Trying to find the right kitchen light fixtures for your home? Read our guide to learn the best
lighting strategies and choices for your ultimate kitchen.
The kitchen is an essential part of the home. Not only is it where you prepare food, but more kitchens are serving the purpose of also being a social space. People gather in the kitchen to chat, especially in homes where kitchens have islands or space combines with living and dining areas. Taking care with decoration and design is essential.
One of the critical elements of your kitchen is the lighting. Insufficient lighting makes it difficult to adequately prepare food and handle other tasks, while there's also the stylistic factors to consider.
Depending on the style of your kitchen, you'll want your lights to blend in with or supplement the rest of the room.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Lighting in Your Kitchen
There are numerous kitchen light fixtures to choose from, so it may be difficult to determine which ones best fit your space. Thinking through what you want your kitchen to look like can help ease the process. When planning your lighting needs, be sure to:
● Plan Appropriately. When you start thinking about your kitchen lights, you're thinking about both functionality and style. Well-lit work areas help with safety, while your lighting will also contribute to the ambiance of the room. Think about which aspects you want to highlight and where you need lighting before making any other decisions.
● Think About Your Kitchen Style. Some light fixtures lend themselves better to different design patterns. Modern spaces pair well with lights that have clean lines and metal shapes, while more natural décor can work with beaded and woven fixtures. You can also combine elements to create a unique style.
● Consider Adjustable Lighting Levels. Some tasks require higher levels of light than others. If your kitchen serves as a social space but connects to a larger area, it can be a nice touch to have dimmer lighting when all the food prep is said and done. This feature also helps with setting the right ambiance.
● Get Enough Lights for Your Space. Larger kitchens will require more levels of light, as do taller ceilings and darker finishes. You'll likely combine different styles of kitchen lights to get the best effect in your space. A safe rule of thumb to follow is three levels of lighting.
Top 6 Kitchen Light Fixtures
Once you start thinking about the overall aesthetic of your kitchen, you can begin to pick out the kind of kitchen light fixtures you want. We've gathered up some popular styles to help you make the most of your kitchen space.
Pendant lights are a stylish addition to kitchens. These fixtures hand down from the ceiling and come in a variety of different designs and styles. Most pendant lights have one light per fixture, and they can hang at several different lengths, too. These lights work great for giving dedicated and focused light on one area, such as islands, sinks, counters, and specific work areas.
While pendant lights make a great addition to any kitchen, you want to be careful about having too many; several different hanging fixtures can make space look cluttered as the lights compete against each other. You should also pay attention to how low the lights hang over your kitchen; you don't want them to be in a place where someone could knock their head against them.
Clear pendant lights are fantastic for not obstructing the view of your surrounding décor. If you want the focus of your design to be on perhaps your wall decorations or on another connected room, the transparent structure prevents the fixture from obstructing the view while still lighting up the room.
For a light fixture that's easy to attach to your ceiling, flush mounts are the way to go. There's a minimal gap between the roof and the installation, so they make a perfect fit for kitchens with low ceilings. Because they take up so little vertical space, it's easy to fit them in anywhere.
However, the smaller size doesn't mean they're any less useful. In fact, flush mount lights provide edge- to-edge designs, so they give off consistent illumination. Since you want to avoid dark corners in the kitchen, flush mounts are great for making sure every corner of the room is nice and bright.
What's also great about the size of these fixtures is that they don't catch a lot of attention, unlike pendant lights and larger accessories. As such, flush mounts can seamlessly fit into any design, and they make it easy to keep the focus on other aspects of your kitchen, like walls or decorations.
When you have a large room to illuminate, smaller light fixtures might not be enough. Tube lights are much longer than other lights, so they give off even more brightness to cover all corners of your kitchen.
These lights tend to work with fluorescent bulbs, meaning that you'll have ready light whenever you
Most tube lights tend to turn on faster than other fixtures, cutting out that seconds-delay between flicking on the switch and receiving light. However, a lot of tube lights aren't compatible with dimmer switches, so you may want to consider your other options if setting the exact level of ambiance is crucial for you.
Tube lights tend to fit in with more modern and contemporary kitchens, though that will depend on the design of the light you buy. Because of their larger size, they also won't blend into the design as seamlessly as flush mounts, but they still won't steal the attention from other areas of your kitchen.
Track lights refer to a type of installation that features several different fixtures. They tend to come as a row of lights all hooked into one support, with the individual light ports adjustable. This setup allows you to angle the lights exactly where you need them, reaching into otherwise hard-to-light corners.
Track lighting tends to work best for illuminating an area rather than a whole room. You also need to be careful about where you position light bars; otherwise, you won't get the best lighting possible. When installing track lights, you should look up the proper measurements so that you can figure out the best place for your kitchen set up.
Regarding design, track lighting can lend itself to any style, so long as you match with the rest of your kitchen set up. These setups do tend to be eye-catching, so be ready to include them for a stand out lighting that doesn't blend into the background. If that's your style, the angled lighting does give you an excellent advantage for lighting up particular areas.
Under Cabinet Lights
Also suitable for lighting up areas that other fixtures can't are under cabinet lights. Depending on the layout of your kitchen, you may have several counter-tops that rest beneath wall cabinets. With only one primary source of lighting, seeing under those cabinets then becomes difficult, which can make it hard to prepare food or wash dishes.
An under cabinet light will attach to the wall or bottom of your cabinets, efficiently illuminating shadowed spaces. Most of these fixtures are low profile, so you can add them into your kitchen without creating an eyesore. Then you can control the light when you need it and leave it alone otherwise.
Be sure to accurately measure out the space you have when searching for an under cabinet light. You don't want to end up with a structure that's too long to fit into your available area. Likewise, if you have a lot of space under your cabinets, you can also find ones that are several feet long to cover the best amount of ground.
Thinking about the overall lighting in your kitchen, you also have the option of recessed fixtures.
Sometimes known as canned lights, you install them into openings in the ceiling, meaning that you have nothing from above to distract people from the rest of your décor. Most recessed lights have simplistic designs to help them better blend in.
Depending on which lights you select, you may need to do a little extra installation work to fit them into your ceiling. This process shouldn't be too tricky, though, primarily if you're working on a renovation project already.
Despite being part of the ceiling, recessed fixtures give plenty of illumination so that you can rely on mthem for your primary light source. Pair them with a few other lighting options to illuminate specific areas, and your kitchen will pull together in no time.
Besides these choices, you can also consider elegant chandeliers and extended pendant light options.
Even better is that many different lights within the same type come in different colors and styles, letting you match your existing or new decoration plans.
With so many different types of kitchen light fixtures, you should have no problem finding ones that best fit your design and lighting needs. When you start to combine overall lighting with other decorative and accent options, it's no problem at all to give your kitchen the unique look and ambiance you're looking for in your design.