Pendants? Chandeliers? Recessed Lighting? Here’s How to Make Your Friends Envy Your Kitchen. The Best Way to Choose Lighting Fixtures For the Room

It is easy to overlook the importance of lighting when decorating your kitchen. You spend so much of your time choosing the best cabinets and the best appliances and forget all about lighting. You should know, that kitchen lighting and ceiling fans can do more than just illuminate your kitchen; they can also decorate as well as accent the best parts of your kitchen design.

You must first decide what the most valuable function of your kitchen lighting is. For some people, just being able to see what you are cooking may be all you need from kitchen lighting. If you tend to eat in your kitchen a lot, you may want the power to dim the lighting to create a romantic ambiance. If you have a large kitchen, you may want to be able to provide more lights in one area than another, so you should consider task lighting fixtures, such as pendant lights. 

Choose fluorescent lighting if efficiency and the need to go extended periods without changing bulbs is foremost. Pop a fluorescent bulb into the fixture and just forget about it for months at a time. To get the most out of these lights, you need to install them so that the light bounces off the ceiling. Get a proper fixture and you won’t have the problem of the bulbs blinding you when you turn them on. Fluorescent bulbs work best in compact kitchens and with light-colored walls.

Buy incandescent lights to endow your kitchen with a warmer, cozier feel. There are two important considerations to incandescent bulbs, however. The most important may be that they burn out much more quickly than fluorescent lights. The other consideration may either be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on where you live. Incandescent lights generate more heat than other types of bulbs, making them preferable for those living in cooler climates but not so great for those living in warmer regions. 

Consider halogen lights for large kitchens where you want to decorate with accent lighting or specific task lighting. Halogen lights are a terrific choice for placing over islands, cabinets or long countertops where you prepare food. You can use halogen bulbs in track lights or directional fixtures. Halogen lamps are also excellent for motion control fixtures that automatically turn on when you move to a different area of the kitchen.

Identify the work areas in your kitchen. Task lighting are direct beams of light that illuminate a designated work area. These could include prep stations for making coffee or using the cutting board, sinks, desks or tables.

Install lighting fixtures above those areas. Some people use halogen bulbs, as they produce a light glow, but they aren’t too harsh. Others use fluorescent bulbs in all fixtures because they are energy efficient. 

  • A popular choice for task lighting is under cabinet lights. These can be installed when you get new cabinets, or they can be screwed into place later. If you like this idea and you are getting new cabinetry, make sure it leaves enough room at the bottom to shed light on your work area.

Choose a fixture that goes with your overall décor. Unless you plan to recess a large fixture, you will want to be assured of the lighting quality and aesthetic look before buying.

Use accent lighting to highlight a particular aesthetic element of your kitchen. Adding lighting above or beneath your cabinets is also a way to add a decorative touch to your kitchen. Directional track lighting is one easy way to cast a light upon a pretty picture hanging on the wall or a shiny new appliance. If you have a large kitchen, another consideration is to add a little flair with chandelier lighting or a ceiling fan.


  1. You’ll never regret installing lights underneath the cabinets. Trust me. AND outlets from below the kitchen counter. I wish I had done that. I have a friend that did. We cook together all the time at her house, and I’m so jealous that she never has to fuss with cords. Her counters always look “clean.”

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