A good lighting plan will ensure your kitchen is safe and inviting. Here’s what you need to know when designing your kitchen and choosing lighting fixtures
The kitchen is at the center of many types of activities, so it deserves a complex lighting plan that addresses the room’s various roles. Good overall lighting ensures the kitchen is a welcoming place for friends and family to gather, but you’ll also want efficient light aimed at kitchen work areas.
Be sure to illuminate countertop areas in the primary cooking and prep space. Undercabinet lighting can be an excellent option here; many low-profile fixtures can easily be hidden from view. Affordable xenon lights are cooler than halogen bulbs and can easily be retrofitted into an existing kitchen. Choose from strips or puck lights. Track lighting and pendant lights above an island are also popular ways to add efficient task lighting at the center of the room. The basic rule for the height of a pendant light is 35–40 inches above the work surface.
This type of lighting provides general illumination for the room and substitutes for natural lighting when it’s not available. Recessed ceiling lights arranged around the room are especially useful when the kitchen is being used simultaneously by several people for different purposes such as cooking, homework, and socializing. A surfacemounted ceiling light in the center of the room can also work—or opt for a chandelier for a touch of drama. You can add a gentle glow around the perimeter of the room with cove lighting. In this scenario, rope lights are hidden behind a molding installed several inches below the ceiling.
Add a special spotlight or aim track lights so they illuminate a prized collection of dishware or a striking architectural feature.