The heart of every home is the kitchen. Whether you’re hosting a dinner for friends or it’s just a cozy night in, the kitchen inevitably becomes the hub of all the activity. Since so much of our time is spent in the kitchen, you want it to feel as welcoming as possible. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is by brushing up on your interior design with brilliant kitchen lighting ideas and bringing a warm atmosphere to the space.
The kitchen is where we start our day, make meals, and where our kids scatter their homework. By adding some new kitchen lighting ideas to your family’s gathering place, you can transform an ordinary space with the careful application of pendant lights, led kitchen lighting, and recessed lights.
Our guide will help you put together the ultimate residential kitchen lighting design for your home.
Ambient lighting is the light that fills up the whole room. It’s what allows you to navigate through your kitchen and is normally a stand-in for natural light. Your main source of ambient light will come from overhead kitchen lighting, such as pendant lights, flush and semi-flush mounts, or chandeliers. Kitchen recessed lighting ideas are in vogue currently, but don’t dismiss ornate flush mounts or rail lighting either.
Whether you choose one lighting system or a combination, your ultimate goal should be to illuminate everything as evenly as you can. You may have special lighting that has specific purposes or creates a mood—such as under-cabinet lighting—but the ambient light system you choose should be able to show the floor. A well-placed chandelier, recessed lighting, or elegant pendant lighting can do the job wonderfully.
Since ambient lights serve as your general kitchen overhead lights, you want to make sure they’re not so harsh or directly over countertops. This can create a reflected glare that can be distracting to the eye. To help with this, take note of the size and location of the countertops and/or kitchen island. If you’re installing recessed lights, you will want to account for the beam spread. If you’re placing pendant lights, you don’t want them too high or too low. You might see too much of the bare light, or it may block your view.
While ambient lighting adds a layer of light to the room, it may leave some spots too dark to operate. Task lighting is used to provide a focused well-lit area where you can work. While task lights have a definitive utility to them, in that they are used to brighten up countertops and cabinetry, their designs needn’t be utilitarian.
Even if you choose to go with an elaborate setup over the standard strip or puck lights, you shouldn’t overlook the necessity of task lights. These lights provide the critical help of illuminating your kitchen’s work surfaces. While ambient light can help you move around your kitchen, task lights actually let you work there. With a misplaced light, you may end up frustrated as you prepare a meal within a shadow.
The best way to add functionality and mood to your kitchen lighting design is to install under-cabinet lights. These lights can be added to any theme as there are several lighting systems you can choose. A RGB LED strip, or a fully mounted rail system can deliver the proper amount of task light you need.
Task lights don’t need to be relegated only to under cabinets. Use task lights to illuminate drawers, countertops, cabinet interiors, walkways, and around the sink, anywhere you work within the kitchen.
Accent lights are where you can allow your kitchens lighting ideas to flourish. These kitchen lights are used to bring focus and attention to your favorite areas. Accent lights will enable you to add a sense of playfulness to your kitchen since most of your decorative lighting pieces will be used to add little accent touches. While these lights generally serve more of an aesthetic purpose, they can also spill over into ambient and task roles.
Since you’ve already covered your kitchen with ambient light, and measured out the areas that need task lighting. Then bring a design together with accent lights. You can use a beautiful monorail as accent lights above a peninsula, toe kick lighting beneath the sink, or an elegant linear suspension to hang above an island.
If you add accent lights to an island or peninsula, make sure to leave enough space on both sides of the unit.
Having a spacious kitchen, you may consider adding a chandelier to give the area a touch of glamor. If you’re working with a smaller space, a decorative pendant light or sconce may be the gem that brings the room together.
Key Lighting Areas
Every room in your house can have its mood changes dramatically with the proper application of lights. However, your kitchen is one of the places in the home that requires the most planning for a cohesive look. When creating the plan and selecting the best kitchen lighting setup, you should include the independent sections that are suitable for your kitchen’s size.
To determine the sections you want to light, you need to figure out how you plan on using the space. It’s assumed that a portion of the counter space or island will be used for food prep. On the other hand, your kitchen may also serve as office space for your business, a place for the kids to do their homework, a place to eat meals, or to host guests. With these activities in mind, you can then choose the best kitchen lighting ideas to maximize your space.
Your ambient lights and task lights will cover the major key lighting areas. Moreover, you don’t want to neglect the parts of your kitchen that are typically out of sight. If you have deep cabinets or columns equipped with shelves and trays that act as a pantry, they could use their own light source. By illuminating your pantry space, you can easily see the products that you have on hand.
Design Ideas for a Modern or Minimalist Look
If you’re updating your kitchen to have a modern or minimalist look, you’ll want your space to be clean and free of clutter. The first design choice that you may lean towards is a majority white pallet with subtle, desaturated accents. Then, try incorporating a table made from a dark wood or stained in walnut, mahogany, or ebony, to remove the sterile look and add a dash of class.
To light your modern or minimalist kitchen, black pendants or modern glass fixtures can provide a simple yet powerful look. These can really stand out if paired with subway tile walls and white or light-colored natural wood countertops.
Of course, if you want to go really minimalistic, you can choose to install recessed lights for a clean silhouette.
Design Ideas for a Farmhouse or Rustic Look
Your house doesn’t have to be in the countryside to enjoy a farmhouse look in your kitchen. Establishing a farmhouse look can be easy by including natural materials throughout your kitchen, such as wood and twine. Couple this with distressed textures and weathered accent pieces, like one of Claxy’s rustic farmhouse chandeliers. In this way, you’ll have a beautiful farmhouse inspired design with which to work.
Going for a vintage and rustic look doesn’t mean you can’t utilize modern kitchen lighting ideas. If you want your natural wood cabinets to pop and radiate a warm, welcoming feeling, you can combine them with modern pendant lights for a bit of depth and contrast.
To create a more subtle kitchen color palette, you can add touches of stone as accent pieces. Combine these with a retro flush mount ceiling light to create a classically enchanting kitchen setup.
Design Ideas for an Industrial or Professional Look
Nothing screams industrial design as much as stainless steel, exposed bricks and wires, filament Edison bulbs, and ventilation tubes crisscrossing the ceiling. Industrial kitchens are cool, modern, and edgy. They can make you feel like you’re living in a New York loft even on the west coast.
Industrial kitchens have a neutral color palette that can make do with a punchy statement piece to balance it out. An iron chandelier can take your industrial look from neutral and dull to edgy and stylish. To warm up a concrete floor and block walls, an accent piece like sputnik chandelier can go a long way.
Or, you can incorporate sprinkles of industrial finishes. This can be in the form of exposed wiring, exposed brick, and loose hanging kitchen lights. For a lighting scheme that carries the clean, and functional vibe, you may want a black pendant over your work-zone.