As the core of most homes, effective lighting in your kitchen is fundamental. Task lighting is a crucial component to a successful kitchen lighting plan, as many kitchen activities require a well-illuminated surface with minimal shadows. A key consideration in your kitchen lighting is the color of your cabinets, flooring and counter tops. Dark surfaces absorb light so if your surfaces are dark you will need more light sources than in the same size kitchen with all light surfaces.
Under cabinet lighting is extremely useful task lighting in the kitchen and comes in fluorescent, halogen/xenon, and LED options. Be careful of reflection when lighting counter tops of marble, granite, etc. Mount the fixtures as close as possible to the front of the cabinets to provide the best light distribution.
Lighting over your peninsula, island, and/or dining nook is where your light fixtures can really sparkle. Decorative pendants over your peninsula or island come in a wide variety options, from art glass to traditionally styled mini-chandeliers. If your decorative lighting is over a cook top, be sure to keep the lighting elevated at least 36 inches from the surface and fabric shades are not typically recommended.
Recessed lighting will add the final touch of overall illumination to your kitchen. Be sure to keep the lights at least 12 inches away from your cabinets to minimize shadowing effects.
Suggested Light Layers for Kitchens:
- Ambient – Recessed Lighting
- Decorative – Chandelier, Pendants, Petite Fixtures
- Task – Under and In Cabinet Fixtures
- Accent – Wall Sconces, Directional Recessed or Track Lighting, Lamps