Lighting Trends

6 Tips for Lighting a Kitchen

Are you completing a huge kitchen remodel, but clueless as to how to light your new room? Moving into a new house and need to update some outdated kitchen fixtures? Just want to put in a new light to better spotlight the kitchen you already have? Read on for some helpful tips on how to light your kitchen, no matter what you want—or need—to do.

Variety is key: The most effective kitchen lighting actually involves many different kinds of lights. Ambient lights, task lights and accent lights, all working together, bring a wide variety of illumination to your kitchen and can be adjusted to set the mood. Do not try to illuminate your kitchen with just one overhead light, though you can use an overhead ceiling light with a flush or semi-flush mount to provide the ambient source. Accent lighting can spotlight interesting features of your kitchen, like a neat bowl, unique splashback tile or a beloved china collection.

Go big or go home: One way to bring attention to your kitchen is to install a big statement light—or a few, since many people are now hanging two identical or similar lights atop a kitchen island, for example, like in the picture at right. The Landmark Capiza 3-Light Pendant showcases the unique patterns on the capiz shells used for decoration. The Troy Lighting Bamboo 8 Light Island is great for an elegant Asian-inspired space. Consider putting in a chandelier or a smaller chandelette for heightened glamor.

The brighter, the better: If you are pretty much the next Iron Chef, you should truly consider installing smaller task lights that provide even more light for focused tasks in your kitchen. Think about adding adjustable lamps, under-cabinet lights or pendant lights in the areas where you need more light: cabinets, islands and so on. Some options are adjustable, so you can make the light go exactly where you need it when you need it. These will help you do your kitchen magic while not straining your eyes. Xenon lights for under-cabinet use are ideal because they stay cooler than their halogen brethren.

Make it colorful: Look for lighting fixtures with splashes of color, like these options from Elk Lighting: Arco Baleno Pendant, Cilindro Pendant, Mela Pendant and Vortex Pendant. They’re often available in different colors and styles to match your kitchen décor and really make it pop. Or, if your kitchen is more neutral (whether you designed it that way or you have to keep it that way), a colorful light fixture can be especially interesting and become a conversation piece.

Know your space: If you have a small kitchen like a galley, pendant lights are ideal for providing illumination because they’re small. There are even light fixtures that double as pot racks for holding pots and pans if you need to create more storage space. A smaller kitchen obviously has different illumination needs, so keep your specific space in mind when you’re looking for lighting solutions.

Keep it clean: Make sure you buy fixtures that you know you can keep clean. A clean light is working at its highest potential, but a dirty one isn’t doing you any good. Keep the fixtures dusted, check them for bugs every so often (especially in summer), clean as needed and use bulbs with warm color temperatures and a high Color Rendering Index, or CRI, rating.

Following these 6 steps will help you create and illuminate a kitchen you are going to love, one you’ll show off to everyone you know and one that just might become your new favorite room! But if you need more help or advice, feel free to call our trained lighting specialists at 1-866-688-3562.

Emma Harger - Lights Online

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