The kitchen always tends to be a place where people come together. Whether it’s a close family gathering or a big-time party where you invited all your friends, we congregate in the kitchen.

Your kitchen is a very important space.

Kitchen Lighting Design

Kitchen Lighting Design – Work With Your Kitchen Designer for Lighting Excellence! 

The kitchen space feeds us with nutrition, and it is also a space that feeds our souls. Nothing is more satisfying emotionally than sharing a meal with close friends and family. A kitchen also reflects our personal style. Therefore, it is no surprise that the kitchen is always a top priority whenever a homeowner starts forming ideas to update or remodel their home.

Your kitchen is a technical space for cooking.

Your kitchen is also an atmospheric space for entertaining.

When designing your kitchen, consider pairing appliances with cabinets, creating a vibe with lighting, and bringing in textures and patterns with tile, countertops, and flooring. This is where a kitchen designer is fundamental to kitchen design success.

Lighting is technical in nature (fixture qualities, specifications, circuitry, and placement). Lighting also helps you to perform (good lighting helps you to cook). Finally, lighting is fundamental to creating a mood or feeling.

Four Aspects of Kitchen Lighting

Kitchen lighting deserves a great deal of attention for your kitchen design.

Kitchen lighting designs can and should consider the following:

  • Ambient lighting
  • Task-Specific lighting
  • Accent lighting
  • Decorative lighting

All these aspects of kitchen lighting design must work well together to create an overall functional lighting design. Beyond functionality, a well-considered design will enable you to create moods and feelings.

Kitchen lighting design needs the home’s most flexible interior lighting scheme to reflect the wide range of functions kitchens are now used for.

Lighting may also help you to create that WOW factor.

Ambient Lighting

Kitchen Lighting Design - Ambient Lighting

Your kitchen ambient lighting is the main source of general lighting—whether in addition to natural light or to fill in for lack of it. Cast as much of it as evenly as possible from the ceiling with a combination of (but not limited to) chandeliers, pendant lights, recessed lighting, and flush mounts.

Lighting must also match the look and feel of other design elements, such as the type of cabinets, cabinet hardware, and appliances.

The ambient lighting also can help to showcase how nice the countertops are and the flooring.

Task-Specific Lighting

Ambient lighting is general in nature and helps light the entire kitchen. However, it is not designed to cast light in specific areas, which may require more focused lighting.

Task-specific lighting focuses light on work surfaces and areas so that these areas are properly illuminated. You can then more safely prepare meals, read recipes, and easily spot ingredients on a shelf or in a cabinet.

Common kitchen task-specific lighting options include strip lights and puck lights.

Task Specific Lighting

Accent Lighting

Accent is one of those details that can add an elevated level of sophistication to a kitchen lighting plan.

Accent Lighting - Inside Glass-Front Cabinets

In a kitchen, a wonderful spot for accent lighting is inside glass-front cabinets. The light inside the cabinet offers a pleasing glow that can show off what is inside the glass-fronted cabinet.

There are ample styles of accent lighting fixtures to choose from. This allows you to be versatile and make the best decisions based on the atmosphere you’re trying to evoke.

Decorative Lighting

Decorative lighting consists of lighting fixtures that help you to show off your new kitchen. A decorative light is a type of light that is just as important in look as it is in function, if not more so.

Decorative Pendant Lights Over The Kitchen Island
Decorative Pendant Lights
Decorative Lighting Pendants

For example, pendant lights over an island or table are a form of decorative light. The way the pendants look has a very significant impact on how the space looks. Pendant lights also serve the purpose of illuminating the island or table surface.

Pendant lights look best in groups but keep in mind the scale of the pendant design as well.

Detail Example: Lighting A Kitchen Island

If you use the kitchen island for food prep and other tasks, you’ll need targeted task lighting before considering decorating with pendants. While the kitchen island is often the place for decorative fixtures like pendants, most pendants cast light in all directions rather than providing focused beams of light to adequately illuminate the island countertop.

You may consider accent lighting fixtures that can be adjusted or recessed fixtures to light your kitchen island. Design for proper task-specific lighting of the island surface and then bring in decorative pendant lighting afterward. Make sure the kitchen island lighting is well done for tasks. Add pendant light fixtures as an additional layer of lighting.

Monorail lighting works nicely over kitchen islands because you can bend the rail to ensure the kitchen island is flooded with light. The flexibility of monorail lighting ensures your kitchen island will have enough light. You could even have the accent lighting heads and pendants on the same rail. The accent heads provide directional task lighting, and the pendants offer a decorative look.

Moreover, you may even want to use a two-circuit monorail fixture. With a two-circuit monorail fixture, the task lighting is wired on one circuit with a dimmer switch, and the pendants are on separate dimmer switches. A two-circuit approach will give you plenty of lighting control.

Kitfchen Lighting Design - Monorail Lighting

Photo Courtesy of  Luxe Decor

Monorail track lighting systems call for a single monorail fixed to the ceiling using stems. The track fixtures of the system all hang from this single line. Monorail construction is a newer form of track lighting that allows greater flexibility in track shapes, curves, and flexibility.

Kitchen Island Lighting

Photo Courtesy of Decorating Den Interiors

Pendant lights are the most popular choice above a kitchen island. Pendants are an excellent choice over a kitchen island because their bulbs are oriented to shine directly down. You can extend them down from the ceiling, which means you have some flexibility with how much light shines directly on the island surface.

Pendant lights come in various shapes and styles – from opaque glass globes to open-air bell pendants – making them a great option for various decor styles.

Kitchen Lighting Design - Linear Chandelier

Linear Chandeliers include multi-light fixtures that bring light to a large surface area. A chandelier may be an excellent choice for a long or oversized kitchen island. Linear chandeliers work best with large-scale islands and in spaces where they command attention.

Some lighting fixtures do not work well together. For example, you wouldn’t pair a linear chandelier with another pendant in the kitchen. However, a chandelier could work very nicely if your kitchen is designed with recessed lights.

Kitchen Lighting Design – Final Thoughts and Tips

Multiple Circuits

Do not put all your lights on just one circuit, limiting your flexibility. Put wall lights, under cupboard lights, downlights, and feature lighting all on different circuits so each can be controlled individually to create the ideal scene.  Talk with your kitchen designer about lighting control options.

On/Off, Dimmers, or Control System

You do not have to control your kitchen lighting with a simple on/off switch. You will not have much flexibility if your only control is on or off. You want to be able to change the mood from the daytime when you want it to be bright to the evening when you are looking for a more subdued light to entertain by.

Instead, at a minimum, use lighting dimmers or, if your budget allows, design your kitchen lighting with a pre-set control system that can change to different moods at the touch of a button.

Lighting can change the mood and atmosphere of every interior space.

Lighting Technology

Use LED technology, as this will give you many options. Moreover, LED lights are very efficient and have a very long lifetime.

Adjacent Areas

Kitchens lead into adjacent areas such as patios, dining rooms, or even to your garden. Include these adjacent areas in your kitchen lighting design. Extend the wonderful feeling you have created with your kitchen lighting design to these adjacent areas.

Brainstorm Ideas

Work with your designer on lighting. You will spend a great deal of time on cabinet selection and appliances. The kitchen items are vital to the design of your new kitchen. Many people will not spend much time on lighting, but you and your designer can brainstorm ideas and design a new kitchen with a flexible and functional lighting design.

It could even be your WOW! Factor!

The DDC Kitchen Design Team has extensive experience in these five key product areas.

Cabinetry  •  Appliances  •  Countertops  •  Flooring  •  Tile

The DDC Kitchen Design Team has extensive experience in these five key product areas.

Cabinetry  •  Appliances  •  Countertops  •  Flooring  •  Tile

The Delmarva Design Center

A Kitchen Design Center!

Your kitchen design options can be overwhelming. However, we have a solution.

You can get close to products at the Delmarva Design Center and talk with experts. We work with you to customize the design and ensure that all of your requirements at met. You tell us what you desire, and we help to make your kitchen design ideas come to life.

Moreover, we provide convenience. We have everything you need all in one place.

Here is another article you may find interesting.

Kitchen Remodeling and Renovation

Visit the Delmarva Design Center at 38507 Dupont Boulevard in Selbyville, Delaware, to see our wide selection of kitchen cabinets, appliances, countertop materials, and flooring.