For many modern families, the kitchen is the hub of the home. It is a space that needs to be both a warm gathering room and a functional place to prepare dishes, cook, serve, and clean. This is why it’s important to get your kitchen lighting just right.
If you’re wondering how to bring together multiple lighting elements to make sure you have the best lighting for your kitchen, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
1. Why Down Lights Are Important
Down lights (also known as recessed lights) are placed in the ceiling and are the best lighting choice to illuminate the entire kitchen while preventing shadows and glare. Down lights are particularly useful in high circulation areas, like walkways and the space between the sink and the kitchen island. Because you can install them wherever you need them, down lights are also useful in areas where you need extra task lighting, for example those spots in your kitchen where you do your most intense prep work.
The wattage you choose for your down lights can vary depending on the size of your kitchen, but typically halogen or LED bulbs are used. Consider dimmable fixtures so that you can increase the lighting when you need it for precision tasks and then decrease it later for ambiance.
2. How Under-Cabinet Lights Can Add to Your Kitchen’s Functionality
Under-Cabinet lights are typically installed behind the board of the front of your cabinet so that they illuminate the countertop without shining directly in anyone’s eyes.
These lights are especially useful over the areas of your counter where you may perform precision kitchen work or store items that need to be clearly seen and distinguished. When you have these light fixtures installed, your electrician may also be able to add extra outlets or USB ports near them to increase the overall functionality of your kitchen.
3. How to Choose Pendants or a Chandelier
These fixtures are the shining jewels of your kitchen lighting that add both style and illumination to your space.
Pendants or a chandelier will typically be installed over the kitchen island or table to bring a warm, ambient light to your gatherings. A fixture with shaded bulbs will create a subtler glow for a true mood lighting effect. Plan to hang your pendants or chandelier at least 40 inches above the tabletop or island to keep them above the direct sightline of those sitting down to eat.
4. How to Maximize Natural Light
If you’re lucky, your kitchen may feature many windows that will provide ample natural light when the sun shines.
If your kitchen is already aglow from natural light, then you want to choose lighting fixtures that will add accent lighting for visual interest. Make sure to choose fixtures that can also substitute for daylight during rainy day and dark nights. One idea is to install dimmable LED lights behind your kitchen shelves, which can create a wash of light when necessary.
For more design ideas and inspiration for your kitchen lighting, check out Going Lighting’s collection of kitchen lighting fixtures!