How To Choose The Right Lighting For Your Kitchen

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Confused by all the choices of kitchen lighting like pendants, LEDs etc? Lighting is a crucial part of any kitchen remodel, but it’s not something we’re all experienced with. Our experts have pulled together this guide to help you make the right choice for your kitchen! 

Lighting is often overlooked, but it’s a really important part of your Kitchen's decor besides performing the basic function of illuminating the space. Too many lights can be distracting and too few lights will give you a headache! 

Correctly placed lighting schemes will not only illuminate your space, but also accentuate your interior design. Light brightness and warmth can massively transform the feel of your space for better or worse.

Here are a few things to keep in mind and keep your kitchen lit!


The first thing you need to consider is ‘where’ the lighting is needed in the kitchen. A kitchen has several basic lighting components like the island, the stovetop, walls and under cabinet lighting. These are the areas that need to be illuminated. 

Depending on these kitchen components, different styles of lights can be selected:

    • Island: Islands don’t have access to electrical fixtures like walls, cabinets etc. so the perfect lights for them are pendant lights that hang from your ceiling. They not only illuminate your island but also add a design element to your kitchen. Pendant lights are a popular part of minimalistic and traditional kitchens because they evoke a vibe of luxury and sophistication.
    • Kitchen Sink: Nowadays sinks use lighting for both functional and decorative purposes. Both recessed and flush mount lights give the sink an illuminating and captivating look. Sinks aren’t necessarily in need of much lighting but giving them some spotlight will reflect well on your taste and attention to detail!
    • Dining tables: Kitchens with dine-in facilities are the perfect place for flaunting some luxury and style i.e chandeliers. If you love fancy kitchens, the dining table is a perfect place to make a style statement. Besides, it’s no fun to eat in the dark!
    • Cooktops: Having ample lighting while cooking is really important not just for the sake of your eyes but so that you don’t make mistakes or confuse ingredients. Stovetops work fine with Flush mount lights, pendants or fixed ceiling bulbs. It all depends on the style of your kitchen.
    • Cabinets and Countertops: Under-cabinet lighting has lately been getting really popular in recent years due to its unique style and convenient means of illuminating your workspace. Countertops serve as a workstation and need ample lighting to work effectively. Similarly, cabinets need some illumination as well. Closet lighting can help the decor of the kitchen in addition to the obvious advantage of efficient search and work tasks. 

Kitchen Lighting

Kitchen lighting comes in three basic layers – task lighting, accent lighting and decorative lighting. Here’s how these lighting layers compare:

Task lighting

Task lighting is designed to illuminate your kitchen’s workspaces, allowing you to perform kitchen “tasks”. These spaces include countertops, sinks, cooktops and any places where you are cooking or preparing food.

Accent Lighting 

Accent lighting is used to add more intensity to your kitchen’s design and make the design elements more prominent. They compliment the kitchen’s theme and are placed near places like inside cabinets, on the walls and near backsplashes. 

accent lighting in kitchen
Image credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

Decorative lighting 

Decorative lighting, as the name suggests, is the eye candy of the kitchen. These are the lights that aren’t exactly needed in the kitchen but are used for decorative purposes because why not? 

Pendant lights and chandeliers are the most commonly used decorative lights in almost all kinds of kitchens. Being a bit extra when it comes to the heart of your home never hurt anyone after all! 

Designs and layers aside, the color temperature of the kitchen lights is very important as well. Following are the common colors that are used in light bulbs:

  • Incandescent: Incandescent light bulbs are the most common wattage of light used for residential environments due to their neutral look. They can blend perfectly with almost any theme. 
  • Low CRI light: Low color rendering index (CRI) lights look grayish and are really well-used as decorative lights.
  • Fluorescent lights: Fluorescent bulbs are considered by some to be an important component of traditional, classic and cottage-style kitchens. They have a really vintage vibe and can give off a very distinct look and feel. 

It might not seem important, but lights can completely make or break the look of your kitchen. 

Lit badly, a well-designed kitchen could look flat, cold, dull, and boring. On the other hand, a subpar kitchen lit well could look more impressive and expensive than it actually is.

A variety of different styles of lights are now available that you can use to match the theme of your kitchen. Correctly placed lighting means style, detail and functionality combined. 

Use our Kitchen Infinity guide to make an informed decision and bring life to your space by placing lights in all the right places! 

decorative lighting in kitchen
Image credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo
Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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