How to Light a Kitchen in Style?

A kitchen is a place where you make food, so it should be clean, healthy, and bright for your usual work and proper visibility. However, most people don’t know exactly how to light a kitchen properly.

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

how to layout your kirchen lighting

How to Choose Light Types Based on Usage?

In your kitchen, there are various spaces that most of you 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;

  1. Kitchen Ceiling:

The kitchen ceiling light actually depends upon the ceiling size of the kitchen.

There are some kitchens which 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.

  1. 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 islands.

  1. 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 strip lights are perfect for the kitchen countertops. Also, light bars are another option for your kitchen countertop.

  1. Over the Kitchen Sink:

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

Task lighting or accent lighting are 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.

  1. 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 a place in there.

LED 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?

design 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 to 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;

1. Add ambient lighting:

Ambient lighting basically is the foundation of all the lighting in your kitchen, it is used to navigate throughout the kitchen, it often leaves shadows in areas that require more focus.

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

2. 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 areas of the kitchen like countertops, and kitchen sink.

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

How Much Light 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 purposes, you can use a chandelier or a decorative pendant lighting.

Tips to Light up Small Kitchen

small kitchen light ideas

For you, I recommend considering the ambient lighting and make sure it moves consistently throughout the floor plan.

Also install recessed lights in the kitchen which do not occupy any additional space in your kitchen these are easily installed and you can place them in any space you want like ceiling, cabinets and countertop.

Then use decorative accent and task lighting which will focus on important things and to define the space in the kitchen, and Mini-pendants can go above the sink or island these are optional if you feel only then install these.

Tips to Light up Large and High Ceiling Kitchen

Large and high ceiling kitchens have a 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;

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.

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

Also, add paints or beams so that these high ceilings will 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.

13 Kitchen Lighting Ideas

1. General Lighting All over Light in Kitchen:

kitchen light fixtures

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

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2. Pendant Lights for Over the Kitchen Island:

led kitchen lighting

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

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3. Task Lighting for Functionality:

kitchen light sets

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

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4. Cabinet Lighting:

recessed cabinet light for kitchen

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

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5. Accent Lighting to Set the Mood:

kitchen lighting ideas small kitchen

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.

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6. Kitchen Drawer Lighting:

best lighting for kitchen drawer

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.

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7. Lighting Kitchen Countertops:

directional lighting for kitchen countertop

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

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8. Faultless Brightness for the Kitchen:

best light for dark kitchen

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

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9. Lighting over the Kitchen Sink:

kitchen overhead lighting ideas

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

10. Toe-kick Lighting:

led light strip for kitchen

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

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11. Using Flush Mounts:

flush mount ceiling light fixtures

Flush-mounted ceiling lights are really effective for small ceilings.

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12. Under Cabinet Lights:

under cabinet lighting

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

13. Install LED Rope Lighting:

under cabinet rope lighting

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

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How to Make Kitchen Brighter?

1. Natural Light in the Kitchen: Natural light is the biggest plus for lighting a kitchen.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Lighting up the Dark Areas of the Kitchen: Many dark corners and areas are there in kitchen, you need to place lights in that direction so that these areas can have proper lighting.

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

6. Add Something Metallic to Reflect Light: Metallic things like these in this pic help to reflect the light easily in your kitchen.

7. 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.