Whether used as a space for hosting a casual get-together, handling work obligations or for meal prep and cooking, the kitchen is used for a variety of purposes. As such, this space requires the proper mix of lighting to make sure you’re on the right track to accomplish all that you’ve set out to do. Here, we walk you through what you need to know about lighting your kitchen.
Ambient light: This will be the main source of light in your kitchen, and as such, you’d want to cast as much of it as evenly as possible from the ceiling.
Task light: To counter shadows in areas where ambient lights don’t reach, task lighting provides illumination for these areas to complete specific tasks.
Accent light: A way of adding style and drama to your kitchen, accent lights are concentrated light sources that are used to accentuate and highlight your favourite elements in the kitchen.
Now, let’s take a look at which area of the kitchen these different lighting types are best suited for.
#1 Over your kitchen island: Task or ambient lighting
Depending on what you use your kitchen island for, you’ll want to light it accordingly. For task-oriented islands – meaning that you use it for food preparation and reading recipes – try a mix of ceiling downlights and hanging pendants to ensure full illumination. But if your island is simply used as a spot for hanging out with friends and family, something as simple as mini pendants will do just fine.
#2 Under cabinets: Task or accent lighting
If your kitchen is only fitted with ambient lights, it will often leave shadows under your wall-hung cabinets. However, seeing as most of the tasks associated with the kitchen are conducted on the countertops below these cabinets, these surfaces need to be properly illuminated so that you can read recipes properly and safety prepare meals. LED strip lights are the most common option here because of their slim profile and their ability to light up a larger area.
#3 On the ceiling: Ambient lighting
As the main source of illumination for your kitchen, it is important to pick fixtures that have a wide-reaching glow. From chandeliers to pendant lights, recessed downlights and even flushmounts, the options are endless here. But do note that if you cook frequently, you might want to stay away from hanging lights as you wouldn’t want to have to constantly wipe away oil splatters and grease after each time you cook.
#4 To make your kitchen stand out: Accent lighting
If you regard the kitchen as the heart of your home, how about drawing further attention to it by using accent lights to carve out a dramatic yet sophisticated atmosphere. Some examples include toe kick lights that make cabinets appear to float above the floor, and over-cabinet lights that make your built-ins look higher by expanding the space above them. Have artwork on the walls or open shelves that you want to point up? You can even consider track lights that can be swivelled depending on where your favourite elements are.