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Kitchen Lighting Simplified

By Ryan Iversen on 09/06/2019


Kitchen Lighting Simplified

When it comes to lighting your home, the kitchen is one of the most important places that needs lighting. Not only does it function as part of your home where guests can be entertained, but it is where tasks also get done. Food prep and cooking are important tasks that need to be done and the kitchen is the place that helps you do that. This also means that lighting is very important. If the lighting in the kitchen is off, then it can mess up the feel you are going for. In this article, we will be going over what kind of lighting is needed and where exactly you can use it.

A good place to start when talking about lighting a kitchen is the ceiling. Well why exactly are we starting there? For one, the first type of lighting used in a kitchen we will be talking about is called ambient lighting, also called general lighting. This kind of lighting fills the space with just the right amount of light in order to see things clearly and move around safely. A good example of ambient lighting fixtures is recessed ceiling lights. Also called down lights, these fixtures shine their light down and outwards, filling up a room with lighting. Recessed ceiling lights are also one of the most popular and widely used lighting fixtures, so you can never go wrong with installing a few.

Tube lights have also been used in kitchens as an ambient lighting fixture. Performing the same job as a downlight, these lights shine a bright glow out and around, illuminating a large area around them. Thanks to LED technology, both of these types of lighting fixtures have gotten better. A thing to remember when you are installing ceiling lights is spacing. When you are installing ceiling lights, make sure that you space these fixtures apart enough so that you are getting the maximum amount of light coverage out of a few fixtures as possible.

More often than not, your kitchen is going to have cabinets and under those cabinets there will be counters that need light. For this situation, under cabinet lights have been used. Coming in the form of puck lights and light bars, these lights illuminate the counter under your cabinets. These lights fall under a different category of lighting than ceiling lights, task lighting. Task lighting fixtures like under cabinet lights help your complete tasks like food prep and cooking with the light produced. There are also pendant lights as these lights hang down with a wire and create an area of focused illumination on counters and tables not covered by cabinets.

The last kind of lighting that can be found in a kitchen is accent lighting. This type of lighting is used to create focal points by highlighting key features. Track lights are a good example of an accent light as the light is directed to a certain spot to highlight whatever is there. Highlighting certain parts of your kitchen is a good way to make it pop and stand out for your guests. Puck lights can also be used for accent lighting as the light produced by these fixtures is more focused on one spot and can make whatever is under them stand out.

There are also two key features to pay attention to when purchasing LED light for your kitchen. These features are color temperature and CRI. Color temperature is important as it is used to tell what color the LED light will be. Lights that are 3000K or below are more yellow in color while lights that are 4000K have a cool white color and 5000K lights have a color more similar with daylight. So how does this matter for kitchen lighting? Certain kitchen styles are better for certain color temperatures more than others. A kitchen with wooden cabinets and warm colors have a better match with warm color lights than it does with cool white or daylight. White color and cool color kitchens work better with lights that have a higher color temperature like 4000K or 5000K.

Now CRI is an important feature to pay attention to for another reason, and it’s related to the tasks done in the kitchen. Now CRI, or color rendering index, is used to determine how well a light displays the natural color of an object. This index works on a scale from 1 to 100 with 100 being perfect and matching color rendering see with natural daylight. So why is having a high CRI important for a kitchen light? It’s all related to food. The kitchen as a place where food is prepared and cooked, needs the ingredients to look like naturally as being off color can make food unappetizing or can potentially ruin a dish. Having a high CRI is also helpful in determining the freshness of food so you don’t use ingredients that are starting to spoil.

Kitchen lighting is an important part of the lighting in your home. Ambient, task and accent lighting are all used to create an amazing and balanced lighting effect that makes it worth spending time in the kitchen. The various lighting fixtures that can be used help you accomplish this goal and can even add to the overall look of your kitchen.

Product reference:

3-Inch Ultra-Thin LED Recessed Light with J-Box


LED Under Cabinet Lighting Kit (Puck Lights)


Track Light with Wood Ceiling Base


Motion Activated LED Under Cabinet Lighting Kit

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