How To Light A Kitchen

led-light-in-kitchenThere’s no other room in our home that needs proper lighting than the kitchen. You need good light intensity when you cook, when you chop the vegetables, basically at all moments. Either you have kitchen curtains or not (you can find our selection here, daylight can’t always help you when it comes to cooking.

Specialists recommend that, no matter where your kitchen is placed in the house, the lights in your kitchen should be ambient, friendly and never overly bright. All fixtures should be dimable also- you do care about your electricity bill, right?

When it comes to kitchen lights, three levels of light should be always in place: hanging (or pendant), under-cabinet strip lighting and down lights (also known as recessed). You should decide the wattage depending on the space, but, typically, you should go for incandescent light for pendants and LEDs for the strip lights. When it comes to the recessed fixtures, MR16 Halogens or LED lamps work the best. If colored light puts you in cooking mood, choose the warm, golden tones for the bulb color temperature.

Pendants are ideal over islands and dining areas as they bring a softer, warmer light. They give a lower level light and add some style to the room also. Hang a pendant around 40 inches above the island or tabletop for a maximum effect.

If you want to light up your countertops, use LED strip lights. This type of light stays cooler than the incandescent bulbs, and is hidden from view while the light is directed down onto the counter.

For best general kitchen illumination go for the recessed lighting in the ceiling that also fights glare and shadows. Recessed lights work well in circulation areas and in the space between the kitchen sink and the island. You can have a blast and install these lights wherever it pleases you.

If your kitchen is already well lit, you can always add some accent lighting for interest. You can get creative a lot; use cabinets with glass doors, mount LED strip lights in the back of the shelves or float shelves at open cabinets. Leave 2 to 2.5 inches of space between the back of the shelf and the back wall of the cabinet. A small wood stop (a bumper) in the back of the shelf will keep the items on the shelves from being pushed into the light-strip gap.

Even though everybody wants a well lit kitchen, some fall into the trap of using too many lights. Go for only one hanging-style fixture in the kitchen (pendant or pot rack with integral down-lights- your choice).

If your kitchen or dining area is not generous, you can „trick” the eye by using directional spotlights angled towards the cupboards and walls. The light is reflected back into the room, thus creating the impression of a larger space.

See to it that the lights near hobs fit flush to the wall or ceiling- this makes them easier to clean. Keep in mind that it’s ideal also to find fittings covered with glass.

Never place the track lights shining in your eye and the spots should always be placed where you need the light. Give more flexibility to the light by choosing directional versions- lights over a kitchen counter work best if placed above the edges of the counter, while the angled cross creates glare-free lighting.

If you have glass cabinets, light them internally. They will become like wall lights- as long as you don’t care much if people see what’s inside them 🙂

No matter how you go for the lights in the kitchen, remember that, ultimately, they are supposed to illuminate work spaces, to give dimension to the kitchen and become a decorative aspect of your kitchen at the same time.


About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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