How to Light a Kitchen in Style?

Last Updated on January 15, 2022 by LampPicker

Kitchen lighting is the most important part of your home, as we all know that kitchen is a place where you make food, so it should be clean, healthy and bright for your usual work and proper visibility.

And most of us don’t know exactly how to light our kitchen properly.

Let me explain this so that you will get a clear idea about this.

how to position spotlights in kitchen


How to Choose Light Types Based on Usage?

So, in your kitchen, there are various spaces that most of us forgot about and these spaces if made brighter can actually make a big difference in the overall brightness level and view of the kitchen.

Also, by choosing a proper light according to your space is very important because every space needs a different type of lighting according to the surrounding.

So, let’s see;

Kitchen ceiling:

Ceiling light actually depends upon the ceiling size of the kitchen there are some kitchens that are large and you need extra light to brighten up the whole kitchen.

Recessed lighting is the best option for kitchen ceiling, you can also use Flush mount lights, inverted pendant lights, and cove lights which are also good options for kitchen ceiling.

Kitchen Island:

Kitchen island is the location where you kept kitchen tools around it, also it is used for extra seating and includes integral storage drawers or cabinets, so for that, you need a proper visibility in this location.

Many people use overhead pendants and recessed lighting which is perfect for kitchen islands, Chandelier is also an option for kitchen island.

Kitchen Countertop:

Kitchen countertop is the main area working area, where you prepare food and do other related work. It should be bright enough so that everything is visible and accessible in this area.

Mostly, recessed lights and task lights are perfect for kitchen countertop. Also, light bars are another option for your kitchen countertop.

Over the Kitchen Sink:

Kitchen sink is the location where you wash your dishes and washing food items like vegetables, so you need perfect visibility in this area.

Task lighting or accent lighting is perfect over the kitchen sink because these are much brighter than others and consumes less power.

Flush mount lighting is another suitable option, also in general you can use recessed lighting and over sink chandelier.

Kitchen Cabinet:

Kitchen cabinet is the location where you store most of your kitchen items and also these are the areas where there is very less light and you need proper lighting so that there is no issue in the view and you will be able to see the items you have place in there.

Strip lights are perfect for kitchen cabinets, you can also use these lights under the cabinet also.


What to Know Before Designing Your Kitchen Lighting?

There are some basic things that you need to keep in mind before buying or designing your kitchen lighting;

What is your purpose?

First you need think about what exactly you want and what is your purpose of lighting in your kitchen because for perfect kitchen lighting you have to be exact about your kitchen space.

You can add many types of lighting to your kitchen and all lighting system have a different part in enhancing your overall kitchen brightness and look. Let me explain;

(a) Add ambient lighting:

Ambient lighting basically is the foundation of all the lighting in your kitchen. It is often in a warm glow and used to navigate you throughout the kitchen.

Recessed lights are the best choice for ambient lighting in your kitchen. Mostly this lighting is installed in the ceilings uniformly for wide range of lighting.

(b) Add Task lighting:

As the name suggests task lighting is actually focused on the specific area where you usually do tasks. These lights are basically installed in your working area of the kitchen like countertops, and kitchen sink.

(c) Add Accent lighting:

Accent lighting basically focuses on the architectural works or displays in your kitchen, which helps in highlighting the designs and the details you wanted to showcase and adds an additional look to your kitchen.

These lights can be installed under the cabinets, and underneath the kitchen islands.

How many lumens for kitchen and kitchen island?

Ideally, for kitchen, you will need 3000-4000 lumens and for the kitchen island, you will need 30 to 50 lumens per sq. ft of island.

How much lighting in kitchen?

It depends on your kitchen activity and size.

Ideally, for general light (floor) you will need 5 footcandles, for kitchen food preparation you will need 50 footcandles, for your sink you will need 30 footcandles, and for kitchen countertop you will need 30 footcandles.

What lamp spacing is reasonable?

Ideally, for every 4 to 6 inches of ceiling space, one light should be installed.

Is dimmer a must-have?

Yes, dimmer is a must-have because it gives you control to change the intensity of light according to your requirement and also help you maintain a uniform brightness in a kitchen.


How Do I Light My Kitchen in Style?

So, to light your kitchen in a stylish way,

First of all, you need to install general/ambient lighting so that the base of your lighting gets ready and you will reach all the areas of your kitchen.

Then, you can add accent lighting for focusing on your kitchen designs, architectural works, and displays, which will definitely enhance the overall look of your kitchen.

Also, by including the task lighting with some recessed lights which will cover your working areas like cabinets, drawers, countertops, pathways and the sink, and will also help to cover most of your dark area and corners of your kitchen.

And if you want any more lighting for decorative purpose, you can use a chandelier or a decorative pendant lighting.


Tips to Light up Small Kitchen?

1. Consider making full use of the lamps that do not occupy your additional space in your kitchen, such as recessed lights, light strips, puck lights, etc. These lights are easily installed and you can place them in any space you want.

2. Then use accent/task lighting which will focus on important things. If you have a long and narrow countertop, try to install a light bar on the walls.

3. Flush mount ceiling light will be better for semi flush ones and hanging lamps as they are less bulky and won’t let your small kitchen look uncomfortable and oppressive.

4. Choose lampshades with pure color or simple patterns which won’t get your kitchen scrambled.

5. Avoid using multi-colored lamps in your small kitchen. A natural daylight glow is perfect for your small kitchens.


Tips to Light up Large and High Ceiling Kitchen?

Large and high ceiling kitchens have very large area to cover and it gets really difficult and confusing what to use or install so that this large space lighten up easily, so here is a tip;

1. First, try to divide each area of your kitchen so that it will be easy to put lighting according to it. The areas should be divided according to your working space, storage space, and other spaces like Kitchen islands.

2. Now, use high brightness level recessed lightings for general lighting, use longer type of lightings for instance use extended pendant lights over a kitchen island, table or sink.

3. Also, add paints or beams so that these high ceiling will be become a point of focus so that you can use additional accent lighting to highlight all the designs, architectural works, and displays which will increase the overall effect in your kitchen.


20 Kitchen Lighting Ideas

General lighting all over light in kitchen:

It is basically the base or main lighting for your kitchen which helps to cover all the areas of your kitchen with maximum effect.

Pendant Lights for Over the Kitchen Island:

Pendant lights produce specific and small amount of lighting, making it the right fixture for areas that require a specific amount of light, such as your kitchen island.

Task Lighting for Functionality:

These lights are fixed in your working area in your kitchen for ease in visibility during working.

Cabinet Lighting:

Cabinets are basically used for storage of kitchen items and lighting helps in increasing the functionality by providing a better aesthetic and energy efficient solution.

Accent lighting to set the mood:

Accent lighting basically focuses on the architectural works or displays in your kitchen, which helps in highlighting the designs and the details you wanted to showcase and adds an additional look to your kitchen.

Kitchen drawer Lighting:

As you can see in the image above you store many items in your drawer and there is very less visibility, with the use of LED lighting you can light this space and increase the visibility.

Lighting kitchen countertops:

Kitchen countertops are the places where you do the actually work like cooking, cutting vegetables etc. that is the reason you need a proper lighting in this location.

Faultless Brightness for the Kitchen:

You need to choose the bulb which is bright enough according to your kitchen requirement.

Lighting over the kitchen sink:

Sink is the location where you wash your dishes and food so lights will give a better visibility while doing that work.

Toe kick lighting:

Toe kitchen lighting really helps the bottom most space of the kitchen visible.

Using flush mounts:

These are really effective for small ceilings.

Under cabinet lights:

Under cabinet lights help you to get additional lighting for your kitchen.

Install LED rope lighting:

These LED rope lights help to reach all the areas where other lights cannot reach because of their flexible nature.

Natural light in the kitchen:

Natural light is the biggest plus for lighting a kitchen.

Add a mirror in the kitchen:

Mirror is the old way of reflecting the light and in kitchen if you place the mirror, it will actually help to reflect maximum light.

Proper Placement of the light

According to your kitchen size you need to place the light properly so that light from it can be perfectly directed to every space in the kitchen.

Lighting up the dark areas of the kitchen:

Many dark corners and areas are there in kitchen you need place lights in that direction so that these areas can have proper lighting.

Add pops of color:

Proper color should be painted on the walls and surrounding of the kitchen so that light can be reflected of the surface perfectly.

Add something metallic to reflect light:

Metallic things like these in this pic help to reflect the light easily in your kitchen.

Add something for focus:

For large ceilings and kitchen when you add something on your wall or ceiling you can focus on it with your accent light to enhance the overall view of the kitchen.



Clearly, the best way to light a kitchen totally depends on your kitchen and its condition, and also you must consider all the basic things that I have already mentioned above it will definitely help you to lighten up your kitchen very easily.

Remember that if you have a proper plan and you know your kitchen well then it is pretty easy to light a kitchen in the best way possible.