Kitchen Lighting Ideas


Kitchen lighting ideas may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re getting ready to remodel your kitchen, but it’s one of the most important. Both function and beauty are considerations as you begin to remodel your kitchen, and the correct lighting is needed for both. To help you choose the right lighting for your kitchen remodel, here’s a look at the types of lighting and how to use them.


Task lighting is one of the first kitchen lighting ideas to consider. Since most kitchens are functional spaces, it is one of the most important. Whether you are washing dishes, chopping vegetables, or cooking a stir fry, you need plenty of light to see what you are doing.

Often general ceiling lighting doesn’t provide the light you need. Since your body is between the light and your work, it casts a shadow. Task type of lighting is specific to work areas, such as counter tops, islands, and sinks.Track lighting, recessed lights, and pendant lighting all provide the task lighting you need to work more efficiently on a daily basis.


Another of the kitchen lighting ideas to consider is accent lighting. This lighting is designed to accent certain areas of the kitchen. It can be used to add some depth and dimension to your kitchen to accent specific items in your kitchen, such as a china cabinet.

Other areas of your kitchen that you may want to accent with this type of lighting include beautiful countertops, cabinets, or even a kitchen bar. In most cases, you’ll want to use low voltage bulbs to make this lighting soft and warm.


One of the lighting options that many overlook is ambient lighting. When planning your remodel it’s easy to remember task lighting and even accent lighting, but without ambient lighting, you’ll never achieve the warm, homey feeling that you want.

This type of lighting helps to warm the room while softening the shadows, providing a welcoming feeling. Install these lights near the ceiling above the cabinets or on the cabinets facing up and out for the best ambience.


Decorative lighting is another of the kitchen lighting ideas you’ll want to use in your kitchen, although it is important that you don’t overuse this style of lighting. Overuse can make your kitchen look cluttered and “overdone.”

Use decorative lighting to add a sense of style and dimension to your kitchen. Small LEDs in a glass-front cabinet, a chandelier over the island, strip lighting under the floor cabinets in the kick-space, etc. You can even choose fixtures that go with your kitchen décor.


Of course, if you have an outdoor kitchen area as well, you’ll want to install some outdoor kitchen lighting. With the right lighting, cooking outdoors after sunset, obviously, becomes easier. If your outdoor kitchen is covered, consider an outdoor ceiling fan with a light fixture, which will provide airflow and light. Luau style torches now come in composite materials, steel and copper. Some are solar powered with long lasting LEDs.

There are many, many configurations in regard to outdoor lighting. Search: “outdoor lighting”‘ “outdoor kitchen lighting”, bbq lights”, etc. You may have to be a little creative in the kitchen lighting ideas area, especially if your outdoor kitchen isn’t covered, but it’ll be worth it to have a little more focus, mood and ambience out there!


Sometimes an outdoor light fixture goes out, or doesn’t come on when the switch is flipped, but the bulb is still good. Lots of times, especially in humid areas, the problem is rusty or corroded contacts. First, turn off power to the fixture at the breaker box then take the light fixture apart just enough to see the socket, wires and contact screws. If there is rust, unscrew the 2 screws (one at a time) holding the wires to the fixture and remove the crud with emery cloth or sandpaper. A spray with automotive-ignition sealer will guard against future moisture.

If this isn’t the problem, check the switch (especially if it’s on an exterior wall). If rust is present or if the insides appear corroded, do the same as above or replace it.

Whether your kitchen is indoors or outdoors, the best kitchen lighting ideas keep function in mind above all else. It really is amazing what simple lighting can do!

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Updated: November 10, 2015 — 11:11 pm

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