Kitchen Lighting: Three Things You Need To Know

A set of cherry wood cabinets and a kitchen island

Many homeowners might not understand the importance of kitchen lighting until they’ve already completed their renovations or kitchen remodel. For instance, if you find yourself struggling to find the utensils or other kitchen items you need due to poor lighting, it’s best to consider ways to improve kitchen lighting for you and your family! Doing so can help brighten up those dark corners of the home, as well as provide safety, functionality, and a better ambiance during those precious get-togethers and family dinners.

Types of Kitchen Lighting You Need to Know About

There are three types of kitchen lighting styles to choose from. Some of these, such as undercabinet lighting, can help you find what you’re looking for while others can simply add style to your kitchen such as ambient lighting. It’s best to consider what your needs are for your kitchen and whether or not ambient, style, or undercabinet lighting are the best choices for your kitchen. Below are just a few for you to consider!

1. General/Ambient Lighting

No one wants to spend time in a dark kitchen. Fortunately, there are many kitchen ambient lighting styles that can help light up your kitchen and provide a bright space to entertain guests and family. Some ways you can add both ambient lighting and style include:

modern kitchen with chandelier lightning
  • Chandeliers: Chandeliers and light fixtures are some of the best ways to add lighting and style to your kitchen. Choose from traditional designs of light fixtures, or opt for more modern designs that emphasize shapes and bold colors. These chandeliers hang down from your kitchen ceiling and can fall over your kitchen island or dining room table, so your guests can have all the lighting necessary for a late-night dinner.
  • Wall-mounted fixtures: Kitchen wall-mounted fixtures are beautiful and can extend horizontally from the walls. From light bars to traditional kitchen wall lights, wall-mounted fixtures are some of the best choices to help you improve your lighting without having to install a chandelier or other intrusive fixture.
  • Track lighting: This type of lighting can be placed in any modern kitchen and is sleek in design. A single bar of lights can give a modern, minimalist look to any kitchen.
  • LED downlights: These are the epitome of minimalism and can give your kitchen lighting without the presence of light bulbs or fixtures. They can shed spots of light on your kitchen, giving an air of sophistication, and can be controlled to shine more or less lighting on specific dimly lit areas.
  • Floor and table lamps: Whether cordless or with a cord, floor and table lamps can be stylishly used to revamp any kitchen easily, although they might be a bit bulky and take up precious counter or floor space.

2. Task Lighting

If you need to get tasks done, such as cooking, studying, or even cleaning, kitchen task lighting is a perfect choice. Task lighting especially helps with work areas around the kitchen such as countertops, tables, sinks, and stove areas. These lights direct their beams just where you need them to reduce shadow. There are various types of kitchen lighting to help you complete tasks including:

modern kitchen interior with under cabinet lightning
  • Pendant lighting, which is smaller types of lights that are sleek and fun for modern kitchens.
  • Under-cabinet lighting, which can be easily installed under your cabinets and light up even the darkest corners of your countertops.
  • Portable desk lamps, which are affordable, come in a variety of styles, can be placed on your countertop if you don’t mind losing counter space, or can even resemble small candles for dimmer lighting.
  • Recessed fixture, which hides the light bulb completely and blends into your kitchen to provide ample lighting.

3. Accent Lighting

If you want to create a relaxing atmosphere or want to add lighting just for fun, accent lighting is the best choice. Accent lighting is mostly used, as the name suggests, to highlight certain areas of the kitchen or highlight architectural or design elements in your kitchen. Under-cabinet lighting can help highlight your tile backsplash, while track lights can help boost your entire kitchen to give an air of modernism.

modern kitchen interior with Accent lightning

Interior cabinet lighting can help bring an additional ambiance not commonly found in most homes. Not only does it brighten up the kitchen cabinets highlighting the internal items, but it can also give kitchens an extra contemporary feel that is not often found. Kitchen cabinets with transparent doors are best for this type of accent light. 

Accent lighting can even be used for your outdoor kitchen. If you have a grill and love to cook outside, consider using lights under counter overhangs and under your outdoor cabinets. Outdoor kitchen cabinet underlighting is highly functional and improves your backyard’s ambiance. 

Under Cabinet Lighting as Task Lighting & Accent Lighting

If you’ve kept a close eye on this guide, you’ll know that under-cabinet lighting is an excellent all-around choice for kitchen accent lighting as well as kitchen task lighting! These types of under-cabinet lights can be placed easily through:

Under kitchen cabinet strip lightning
  • Strip lights, which run through the bottom of your cabinet and can be installed in as little as a couple of hours. They can even be outfitted to change various colors for enhanced mood and accent.
  • Puck lights are stand-alone lighting units that resemble small pucks. They can be placed underneath the cabinet and provide strong lighting that is controlled separately throughout your kitchen.

Start Upgrading Your Kitchen Lighting

If you want to upgrade your kitchen lighting, follow this guide to help you get started on some ideas! Kitchen lighting can not only help you complete your kitchen’s style, but also help you during those late-night tasks or to set the mood for guests that come over for a late evening! American Wood Reface also offers kitchen lighting upgrades at an affordable cost, so you can enjoy the beauty of your kitchen at all hours of the day.

Create Your Own Cabinet Style With American Wood Reface

Choose from thousands of solid woods, beautiful finishes, and attractive door styles to complement your home, lifestyle, and taste. Our designers will help you mix and match to create a look you love.

Explore door styles, colors and finishes to envision a new look for your kitchen with our Custom Cabinet Palette Tool.