How to get the best lighting for your kitchen

Light statements are a quick and easy way to add personality to your kitchen. Here are five things you should ask yourself before deciding on lighting.

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Ikea kitchen, white and black cabinets, dark dining table, stools, stainless steel fixtures, blue accessories, wine glasses, hardwood floor
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

 

1. What kind of lighting do I need?

Kitchens need three types of lighting: ambient (general, overall light), task (for specific jobs like food prep) and accent (for drama and interest). Make sure you have all your bases covered. Pendant lights tend to fall into the accent lighting category.

2. What style am I trying to evoke?

Contemporary, country, traditional, industrial? Your lights will go a long way in telling the style story of your kitchen. Choose appropriately.

3. What size should the lights be?

There are no specific rules for sizes. If your light is over an island, just be sure it isn’t so wide you will bump your head on it.

4. How many lights should I use?

Over an island there are three common set-ups: one large, linear pendant in proportion to the size of the island; two matching medium-sized pendants balanced over the length; or three or more small lights equally spaced above the countertop.

5. Where should I hang them?

Height: The general rule is 28 to 36 inches from the top of your counter to the bottom of the fixture.

Spacing: Lights should be placed about 30 inches from bulb to bulb.

Designer tip: Consider adding a dimmer to all fixtures so you can vary the intensity of light.

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