20 Advanced Kitchen Lighting Ideas That Will Brighten Your Home

Are you looking for kitchen lighting ideas? This guide will include 20 advanced kitchen lighting ideas that will brighten your home easily. Let's dive in!

Table of Contents

You’ve got several options. The lights can be on the ceiling, under the cabinets, on the wall, or hanging over the counter. Whatever you choose, the lights should be functional and aesthetically appealing. Let’s discuss the best way to bring life to your kitchen.

20 Ideas to Get the Perfect Kitchen Lights

You have to remember that there are two essential qualifications to meet for your kitchen lights.

First of all, it has to be functional. The kitchen is where food preparation happens. There has to be proper lighting for all the activities happening in this room. Make sure you install the right light source to ensure there’s enough light coverage.

Second, the kitchen is the heart of every home. Imagine a family gathering to prepare food, share stories, and just be with each other. Having the right kitchen lights can set the perfect mood while all this takes place. You want it to be as comfortable and aesthetically appealing as possible.

3 Layers of Kitchen Lighting

Before we get to the 20 lighting ideas, you have to know the 3 layers of kitchen lighting that you should consider. All the different styles of kitchen lights will fall under any of these three.

1.Task Lighting

These are light fixtures for areas in your kitchen where you do all the work, like your kitchen island or counter. The primary purpose of these lights is to make sure there’s enough brightness so you can work efficiently. Whether that involves preparing the food, cooking, or just using the counter space for any task, use light fixtures that’ll give you maximum visibility.

kitchen task lighting

2. Ambient Lighting

These are also functional in nature – but not in the same way as task lights. Ambient light refers to general lighting. The light fixtures that you should use there will focus on the floor and walls. That way, you can easily navigate your kitchen without fear of bumping into anything.

3. Accent Lighting

These are lights that you use to increase the beauty or create a mood for your kitchen. The focus of these accent lights includes the architectural features and various accent pieces. These include your collection of fine china, photos, plants, and even the pots and pans hanging on the wall.

Now that you have a clearer understanding of the three layers of lighting, let’s look at 20 kitchen lighting ideas that you can use.

kitchen ambient lighting

When It Comes to Planning…

You should decide on your kitchen lighting scheme right from the planning stage. There are different things to consider here.

Plan Based on the Kitchen’s Layout

Your lights will depend on the layout of your kitchen. If you have a kitchen island, you need lights for that – like maybe pendant lights. But if it’s mostly counter spaces, then there’s no need for hanging lights. Especially if there are kitchen cabinets over the counters. You’ll probably use more under-cabinet lighting than kitchen island lighting.

This is just one example. Your lights should also consider how big your kitchen is. The bigger the space, the more you need artificial lighting – especially at night. While your kitchen will be brighter during the day, you’ll need it to have enough illumination when nighttime comes. Make sure every corner has enough light – not glaring, but just right.

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Plan According to Where the Natural Light comes from

When you’re planning your kitchen lights, consider the natural light. If your kitchen has enough windows or even a sunroof, it’ll make your kitchen energy efficient. It means you won’t have to turn on a lot of artificial lights during the day.

But that could also help a bit even at night. The moonlight can add to the illumination. Any outdoor light that you have nearby will also filter into your kitchen. Make sure you consider where the opening is – like the windows, etc. It’ll help you identify where there’s a need for kitchen lights.

kitchen natural light

Plan the Best Locations Based on the Function

There are many types of kitchen lights. Your choice of what to use will depend on the function of the different areas in the kitchen. Usually, there’s a specific type of light that’s best for certain areas. You have cabinet lighting that can use LED strips or recessed lights.

Ceiling lights should provide ambient lighting so chandeliers, recessed lights, flush-mounted ceiling lights, and other hanging light fixtures will also suffice.

The kitchen island lighting should be bright enough because people will gather the most. Since this is usually right at the center of the kitchen, you can hang pendants or use downlights. Recessed downlights will also work well in this area, so has a cleaner feel.

For the stove area, recessed lights would work well. Ensure it’s not directly above the stove to ensure that any steam or smoke from what you’re cooking won’t compromise the light fixture.

kitchen lighting location

Plan Based on How You Work Around the Kitchen

The last consideration in the planning stage is to consider how you plan to work around the kitchen. Most people would prefer to use the kitchen island to do their food prep. Others are okay with the kitchen counter. Wherever you plan to work the most, make sure it has enough lights.

You should also consider how you plan to move. How will you move from the counter to the stove? Or the sink? You want to ensure that you can see where you’re going all the time. The edges of the kitchen island, tables, or counters should be visible enough so you don’t hit them. You also want to avoid tripping over anything – especially while you’re carrying things around.

kitchen lighting

When It Comes to Positioning…

Positioning will also influence your kitchen lighting ideas. The type of light fixture you’ll choose will depend on the area you want to light up.

Prioritize Task Lighting

Since there are three layers of lighting in the kitchen, the task, ambient, and accent lighting, which of these should you prioritize?

That’s easy. You need to prioritize task lighting. Why? Because that’s the main purpose of the kitchen. You’re there to do something. Whether you’re there to cook, prepare food, put away stuff, or just eat, there’s still some activity happening there.

Consider where you do tasks the most. You have the kitchen island, table, counters, sink, and stove. The other areas would be for storing various items. You have first to decide the lights in these areas. You might put a chandelier in the middle for general lighting – only for it to cast shadows on your work surface. This is why it’s important to choose your task lighting first.

kitchen task lighting

Consider the Walls

Not all ambient lights need to come from the ceiling. You can use the walls to light up your kitchen space. Make sure you consider this from the start. Why? Because if you choose wall lights last, you won’t have enough options already. When you mix the wall and ceiling lights, it might make the whole kitchen too bright.

Ideally, you should consider kitchen wall lights first if your kitchen is small or has a low ceiling. You can use recessed downlights, but that might not be enough. Having wall lights might be a better option to illuminate your workspace. Just make sure you position it so it doesn’t cast shadows and compromise visibility.

Finally, wall lights are within our line of sight. That means it has to be visually appealing too. Choose a design that compliments the overall look of your kitchen.

Put Lights Near the Alcove

Not all kitchens have an alcove. But if yours has one, it’ll require a specific kind of light. Otherwise, your cavity might just blend with the rest of your kitchen wall.

The type of kitchen lights that you’ll use will depend on what the alcove is for. If you use it to put decorations, then use spotlights to highlight these decorations.

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If you use it as an open storage space, you can position recessed lights to highlight the wall and the kitchen items within the alcove. Strip lights can be another option. If there’s enough space, you can hang pendant lights to add character to the alcove.

Light up the Shelves

The lighting design should also consider open shelves. These could either be a display area or storage space. If it compliments the rest of the kitchen design, whatever is on the shelves, feel free to highlight it. Like the alcove, you can use spotlights to light them up.

Feel free to add LED strip lights at the bottom of the shelves to light the one below. Make the light brighter for the bottom-most shelf to serve as task lighting for the kitchen counter underneath.

kitchen lighting buying guide

Illuminate Your Cabinets from Within

This lighting idea can mostly be for practical reasons. Install lights inside the cabinets that’ll light up when the door is open. This will make it easier for everyone to spot what they need inside the cabinet. If this is your intention, make sure the lights you use aren’t too bright. Also, get a light fixture that’ll automatically turn off when the cabinet doors close. That’ll help you save energy.

This idea can also be for decorative purposes. If you have glass cabinets, you can install a more subdued light within. That’ll highlight any decor or fine china that you’re storing there.

Install Undercabinet Lights

Undercabinet lights are great for lighting up the counter space under them. This ensures that you will have sufficient lights while you work on preparing the food, cooking, or even eating off the counter.

Since the space between the cabinets and the counter is mostly not so great, it’s better to use recessed downlights or LED strip lights. There are strip lights, in particular, that come with adhesive that you can stick to the bottom of the cabinets.

kitchen undercabinet lights

Use Plinth Lighting on the Kitchen Island

Do you want a floating effect for your kitchen? Use plinth lighting. This is great for spacious kitchens. You can also position this under the kitchen island, upper cabinets, or at the bottom of counter cabinets. It creates a cool lighting effect that’ll reflect on the kitchen floor.

To get the right look, make sure you choose the perfect colored lights. It should complement the overall theme, design, and mood of your kitchen. If you want to be safe, go for white or bluish light.

 plinth lighting

Make Your Dining Table a Focal Point

Some kitchen areas are big enough to have a dining table. You can make this the area’s focal point, especially if you don’t have a kitchen island.

Having separate lights over the dining table can separate it from the kitchen once it’s time to eat the prepared meal. Use hanging pendant light fixtures, chandeliers, etc. Make sure you take the ceiling height into consideration.

An excellent suggestion is to use dimmable LED lights. That way, you can adjust the brightness of the bulbs to suit the mood you want to create.

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RC Lighting offers a wide variety of products to meet your every need. 

When It Comes to Lighting Design…

There are different lighting designs that you can apply to make your kitchen come alive.

Put Visually Appealing Lights over the Kitchen Island

In most homes, the kitchen island is the central focus of the kitchen. It’s not just for the counter space. It’s where people converge and talk and interact while they get things done. This is why you should choose visually appealing kitchen lights.

You can choose hanging lights with designs that suit the general look of the kitchen. Some kitchen islands have a block of wood hanging over them. This is perfect for kitchen downlight ideas. If you want a more industrial look, use metal rods and attach them to the ceiling and let the kitchen downlights hang from there.

visually appealing lights

Make the Kitchen Look Cozy and Bright

If you’re still uncertain about the kitchen lighting design, the safest route is to make it both cozy and bright.

You want it cozy because, as you know, the kitchen is the heart of a home. This is where the family gathers to bond, share thoughts about their day, and create meals together. You want it to be cozy so it attracts people in.

You also want it to be bright – for obvious reasons. This is where you prepare and cook meals. Sometimes, the counter or kitchen island can serve as a work or study table. You want it to have enough brightness to allow the completion of tasks without a problem.

cozy and bright kitchen light

Think of Using Glass Pendants

To help brighten the kitchen, consider the use of glass pendant lights. This is great for dark kitchens. When we say that, we mean those with dark shades of blue or grey paint.

The glass pendant light fixtures will give a dramatic look to the kitchen. It may not feel cozy, but it can make the dark kitchen look elegant and sophisticated. You can opt to use clear, frosted, or smoked glass. If you’re brave enough to experiment, you can even use colored glass pendant lights.

Mix and Match Lighting Designs with the Same Finish

One way to be artistic in your kitchen lighting ideas is to mix and match the designs of your light fixtures. But make sure they all have the same finish. For instance, you can use different shapes for your hanging lights. Or make them different sizes. Just make sure they have the same finish. Like they should all have a metallic finish. Or do they have the same color?

This will keep your kitchen lighting design from being too boring – but it won’t feel all over the place either.

kitchen lighting finish

Highlight Your Kitchen Decor

If you specifically put paintings or plant ornaments and other decorative pieces in your kitchen, make sure you highlight them by using the right lights.

The specific lights will depend on where your kitchen decors are. If it’s on the shelves, using recessed kitchen downlights should be okay. If the decors are hanging on the walls or near the ceiling, spotlights are a great option to highlight them. Just make sure that the lights won’t distract people from the decors. In case you want the lights to be a part of the decor – make sure the designs complement each other.

kitchen decor

Don’t Forget Rules for Hanging Lights

One of the popular ways to light up the kitchen is by using hanging lights. But there are certain rules to follow to ensure that you can apply this properly. After all, there are several options when it comes to hanging lights. It can come in various designs, shapes, sizes, materials, etc.

For instance, hand pendant lights in odd numbers – like in threes. The height should also be a consideration. Low-hanging lights are okay as long as you choose the design wisely. The light levels are within the line of sight. So having its design blend well with the rest of the kitchen decors would be a good idea.

When it comes to distance, hanging the lights around 24 inches apart is a generally good rule to follow. Of course, this will depend on the size of the hanging lights. It could be as far as 30 inches apart.

Consider the Kitchen Handles

When thinking of kitchen lighting ideas, consider the kitchen handles. This includes drawers, cabinets, etc. If you have a specific metallic finish for your handles, you can use that as a reference for the kitchen lights that you’ll use. Like if you’re using silver or gold, use that to determine the material of the lights.

kitchen handles

Know the Perfect Fixture Based on the 3 Layers of Lighting

Finally, when choosing the specific light fixture you’ll use in the kitchen, consider the 3 layers of lighting.

  1. When it’s for ambient lighting, it’s best to use recessed lights. These could be flush-mount or semi-flush-mount light fixtures. These are usually on the ceiling because it has to give general light. If the kitchen is big enough with enough clearance from the ceiling, hanging chandeliers or lanterns are also a good idea.
  2. For task lighting, pendant lights hanging closer to the kitchen island or counter is a good idea. This makes it easier to direct the lights to where you complete your work of various tasks. It’s also possible to use LED lights or strip lights as options.
  3. When it’s for accent lighting, using various fixtures like puck lights is okay. LED strip lights are also a good idea here. You can also push the design element further by using novelty lights. Usually, these lights are best for creating mood lighting in the kitchen.

Where to Buy Kitchen Lights?

You have two options to buy your kitchen lights.

  • The first is through an actual store that’ll allow you to inspect the light fixtures.
  • The second option is all thanks to the Internet. You now get several online options to buy your kitchen lights. You can even order from a company overseas.

Ideally, you want to make sure you’re putting your trust in the right company or brand. That way, you’re sure that what you’re buying will be precisely what you’ve seen on the site.

When searching for a light supplier, look at the reviews. And not the ones you’ll find on their websites! Look for Google reviews or other authority review sites to see which online stores are trustworthy. Make sure you take note of how they handle customer complaints too.

Price and shipping are also essential considerations. In case you want a unique design, look for a supplier who can accommodate your ideas. Some are willing to customize orders for you.

Make sure that you browse through more than an online store or website. You can choose to do this before visiting an actual store (if that’s your preference). That way, you have multiple suppliers to compare. Browse through their online stores while trying to decide on what lights will fit your kitchen.

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RC Lighting offers a wide variety of products to meet your every need. 

Offline Stores to Get Kitchen Lighting Ideas

If you have the time to visit, feel free to go to these stores. While this will take time and effort, you can take a good look at the light fixtures to make the right choice.

  1. Walmart. You can look at their website and opt to visit their store – if there’s one near you. It’ll be easier to see if you’re making the right choice. What’s great about this store is they have celebrity designer partners.
  2. Home Depot. This is another source of great kitchen lights that are very affordable. You can even find lamps for as low as $20.
  3. IKEA. This list won’t be complete without this one. The light fixtures they use aren’t as difficult to assemble as their cabinets and other furniture pieces. They even have smart lights that are very energy-efficient!

Online Sources of Kitchen Lighting Ideas

Here are some of the options you have to get kitchen lighting ideas online.

  1. Wayfair. The website has various styles and price ranges. You’ll find that they’re very affordable. If you’re on a budget, you can easily filter the light options by price.
  2. Amazon. They have many in-house brands that you probably won’t find anywhere else. So If you’re looking for unique styles, this is a great source.
  3. Etsy. You can find handmade lights here. It’s a great place to find artificial lighting designs that will satisfy your creative requirements.

Looking for Custom-Made Kitchen Lights or Buy Bulk? RC Lighting Will Help You.

If you’re looking for a trustworthy lights supplier for custom-made kitchen lights, or if you are a reseller/contractor, you need to buy a large number of lights. RC Lighting may a good choice for you.

We’ve been producing light fixtures for many years now. In fact, we’ve are a respectable and well-known lighting supplier and manufacturer in China. You can trust in our experience because we have various collaborations with architects, lighting experts, landscape artists, and various contractors.

  • Fast Delivery. We deliver all of our orders within 7-15 days.
  • Low MOQ. We understand that different projects require different quantities of fixtures, so we do not have a minimum order quantity, but we will offer additional discounts for larger quantities.
  • Competitive Price. We are the direct manufacturer in China. Buy from us will get a good price compare with your local stores.
  • Customization Capability. RC Lighting also makes it easy for you to make a custom-made lighting fixtures.
  • 5 Year Warranty. All of our LED lights are provided with a 5 year warranty.

Download our full catalog from the right side button or send us an inquiry now!

Final thoughts…

There’s no real rule book when it comes to kitchen lighting ideas. Just remember to stay true to the overall design and mood that you want your kitchen to have. This will be the heart of the house. The lights will play a role in bringing extra warmth to it.

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