If you're looking for kitchen extension ideas then don't forget the tech!
We've compiled a list of the top 5 must have tech for your kitchen extension based on what we get asked for on a daily basis.
The ideas here will improve your day to day lives and will pay for themselves within a matter of months!
1. Lighting Control
You've no doubt already given thought to your lighting, you're probably having some down lights for general lighting, some fancy pendants over the dining table, LED strips around the worktops and maybe some kick board lights.
But have you given much thought to how you'll control all of this in your kitchen extension?
Will there be a few different light switch positions?
If so then this means lots of switches and lots of cables between all of the switches and most dimmers can only dim from one switch which can be a bit awkward in use. Not to mention the multiple light switches adorning your walls.
All of these problems can be solved with a simple lighting control system such as Lutron RA2 Select.
Wireless switches completely cut down on the amount of wiring required and reduce the wall acne to a single stylish switch in each position.
Scene control means you can set your kitchen extension lighting levels in one button press. Maybe you'd have a scene for "dining" where the pendants turn on to 50%, the down lights to 5% and the worktop lights turn on. Now this is a one button press, not three separate switches in different positions.
Basic lighting control is a must have for every kitchen extension, and don't forget that whilst the kit may cost a bit more than standard light switches you'll be cutting down on wiring and installation time as well as gaining lots of smart features that your whole family will use every day such as scene control, voice activation (Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant), phone control etc.
2. Ceiling Speakers
The kitchen is the heart of our homes, we all spend a lot of time there and lots of memories are made in the kitchen.
So if you're adding a kitchen extension then it's important to consider how to get the most out of your music.
It's now easier and cheaper than ever to add discreet ceiling speakers with Bluetooth streaming and even in wall DAB radio for as little as £199.
Stylish in wall panels such as the Systemline E100 will blend into your decor whilst providing an easy one-touch access to your favourite DAB radio station.
If you tend to mostly listen to Spotify and other streaming services, or use Amazon Alexa a lot then the Lithe Audio Bluetooth ceiling speakers are unbeatable. They are easily installed, much like a down light, and provide room filling sound for music streamed from your smart phone or tablet.
3. LED Strip Lighting
Lighting is essential, you're going to need some regardless of what type of lighting you choose for your kitchen.
But you can really achieve some great effects in your kitchen using LED strip lights. There's also quite a few different control options including smart phone, Amazon Alexa etc. which bridges the gap bringing lighting into the "tech" zone.
Under cupboard lighting, recessed under-counter lighting, the options are endless.
You have a few options with LED strip lights;
- Warm White
- Cool White
- Colour Adjustable
- RGB Colour Changing
- RGB/W Colour Changing
We'll cover these in-depth in a LED Strip Lighting Guide later but for now we'll cover the main points...
Warm White is more "homely" and is the most common colour, however cool white is often much brighter and more "clinical" which can be good for above kitchen work tops where visibility is important. Using colour adjustable (CCT) strip lights you can easily choose between warm white AND cool white, getting best of both worlds.
RGB & RGB/W colour changing lights, when done right, can really improve a room - but 1) don't overdo it and 2) spend the extra on RGB/W as this also has a white light which can create much softer pastel colours which can look way more "classy"!
So whether you want primarily lighting, mood lighting or a funky disco - LED Strip lights should find a home in your kitchen extension.
4. USB Sockets
This one is a nice easy tech idea for your kitchen extension, but it is a really, really useful one.
Almost everything these days charges from a USB cable!
So there's really no better option than to install USB socket outlets.
You'll no longer need a power adaptor, no more moving it around the house every time you want to charge your phone. Just plug your phone directly into the USB outlet on the socket that's always there ready to charge!
There are so many different styles of USB socket now including black and white glass USB socket outlets.
We usually suggest to fit at least one per room but have a think about the room and how you'll be using it. i.e you'll probably want to fit one either side of beds for charging of smart phones and smart watches etc.
If you have a big family then you might want to make every socket outlet a USB socket so there's no arguing over charging!
Finally on the USB front we really recommend buying shorter charging cables! They are amazing, especially in kitchens, no need for a messy 3 metre cable cluttering the side when you can buy cables as short as 0.25 metres!
5. WiFi Access Point
You can take away our freedom, you can take away our coffee, but you can never take away our WiFi!
I've literally been stood in building sites that have no windows, no doors, no roof... But they did have WiFi!
Everything relies on WiFi these days from smart phones, computers, TV's, coffee machines, smart home devices, you name it....
So there's no better reason to add a "proper" WiFi access point in your kitchen extension when you have the chance.
You simply need to wire a cat6 data cable from your home router to a wall or ceiling mounted position in your kitchen extension.
Our range of commercial grade WiFi access points are powered over the data cable meaning you don't need to run power cables and they'll significantly boost your WiFi quality!
The last thing you want your new kitchen extension to be known for is "WiFi problems"....
This is just some tech inspiration for your kitchen extension ideas research, hope you find it useful.
You can view more kitchen tech ideas here: Tech4 Kitchens