Your Guide to Kitchen Lighting Options
The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but at its core, it's also a functional space. Which means proper lighting--for everything from food prep to serving--is an essential part of a great kitchen design.
The lighting options you choose for your kitchen will depend on a number of things, including the amount of natural light the room gets, how you use the space, and whether it's part of an open-concept layout.
Recessed lighting, or can lighting, is among the most popular options for illuminating a kitchen. Design-wise, it almost blends into the ceiling, so it works in any style home. It's also highly practical, since can lights can be installed in higher concentrations for areas that need more light, and it can be installed throughout an entire home to create a seamless look. Recessed lighting can also be placed on a dimmer system to control mood for entertaining.
Under-cabinet lighting serves as task lighting for things like food prep and washing dishes, and adds to the atmosphere of a room. Flick on just your under-cabinet lights at night to create a warm, romantic mood, or turn them on with overhead lighting to create a bright, high-energy space. Under-cabinet lighting comes in a variety of styles, including bar or strip lights, rope lights, and individual puck lights. Most styles also offer the option to choose between LED, incandescent, and fluorescent bulbs.
Pendants and chandeliers are a popular choice for lighting kitchen islands or other focal points in the room. Both practical and decorative, pendant lights come in an endless variety of styles, from industrial cage lights, to retro schoolhouse pendants, to antique candelabras, and glamorous, crystal-laden chandelier styles. For a long, rectangular kitchen island, a row of 3-5 mini pendants are typically installed, while a round table or square island call for one large statement fixture.