Just like you need healthy, balanced meals everyday, your kitchen needs a healthy mix of different types of lights to help you work better there. We understand that not everyone knows a lot about the specifications of the right kind of lighting for kitchen. Therefore, we thought of compiling the must-have lights for every type of task you do. But first, a few things!

Can you spot the areas of this kitchen that lack proper lighting?

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A kitchen with improper lighting

Or tell us how many types of lights are used in this one?

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That’s how a kitchen should be lit!

The above kitchen shows off pendant, track and task lighting for a well-rounded cooking and dining experience.

From creating the right illumination in the entire kitchen to helping you chop your veggies without straining your eyes, these lights will help you with everything!

#1: Ambient lighting

As the name suggests, ambient lights are used to create a modern and overall illumination in a room. You can add these in addition to natural lighting or to fill in the lack or absence of it. While there are multiple kinds of ambient lights, your kitchen requires some specific ones like these:

Flush mount ceiling lights

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Commonly found in most homes, these lights add adequate lighting

The ceiling is where you need ambient lighting the most. The higher and brighter you go, the better illumination you will achieve. Typically dome-shaped, flush mount or semi-flush mount lights are used to light up medium to small kitchens. A single or a couple of flush mount lights are sufficient.

Recommended: Use a mix of warm and white light bulbs in flush mount fixtures.

Recessed lights

They look sleek and fit seamlessly into the ceiling

Recessed lighting is like the holy grail for creating ambient lighting in a kitchen, especially if you despise hanging lights. These fit right into your ceiling and look very sleek, while giving ample light to the space. In a medium-sized kitchen, you can install about 3-6 recessed lights. Make sure you place them in a grid fashion, so that they look aligned.

Recommended: Always opt for white light bulbs inside recessed lights.

#2: Task lighting

After you’re done with ambient lighting, which will help illuminate your kitchen, you have to move on to think about the kind of tasks you have in this space. Often, ambient lighting casts a shadow when you stand in front of counters or any other location in your kitchen. Therefore, you need task-oriented lighting for kitchen.

Track lights

Looks best in kitchens with breakfast counters or parallel kitchens

As the name suggests, track lights are a strip of lights arranged in a linear form on the ceiling. This is a modern type of lighting for kitchen where you can place a series of track lights atop your island or breakfast counter. People also install it next to the countertop as it acts as an excellent focus light. But you have to ensure that the angle is correct, so that no shadows are cast on your counter.

Recommended: We prefer warm light bulbs for track light systems. Make sure you pick up LED bulbs for better lighting.

Under-cabinet lights

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Very helpful at night when you do not want to switch on all lights

One of the most useful and our favourite task lighting for a kitchen—under cabinet lighting—is used to create direct focus on the worktop. You can use LED strips and get them installed under the wall cabinets. This type of LED lighting for kitchen is great for dull corners and to get rid of the shadow that the cabinets cast on the countertop.

Recommended: Definitely choose warm light strips if you have a neutral-ish backsplash. Keep white or cool light strips only for the coloured backsplashes.

#3: Accent lighting

Accent lighting is more like decorative lights that add to the existing lighting of your kitchen. You can utilise accent lights to create a soft focus on some key elements in the kitchen. There are literally no rules when it comes to accents and this makes it one of the versatile kitchen lighting ideas.

Wall sconces/wall-mounted lights

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Act as a pretty addition to regular lights

Similar in style to the flush mount lights, wall sconces or wall-mounted lights differ just in placement. While flush mounts are installed on the ceiling, wall sconces are placed on the wall. If you have space on any wall or next to your breakfast counter, you can try installing a wall sconce over there. It is stylish, it is modern and it helps in lighting up the wall.

Recommended: As we said, there are no rules, but we personally suggest you use warm lighting for wall sconces. It gives a soft glow to the room.

Pendant lights

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An ideal type of lighting for kitchen island

So you have a kitchen island or a breakfast counter and it is more like a gathering spot for your family? Then you should invest in some pretty pendant lights. These lighting fixtures are hanging from the ceiling and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. We personally love these bubble lights that add a chic touch to this kitchen and hang low enough to illuminate the counter.

Recommended: Always go for warm light bulbs in pendant lights. Also, because they are decorative and act as a highlight. Make sure there’s a distance of at least 30-32 inches between the countertop and the bottom of the light.

So, is there a best type of lighting for kitchen?

As a rule of thumb, you must have general or ambient lighting in the centre of the kitchen. Do this by installing recessed kitchen ceiling lights or flush mounts. Additionally, if you have an island or a breakfast counter, consider pendant lighting.

We personally recommend having a couple of task lights as well, but it really depends upon the natural lighting in your kitchen and the positioning of your windows or additional lights. If they do not happen to cast shadows on your counter, then you can make do without them.

We hope you’re better prepared the next time you’re planning to rework lighting for kitchen. Here’s more information: Which is the Best Kitchen Layout & How to Make the Most of It.

Send in your thoughts and suggestions to editor.sg@livspace.com.