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best lighting for a kitchen

How To Choose the Best Lighting for a Kitchen

Are you remodeling your kitchen? Don’t overlook the value of choosing the best lighting for a kitchen.

As a top-rated kitchen remodel contractor in Danville, CA, Kitchens By Woody’s creates stunning and efficient kitchens that will improve the value of your home. Keep reading this kitchen lighting layout guide to discover everything you should know about choosing the right type of illumination for this important space in your home.

Kitchen Lighting Purposes

Kitchen lighting serves four general purposes and understanding the difference (for example, ambient vs task lighting for kitchens) goes a long way toward choosing the best kitchen lighting.

Task Lighting

This lighting brightens up counters and sinks so you have plenty of light to work on chopping, washing, and cleaning. They work best over countertops and sinks and in pantries.


This category includes recessed and track lighting. It can add depth and focus to your lighting, often making the space appear bigger than it is.


These lights serve a more aesthetic rather than functional purpose. While they do provide the necessary light, their primary purpose is to make the space more interesting. Decorative lighting includes chandeliers and sconces.


Ambient lighting provides a base layer that creates an even look throughout your kitchen and helps your other lighting shine more effectively. The most common types of ambient lighting include hung pendants or recessed fixtures.

Types of Kitchen Lighting

From kitchen pendant lighting ideas to LED under cabinet lighting for kitchens, consider the following illumination methods for your kitchen:

  • Recessed: This lighting sits just inside the ceiling for maximum use of space. It provides excellent lighting without drawing the eye away from fancier details.
  • Pendant: Pendant lighting is anything that hangs from the ceiling. It comes in a wide range of shapes and sizes, including globes, domes, and bells.
  • Sconce: Mostly decorative, sconces invoke a sense of nostalgia harkening back to the time of candles and lanterns. They often provide only minimal lighting.
  • Chandelier: Chandeliers offer the epitome of class and luxury while providing a minimal level of light. From traditional metal styles to ultramodern glass sculptures, you can find a chandelier for any kitchen motif.
  • Undercabinet LED: Undercabinet LED lights act as great night lights if you need a midnight snack, and can provide the perfect level of light for things like cleaning counters or chopping vegetables.
  • Tracks: You install the lights in a line, usually above a kitchen island, and they provide the perfect combination of form and function.

Choosing the Best Kitchen Lighting

From considering electrical safety to capitalizing on today’s trends, Kitchens By Woody’s helps you choose the perfect lighting for your kitchen using the following factors.

Account for Every Purpose

The best kitchens combine ambient, task, decorative, and accent lights to provide a well-rounded kitchen you can use under any conditions or for any purpose. For example, instead of considering warm vs. cool white lighting for kitchens, find ways to incorporate both. Our expert designers can help you put the right type of lighting in the best layout to optimize the function they provide and the style they impart.

Incorporate Individual Style

Your individual style is one of the most important considerations for your kitchen, as you’re the one who has to look at it and use it daily. Your style probably falls into one of the following categories:

  • Farmhouse: With the open and welcoming feel of a farmhouse kitchen, every day will feel like a vacation.
  • Modern: Relying on minimalism and block-neutral colors, these kitchens are sleek, sexy, and supremely functional.
  • Cottage: Cottage kitchens provide a cozy and welcoming feel no matter how expansive. 
  • Mediterranean: Elegant and romantic, these kitchens look like they come from Italy, Greece, and Spain.
  • Coastal: If you want to feel like you’re cooking at a beach house, consider the bold and vivacious styles of a coastal kitchen.
  • Old world: Featuring natural wood and stone, an old-world kitchen evokes images of your great-grandmother’s Italian kitchen and a time when life was simpler.
  • Traditional: Clean and comfortable, a traditional kitchen doesn’t stand out, but blends in perfectly with the rest of your home, no matter the occasion.
  • Boho: Short for Bohemian, every Boho kitchen perfectly highlights unique and unusually charming individualism and artistry.
  • Mid-century modern: These kitchens perfectly meld the past and the present using geometric details and wood features.
  • Scandinavian: With clean lines and neutral wood tones, these kitchens utilize minimalism to its maximum effect.
  • Industrial: Perfect for studio apartments and loft spaces, the industrial look invokes exposed ductwork, metal fixtures, and large factory windows for a spacious feel.

Implement Current Trends

When you choose the best lighting for a kitchen based on combining your personal style with current trends, you create a timeless kitchen you can enjoy for decades to come. Current trends include varying the shape of your lighting, illuminating floors, and translucent pendants and globes, rather than opaque ones.

Create Home-Wide Context

If you have an open-style home, consider blending your kitchen style in with the rest of your home. Your lighting will likely bleed into these other rooms, so you want a solution that works for the entire space. It doesn’t have to match, but it should at least compliment the rest of your home to avoid clashing.

Choose a Focal Point

A decorative lighting element like a chandelier creates the perfect focal point which creates a stunning effect when guests first see your kitchen. It also gives a point of reference you can use to design the rest of your lighting. While the focal point works best as a light fixture in the middle of your kitchen, you could also opt for a nice piece of art or a fireplace, depending on your kitchen’s style.

Don’t Forget Your Budget

While a new kitchen is one of the best investments you can make to add value to your home, you should accrue too much debt to achieve the results you want. Our designers know how to get the best look from even a tight budget. However, should you have a sizable amount of money for your remodeling project, you’ll stand in awe of the results we can produce.

Prioritize Energy Efficiency

To save some money in the long term and return your investment more quickly, prioritize energy-efficient fixtures and bulbs. Look for bulbs with an Energy Star certification and a color rendering index of at least 80. Also, look for a bulb with a temperature between 2700 and 3000 Kelvin.

Add Accessories

If you have the budget to spare, consider the convenience of adding accessories to your kitchen lighting. The most common enhancement is dimmer switches, which give you incredibly nuanced control over the environment and function of your kitchen.

You can also consider using bulbs that can emit different hues and colors of light. Smart bulbs allow you to choose almost any color from white and yellow to blue and red.

With smart bulbs, you can also control the light with your mobile device and can even set varying schedules. This offers enhanced security, such as turning on when you’re not home, and you’ll love the extreme level of control it offers.

Let Kitchens By Woody’s Design Your Kitchen Lighting

When you partner with Kitchens By Woody’s, we’ll help you choose the best lighting for a kitchen with zero hassle or stress. Whether you’re prioritizing kitchen lighting for optimal functionality or taking a stylistic approach by matching kitchen and dining lights, we’ll offer the best advice and installation. 

To schedule your initial consultation, call (304) 814-2268.

Tyler Fraser

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