By Janet Myers | January 18, 2019

Everything You Need to Know About Kitchen Lighting

Ever since Thomas Edison introduced the electric light bulb in 1879, homeowners everywhere have been using them to make their kitchens feel more inviting. Here are some great ways to light up the kitchen with general, task, and decorative fixtures that are functional but still stylish.

Utilize Under Cabinet Lighting

Kitchen with counters lit by under cabinet lighting

Photo by: Insidesign

No longer a high-end feature, under cabinet lighting is now a must-have option in any kitchen remodeling design plan. Whether it’s LED strip lights, fluorescent strips, or halogen puck lights, they’re a must for illuminating the workspace, directing light right where it’s needed.

Puck Lights vs. Bars and Strips

All are designed to provide a low-profile way to brighten the countertops. Light bars come in a range of lengths, so they perfectly complement cabinet size. Strips feature small bulbs that are ideal for space-saving applications. Puck lights highlight decorative objects or work where strip lighting is impractical.

Choosing the Right Color Temperature

Three lights demonstrating the kelvin scale from warm white to cool white to day light

Classic bulbs are 2700K. Want to mimic daylight? You’ll need a bulb with a 6500K output. Under cabinet lights should be at least 3500K for optimum task lighting. The lower the number, the warmer the color will be. Right in the middle, 4000K provides nice, balanced white light that shows true colors.

Install Task Lighting

Plan task lighting first to give you light where you most need it, usually over anywhere prep work is done. Keep glare in check by using diffused light sources.

Light Your Cabinets and Drawers

Kitchen cabinets with glass doors and in-cabinet lighting

Photo by: Barbra Bright Design

If appliances and cabinets can light up when you open then, why not drawers, too? Simple-to- install LED soft strips make silverware sparkle and utensils easier to find. Hook the lights up to a switch or motion sensor and the lights will turn on and off as you open and close the drawer.

How to Light Your Island

Kitchen with large island lit with creative pendant lights

Photo by: Dillon Kyle Architects

Take a multi-fixture approach to island lighting. Targeted task lighting complemented with decorative pendants give you the best of both worlds. Prefer one set of fixtures? Use a monorail with both accent heads and pendants over the island.

Lighting Your Appliances

LEDs offer a wealth of lighting options, especially for the fridge. Designers are adding them at the top, along the sides, and in the back of the refrigerator to better illuminate what’s inside.

Add Style with Accent Lighting

Accent lighting adds visual interest and is the cherry on top of your well-designed kitchen. From track lighting to directional eyeball lights, it’s become a must-have feature for people who spend more time in the kitchen for casual entertaining.

Above Cabinet Lighting

Kitchen with lights illuminating above cabinets

Photo By: Bespoke Woodwork

A great choice for accent and general lighting design, uplighting is easy to achieve by placing a light channel or LED soft strip above the cabinets.

Toe Kick Lighting

Toe kick lighting underneath kitchen cabinets illuminating floor

Photo by: Britbuild Direct

A simple and elegant way to define and highlight space, toe kick lighting works well under lower cabinets and the kitchen island. Strips of LED lights is all it takes. Don’t forget to put them on a separate dimmer or motion sensor for ultimate control.

Art Lighting

Decorative focal points like tile backsplashes and wall art deserve great lighting. Use ceiling-mounted heads or a monorail track to precisely position light at the desired angle.

Lighting is an essential part of any kitchen remodel and David Gray Design Studio is here to help. Contact us online or call at 904.853.8580 to start planning your dream kitchen today.

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