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7 bright kitchen lighting ideas

The following is a guest post from, with some great ideas on kitchen lighting solutions.

For a space that sees so much action every day, the kitchen is usually at the head of the line when it comes to home design. True, kitchen design is an important aspect of a beautiful home, taking into consideration the fact that it is one of the few places that brings the family together several times a day. However, kitchen lighting in many homes still takes the conventional and functional route of “one size fits all”.

Functionality is important, but we need to expand the definition somewhat to cover all the different zones that make up the modern, upscale and stylish kitchens of today. While we have definitely moved on from the single large fixture that once lit up the kitchen, shadows, dark corners and all, kitchen lighting design for the most part, is still a work in progress.
Modern kitchens are large and airy living spaces with a multi-utilitarian personality. Beyond the basic functions of cooking and cleaning, the kitchen is used for socializing, entertaining, dining, relaxing and anything else that the family does together. Kitchen lighting therefore, needs to adapt to each individual function without conflict, with every element coming together in a smooth seamless fashion.

Here are 7 ways you can bring the ‘wow’ factor into your kitchen.

1. Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting forms the base layer of light, illuminating the space as you enter. The starting point for any kitchen lighting design process, ambient lighting can be best served by crystal wall sconce fixtures, which when used with dimmers also double as mood lighting. Recessed overhead light fixtures can also be used to create soft ambiance.

2. Task lighting

Task lighting is the functional side of kitchen lighting design and aims to deliver shadow-free illumination to all counter surfaces. Kitchen hanging pendants are seriously stylish, elegant and practical for work surfaces, especially over a kitchen island. Choose the height carefully though – you don’t want them too close to your head or the stove.

3. Accent lighting

Accent lighting is all about creating subtle drama, drawing attention to specific architectural detail, art or curio pieces. Popular lighting choices include spotlights, table lamps and pendants. One could get a little imaginative with the color and spread of the bulb to create light-and-shadow effects, adding depth and dimension to the object on display.

4. Layering

A lighting design technique usually reserved for living rooms and dining areas, layering aims to balance task lighting and accent lighting to create overlapping fields of light that can enhance or soften the intensity of light in any area. One can even have four layers of light without disturbing the cosmic balance.

5. Under-cabinet lighting 

Under-cabinet lighting serves a dual purpose: it not only draws attention to beautiful countertops but also lights up dark spaces below. Even a well-lit kitchen has a dark side, with cabinets and counters blocking the flow of light from above. Popular choices include T-5 fluorescent lights, halogen lights and sleek LEDs. 

6. Chandeliers and non-traditional lighting fixtures 

You will be making a bold statement with a beautiful mini chandelier light in your kitchen, but then your kitchen is not just a kitchen. Use one over the island or the dining area to add that vintage touch to the overall atmosphere, and if you are lucky, your lighting choice might just become the next conversation piece. Non-traditional shaped fixtures also make the kitchen look interesting. 

7. Lighted display cabinets

Illuminated glass-front cabinets and showcases are trending in kitchen lighting design as one can spotlight exclusive dinnerware, stemware and accessories. Also install uplights on top of the cabinets in high-ceilinged kitchens.

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