Black and white image of stove lighting in kitchen

3 Basics of Kitchen Lighting Design

Chandeliers, sconces, under-cabinet, pendants, recessed and track lights… kitchen lighting options are endless! Finding your perfect combination may feel daunting, but lighting is one of the most critical components of any functionally designed space. So, you definitely want to include kitchen lighting design in your renovation planning process. 

For a kitchen that’s sure to shine, consider these lighting basics when planning your remodel.

3 Things to Know in Kitchen Lighting Design

As with many elements of home design, lighting has gotten more complex as technology continues to advance and homeowners want more out of their shared spaces. These few kitchen lighting basics will keep your homey space well-lit and functional!

1. Layered lighting is key.

Kitchens aren’t solely used for dining and meal prep. They also provide space for entertaining, holding conversations, helping the kids with homework and craft projects… the list goes on. With so many uses for one space, layered lighting is critical. You’ll want three main types of lighting in the kitchen:

  • Ambient lighting: this is the general light that fills the room. It should provide enough light for the entire space and allow you to see safely in most areas of the kitchen.
  • Task lighting: this type of light provides focused visibility in work areas like countertops, pantries, cabinets, and drawers. You’ll want to pay particularly close attention to lighting prep and cook areas, as these can sometimes be overlooked in an effort to highlight components like backsplashes.
  • Accent lighting: These lights contribute to your kitchen’s ambiance by highlighting certain areas or objects. Accent lighting may come in the form of mini spotlights directed at artwork, as well as above or under cabinets.

Contemporary kitchen with bright light

2. Don’t be afraid of decorative lighting.

While it’s not a requirement, decorative lighting instantly adds character to your space. There are no rules to follow when choosing decorative lights, but we recommend letting the style of your space guide your light choices. For instance, if your kitchen has an industrial-chic vibe, you’ll want to stick with simple, basic light fixtures. 

3. Consider lighting trends when renovating.

On that note, kitchen lighting trends are an important factor when choosing light fixtures. Whether you’re aiming to create a totally unique space or increase resale value, it’s a good idea to peruse current lighting trends before making decisions. The American Lighting Association lists six styles currently trending in decorative kitchen lighting design:

  1. Rustic: natural materials with a national park meets Central Park flair
  2. New Classic: timeless and simple; elegant without being overly ornate
  3. Industrial: back to basics with simplicity and a well-made utilitarian feel
  4. Geometric: unique shapes and myriad designs to add dimension and drama
  5. Glamorous: luxurious materials and a little (or a lot) of sparkle
  6. Schoolhouse Globes: restored vintage or new with nostalgic design

When you apply these three basics of kitchen lighting design, you’re sure to create a perfectly unique, cozy, and functional space. 

If the thought of kitchen lighting is still making you crazy, don’t worry. Our design experts are here to help you choose the right fixtures for your perfect space.