Americans eat about 82% of their meals at home. This is a much higher percentage than just a decade ago. Whether it is for good physical or financial health, cooking at home is beneficial.
One of the significant drawbacks to it, though, is realizing that the lighting in your kitchen is lacking. Not having enough light in the right places can make your kitchen frustrating.
Improve the kitchen in your San Diego residence by upgrading your lighting.
Three Types of Lighting
There are three types of lighting that you need in your kitchen: ambient, task, and accent. By having all three kinds of lighting in your kitchen, you can layer the light to customize your ambiance to suit any situation.
#1 – Ambient
Ambient lighting is your primary source of light. While we all hope for plenty of natural light, you may need to supplement it with bulbs.
Place these lights in your ceiling and aim to cast as wide of a wash of light as possible. You want even light throughout.
You could use a variety of fixtures, including pendant lights, flush mounts, chandeliers, and recessed lighting.
This lighting is bright and focused on the areas of the kitchen where you will work. A commonplace for task lighting is under your cabinets. That way your counters are well lit for cooking.
These lights are typically puck lights or strip lighting.
#3 – Accent
These lights are designed to make a statement and give your kitchen personality and panache. They can be along the floor to illuminate a pathway, or you can put them above the cabinets for a subtle accent. A third option is to highlight any feature of your kitchen that you love.
Ambient Lighting to Fill the Kitchen
Recessed lighting will give you a more custom and modern look for your ambient lighting. If you have a smaller kitchen you could get away with one light mounted flush in the middle of the kitchen ceiling.
You want to use lights that are as close to natural as possible. That way they blend well with the natural sunlight that comes in through the windows.
Place these lights high and in centralized areas. That way you can get the maximum amount of light and the least amount of shadows.
If you’re afraid that this lighting might be too bright, you can install dimmers. This will let you control the level of brightness. It will come in handy if you aren’t ready for super bright light first thing in the morning.
Focus Light on Key Areas
Look around your kitchen and identify which areas you work the most. Do you prepare everything at the counter? Is there an island that you use?
Use strip lighting or pucks under your cabinets. Then consider pendants to light your island.
To properly place pendants, they need to be 30 to 32 inches apart.
They also need to be 30 to 36 inches above the island. Place them at least six inches in from the end of the island.
Other Task Areas
You could also add additional lighting above your stove to illuminate whatever you are cooking. Consider another light over your sink too. This light will brighten up the space so you can be sure to get your dishes clean.
You should also consider flush-mounted spotlighting. This works well in smaller kitchens where you have one or two task spots.
Another advantage of flush mounts is that they give you a chance to add some stylistic flair.
Use lighting that is a bright white for this purpose. That way you have plenty of light to help you see and focus on what you are doing.
Accent Lights Can Highlight Elements
If you place your accent light correctly, you can highlight your favorite elements of your kitchen. It can also set a mood so that it makes a statement.
There are three places where people commonly place accent lighting; recessed in the ceiling, over the cabinet, and along the toe-kick. You’ll notice that these are three areas of your kitchen that are out of your line of sight and create subtle highlights.
While this refined type of lighting can technically go anywhere, it is most commonly placed in the ceiling. However, this isn’t the only place; try placing them in your cabinets to highlight glass shelving.
Over the Cabinet
If your cabinets don’t go all the way up to the ceiling, then this is the perfect place to add some accent lighting. For a dramatic effect, you can place colored or dimmable lighting above your cabinets.
Think about the architecture of your kitchen so that the light works with the angles that are present. You don’t want to create dark shadows unintentionally.
Create a pathway through your kitchen by placing accent lighting along the toe-kick, by opting for a soft glow of warm light. Rope lighting or LED tape works well for this type of lighting.
Try These Kitchen Lighting Ideas
If your kitchen is dark and could use an update, then it is time to consider these kitchen lighting ideas. Interior design experts will tell you that you should have three different types of lighting: ambient, task, and accent lighting. That wayyou have layers of light thatyou can turn on and off to create a custom lighting effect to suit any need.
Get inspired by our gallery of kitchen lighting work today.