Kitchen Lighting Options

Kitchen Lighting Options

Kitchen Lighting Options

If you want a kitchen that’s the envy of friends and family, don’t stop until you’ve considered your lights. Since poor lighting can make a room unusable, we’ve put together some ideas that will help you assemble the kitchen of your dreams.


General Kitchen Lighting


The American Lighting Association says general lighting in the kitchen should come from a central, decorative chandelier or recessed lighting. If you go with recessed, you should locate those around the perimeter of the room, while a chandelier should be more centrally located. However, they caution this shouldn’t be the only lighting for the room. They also advise against the use of fabric shades in the kitchen, as glass is easier to clean.


One other thing to avoid is the “glare bomb.” That’s a term that Randall Whitehead, nationally known designer and author on residential lighting, uses to refer to light fixtures in kitchens with only one central light. Whitehead says those overpower everything in the space.


Task Lighting


Defined as lights you use to brighten work areas, task lighting is vital in the kitchen. A great example is a light you read a cookbook with or chop food by. These are lights that can be placed under the cabinets, but over the counter. It also makes sense to have task lighting for a pantry, if you have one.


Ambient Lighting


This often-overlooked lighting source is designed to make people feel invited into a space. That can include lights on the tops of cabinets, if there is space above them. Another option would be toe-kick lighting, which are lights that go below cabinets but above the floor. Either of these will add warm elements of light to the room that can complete the look.


Accent Lighting


These are lights that people use to highlight dinnerware in a cabinet or art on the wall. These will add depth and dimension to a kitchen and are considered a decorative touch.




Flexibility with lighting is important, but easy to achieve. If you install a dimmer switch, you have as much or as little light as you need in your kitchen. It offers you the option of full light when you’re preparing that big meal or low light for romantic dinners. The cost for a dimmer is small but adds powerful punch to your kitchen.




Since kitchens have changed from small prep spaces to large entertaining areas, we need to change with them. That includes everything from great countertops featuring granite, quartz or other material to great lighting that help our kitchen to be both pract