Lighting Tricks your Kitchen is Missing - Think Soft, Warm, Welcoming Glow.

Dated: May 6 2022

Views: 96

The kitchen is perhaps one of the most complex areas in the house to light. There is an important need to incorporate lighting elements that make the kitchen function at its best and look aesthetically pleasing, homely, and welcoming. 

Many people believe that lighting interior spaces are easy. But there's more to it than just hanging a light fixture and installing a bulb. It takes both an art and a science to illuminate a kitchen space effectively and attractively. Brightness, contrast, temperature, lighting angles, and configurations are some of the complexities required in achieving the desired atmosphere. 

Regardless, if you understand the fundamentals of lighting design, you can easily create the kitchen space atmosphere you want. This article will teach you everything you need to know about lighting your kitchen and creating a gentle, pleasant, and friendly atmosphere.


If you’re new to lighting design, you must familiarize yourself with the 3 main types of lighting in the kitchen. Lights are categorized into these 3 types. These are task lighting, ambient or general lighting, and accent lighting. These 3 are combined to create a coherently layered design composition. 

1. Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is also called general lighting. It is the main source of light and should come first before the other kinds of lighting. Ambient light is very important because it provides 90% of the amount of light in the kitchen that can reach nooks, corners, and even spread out into the spaces adjacent to the kitchen. Ambient lighting comes in the form of recessed lighting in the ceiling, chandeliers, and pendant lights. 

2. Task lighting 

In a kitchen with some ambient light, task lighting offers additional light for certain tasks. Task illumination is particularly effective for viewing small or low-contrast items. The kitchen is heavily used by the whole family for cooking, preparing meals, organizing food, cleaning food, and a lot more.  This makes task lighting a very important element to have. without task lighting, the kitchen will feel and look inefficient. The room will be generally darker and shadows will cast on worktops while you are working on certain tasks like chopping and washing dishes. Strip lights and puck lights under the cabinets are popular task lighting solutions in the kitchen.

3. Accent Lighting

Accent lights are three times brighter than ambient lights and are used to draw attention to a specific object or location. Accent lighting transforms an object, such as artwork, furnishings, or architectural elements, into a focal point by drawing attention to it.


It's crucial to understand the three primary types of lighting before attempting to blend them into an interior space. Knowing the fundamentals can help you design better and make informed decisions about which lighting fixtures to choose and how to position them in the room. Now that we've covered that, let's move on to the lighting tips that will turn your kitchen from drab to fab. 

For the Ceiling:
Let's start with the kitchen ceiling. As previously stated, general or ambient lighting is the primary source of light in the space. As a result, this sort of illumination is found in the ceiling. Here are a few ways for creating ambient light that will guide the overall ambiance of a kitchen.

Choose the Best Downlights 
In every modern home, downlights are one of the most ubiquitous lighting fixtures. When compared to a standard light fixture, they give warm general illumination that is subtle yet has a significant effect on the overall lighting scheme of the interior. To achieve the ultimate downlight effect, add up the total area of the ceiling (in square feet) by 1.5 to get the number of downlights you'll need. 

Next, divide the total watts required to illuminate the room by the wattage of the light you intend to use. The LED downlight is the ideal choice if you want bright lighting. On the other hand, if you simply want to create a delicate but bright atmosphere, an LED circular panel is ideal.

Install a skylight 
A skylight is one of the most fascinating additions to any home. Skylights may help homeowners in a variety of ways. During the day, they provide an outlet for natural light to come into the kitchen. Furthermore, skylight windows may give cross ventilation, making the area feel bright and airy. 

The kitchen benefits the most from a skylight since it requires adequate general illumination practically at all times of the day. Skylights can enhance the visual appeal of a kitchen due to changing sky hues so if you want to achieve the picturesque kitchen appeal like those you see on Pinterest, install a skylight!

Create a Sense of Grandeur and Hang a Chandelier
A chandelier in the kitchen creates a strong visual centerpiece while also bringing balance and proportion to the space. In today's market, you may pick from a variety of chandelier styles based on the look you want to create. 

Choose huge and beautiful chandeliers if you want to create a Regency classic interior design. Modern chandeliers, on the other hand, are excellent for a more contemporary and minimalistic look. When installing a chandelier in the kitchen, make sure it is 30-34 inches above the dining table or kitchen island counter.

Use Uplights 
Uplighting is a common lighting effect that is achieved by carefully positioning lighting sources on the floor and directing them upward. As a result, the impression of 'up lighting' is created. This type of lighting trick is usually seen in events as well as outdoor areas of the house to highlight certain architectural features of the building during the night. But did you know that uplights are often used by interior designers to generate an ambient lighting effect in kitchens? Uplighting in the kitchen is typically positioned above cabinetry so that light may spread from the area between the cabinet's surface and the ceiling, illuminating the kitchen ceiling with a gentle warm glow.

For Kitchen Cabinets:
Kitchen cabinets store essential items and surround important workspaces such as the stove and counter. To ensure that all sections are appropriately lit while also generating the perfect ambiance, these rooms require well-planned and positioned lighting.

Under-cabinet lights can be utilized with a dimmer. Because this light belongs to the task lighting category, it basically means that this light is used only when there is a certain task to be done like cooking, chopping, or cleaning counters. When the lights are not in use, you have the option to use the dimmer. To operate your under-cabinet lights, a 300-watt dimmer will suffice. Even if each fixture is 10 watts, the total power consumed is just 120 watts.  

LED Strips
LED strip lights are perfect for under-cabinet lighting. If you have a line of wall cabinets in your kitchen, place the LED lights at the bottom underside of these cabinets. Then, based on your kitchen décor style and preferences, change the colour to anything you like to achieve the atmosphere you want to have in your kitchen. 

LEDs are an excellent choice for under cabinet lighting because they produce little to no heat, keeping you cool as you cook, and they perform well in damp environments like kitchen counters compared to any other type of lighting fixture. 

Puck Lights 
Puck lights are adaptable lighting options that are especially beneficial in areas where a large volume of light is required from a small number of light sources. Your kitchen's general lighting can only do so much to highlight the elegance of your worktops. This is where puck lights come in. They are ideal for accentuating the beauty of reflective countertop materials such as polished marble, granite, and quartz. You may even have puck lights that can be dimmed for use at night. You have the option of using battery-powered puck lights or hard-wired and you can either hang them on the wall or attach them using Velcro. There are also puck lights that instantly turn on when you touch them. How convenient right?

For the Kitchen Island:
The kitchen island is an important feature to consider when constructing a kitchen. The island is the main point of practically any kitchen interior design plan. It's the element that gives kitchens a luxurious, aesthetically pleasing and inviting appearance. Kitchen islands may be transformed into a big kitchen feature with the right lighting. Here are some of the tricks to know: 

Hang Pendant Lights 
A pendant fixture has the advantage of bringing light down from the ceiling and closer to your counter. Choose a pendant with an open-top, such as one with a classic drum shade, to diffuse the light underneath it. Translucent-glass shades lessen glare, while non-transparent shades create a softer glow. 

Pendant lights are light fixtures that will never go out of style. Few of the reasons why many interior designers and home décor enthusiasts are obsessed with pendant lights is because of their contribution to the overall visual scheme of the interior space. They help create balance and proportion and add texture to the composition.  

Use Track Lights 
The ability to focus spotlights where desired, such as making a store exhibit, work of art, or clothes rack a focal point, is the fundamental advantage of track lighting. In establishments like coffee shops, restaurants, and bars, you’d most likely see track lights on the ceiling just above the counter space. 

The lights are directed to a particular area – most likely a wall to shed light on a specific display or feature. Track lights are ideal if you want to create drama in your kitchen’s visual appeal. Styles like rustic chic, industrial, and mid-century modern are styles where track lighting can be incorporated. 

Don’t Forget the Toe Kick Lights
We’ve covered everything from the counters to the ceiling but our lighting composition wouldn’t be complete without the toe kick. What is a toe kick? It is a recessed area on a bottom cabinet that accommodates your toes, as the name implies. These few inches allow you to comfortably rest your feet beneath a tiny piece of the cabinet, so you can approach the counter without having to lean over.

Choosing the Right Colour Temperature:
The colour temperature of light is important to consider when considering lighting design and its influence on your space. It not only affects the way you and others feel about the space, but it also determines how your environment appears.

Understand Kelvin’s Ratings 
Colour temperature, or tone, is measured in Kelvins.  The colder and bluer the tint, the higher the Kelvin value. As you progress down the K rating scale, the hue will become warmer and yellow. Aim for a warm white rating of 3,000–4,000 Kelvin or a bright to cool white light of 4,000–5,000 Kelvin for your kitchen colour temperature. 

Keep in mind that Kelvin ratings under 3,000 produce a bright, comfortable tone that's more appropriate for your living room than your kitchen. If it reaches above 5,000 kelvins, on the other hand, you'll emit natural sunshine tints that are typical in commercial environments.

Choose the Right Brightness 
Lumens are a measurement of how much light your bulb produces, regardless of its wattage. This is a key distinction between LEDs and fluorescent lights. Kitchens that are smaller use fewer lumens, whereas, higher lumens are required for darker walls, countertops, and cabinets. 

Low-lumen bulbs may be used as accent lighting throughout your kitchen, such as a few task lights beneath your cabinets. For a countertop or small kitchen island, a bulb with at least 500 lumens would suffice.

Select the Appropriate Bulb Shape 
Light bulbs come in many different shapes and sizes. Knowing which bulb is ideal for your kitchen is important because specific types of bulbs are suggested for specific types of fixtures. To optimize efficiency, the light source in conventional bulbs had to be equal across all corners of the glass case to put out consistent and panoramic light. For pendant lights, that hang over your island or dining area, standard or globe bulbs are ideal while recessed bulbs are used in ceilings to flood your kitchen with light and have a greater lumen output.


Lighting a kitchen is very different from lighting a living area or a bedroom for example. The kitchen is considered an active space where every nook and cranny is utilized every day and everything needs to be functional and efficient. There is always a concern for safety and efficiency more than aesthetics. So, whether you're designing a new kitchen from scratch or renovating an old one, these lighting fundamentals will help get you started in the right direction.

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Jamie MacLean

Jamie MacLean has over 25 years of marketing experience with extensive knowledge in digital marketing, social media management, website development, public relations, re-branding, brand activations, l....

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