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Must Haves in Kitchen Lighting

Kitchen Lighting Basics

Take it from any Hollywood filmmaker - lighting is crucial to defining the look of a space. While harsh overhead fluorescent lighting is usually inexpensive, is that really the kind of lighting you want to live with day in and day out?

When it comes to kitchen lighting, your best bet is to go with a softer, warmer use of light, to make the most of your kitchen. Today's designers have a list of must-haves for kitchen lighting. Here are just a few to consider.

Expert Suggestions for Perfect Kitchen Lighting

Efficient, Customized Lighting

Mary Beaty - Cabinet Designer -  King of Prussia, PA

Mary Beaty
Cabinet Designer
King of Prussia, PA

For super-efficient, even lighting on counters, implement under-cabinet lighting with strip tape. Need some help with those daily chores? Incorporate task lighting with chandeliers or pendants over islands and sinks. Evenly placing recessed spots 15" from the wall will give you effective countertop lighting and an even light source throughout the kitchen. Consider installing ambient lighting behind the top molding for a feeling of space and light on the ceiling. And for the ultimate in customization, use dimmers for all lights, with timers for security as needed.


Set the Mood

Margaret Anne Saunders - Product Expert - Alexandria, VA

Margaret Anne Saunders
Product Expert
Alexandria, VA

Under-cabinet lighting is a must-have for beauty and function in the kitchen, with nightlights and task lighting offering the perfect touch. Use tape lighting for toe kicks or puck lights in the top of cabinets for the ultimate in ambiance. Don't forget to consider LED lights, which are a popular option that offers lighting that rivals incandescent without using as much energy.

Recessed lighting can provide dramatic, low-profile illumination in the kitchen. Use 5" cans - you'll get the same output as a 6", but with a smaller hole. And install a recessed task light over your kitchen sink on a separate switch for convenience. Looking to add some pizzazz to your kitchen? A single pendant light is great for the entryway to use as a focal point, and it need not match the other lights.

As your needs change throughout the day, your lighting should adapt. You can set the mood and save energy by customizing your lighting with dimmers. Lutron has a variety of finishes to blend with any backsplash.

Form and Function

Kellie Demeritt - Product Expert - Raleigh, NC

Kellie Demeritt
Product Expert
Raleigh, NC

From food preparation to cooking to cleaning, task-driven environments require task lighting to help you see clearly. Under-cabinet lighting and recessed cans work wonders.


Create Atmosphere

Cindy Clapp - Product Expert - Woodland Hills, CA

Cindy Clapp
Product Expert
Woodland Hills, CA

Superior lighting enhances the many facets of your kitchen. Ceiling lights (recessed or flush mounted), island lighting and under-cabinet lights create a comfortable atmosphere to support your activities throughout the day. Consider decorative light for a nook with bulbs facing down if this is where you spend time reading or writing. Looking for a little ambiance? Accent lighting over cabinets or in cabinets that have glass fronts adds the perfect touch. Need form and function? Use tape light in other cabinets to make it easier to see the pot or pan you're trying to find.


The Right Light for Your Room

Linda Sarti - Lighting Specialist - Sacramento, CA

Linda Sarti
Lighting Specialist
Sacramento, CA

Lighting can set the mood of your kitchen - not just with the light it gives, but with the actual light fixtures. That's why choosing the right size light fixture is so important. A fixture that is the wrong size can ruin the look of an area. Your dining or nook fixtures should be at least 12" smaller than the width of the table. You also need to consider ceiling height and size of your room. Fixtures over tables should be between 5' and 5'5" off the floor. If you have an 8' ceiling, you should have 3' to work with. Fixture height should be about 24" high, with 12" for hanging.

Pendants over islands use the same rule of an 8' ceiling. The pendant should be no more than 8" tall. Sconces on the sides of a mirror should be 66" from the center of the junction box to the floor. Don't forget to consider design, as well as function, when selecting the right light fixtures for your room.

Light it Up with Ferguson

As a Ferguson customer, you have access to our vast product base for kitchen lighting and the opportunity to visit any one of our showrooms. We carry all the best brands, and our associates have the in-depth product knowledge you need to help you get your job done. Free design consultations - get started.

Lighting Basics

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