight key features or showcase a statement appliance.

As always, another factor driving change in the kitchen and bathroom lighting sectors is changing regulations, such as Part L of the Building Regulations (Conservation of fuel and power). These regulations are just some of many Government-led initiatives designed to help reduce the UK’s energy usage and drive the country towards energy efficiency. What’s crucial is that you no longer have to choose between style and efficiency; the majority of products now easily combine both.

Installers and contractors should use their knowledge and insight into these initiatives to ensure that customers are kept abreast of the latest changes to regulations and legislations. Combining that with an in-depth knowledge of what products are currently available or about to be launched means that customers are given the knowledge and tools to make a difference while also improving overall customer satisfaction. Products such as lighting controls and PIRs are just some of the latest energy saving innovations to capture the industry’s attention.

Kitchen and bathroom technologies are developing faster than ever. As consumer confidence grows, more and more people are planning to upgrade their properties and are looking to make changes to their kitchen and bathroom designs. As such, they need to research the latest lighting products and how modern lighting technologies can make a real difference, both in terms of design and energy usage.

Dave Simpson is lighting and lamps product manager at YESSS Electrical.

Via Building Construction Design. View full article here.