Choose the Right Lighting to Brighten Your Kitchen
The key to any good lighting plan in the kitchen is finding the right balance between task lighting and ambient lighting. It’s easy to focus only on one of the two, but with our tips for choosing the right kitchen lighting, you’ll be able to design a kitchen light plan that’s perfect for you.
Evaluate the Space
Every kitchen is different so start by taking stock of what you’re working with. Minimal windows, dark finishes and tall ceilings create a dark room that needs more supplemental lighting than a room with lots of windows and bright finishes. In general, dark surfaces absorb light while light surfaces reflect it around the room. Take a good look at the natural lighting in the room throughout the day to start working out a plan to lighten and brighten your kitchen. Make sure to also note which spaces are the most active so your work areas are safely lit.
Take a Layered Approach
To create a warm, inviting atmosphere, it’s essential to layer your lighting. Use a combination of natural lighting whenever possible, mixed with ambient lighting to amplify the overall light level in the room and show off your home’s decor. Add extra light to your workspaces and eating areas with pendant lights, floor lamps, and table lamps.
Task lighting makes it easier to see what you’re doing while you’re cooking, chopping or doing any other work in the kitchen. Many range hoods come with an integrated light for over the cooking surface, but you also need lighting over your island, peninsula or table. In general, task lighting should be around 30" above the work surface. Illuminate dark corners of your cabinets with motion sensor activated lights that go on when you open the cabinet and off when you close the door. Under-cabinet lighting is also a good option for adding extra light without taking up a lot of space.
Add a bit of drama and hang a chandelier in the kitchen above your kitchen island or above the sink. If you don’t have the overhead space for a large chandelier, you can achieve the same effect with a flushmount ceiling lights and pendants hung over the island often create a balanced, elegant look.
Make Your Mark
Decorative lighting is a great way to explore new styles without making and big ticket changes that are hard to reverse. You can easily hang some string lights around your kitchen for a festive touch or incorporate a few lanterns into the room. Not only will it brighten your space, but you can repurpose the lanterns for use in basically every other room of your hoe – even outdoors.