Kitchen Light Fixtures: Types and Uses

February 14, 2019


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Your kitchen deserves to be well-lit and inviting; after all, it is the hub of the household. When planning a renovation, never underestimate the importance of quality kitchen light fixtures. No matter how large or small the project, a great kitchen lighting scheme can make a dramatic difference.

Be sure to install kitchen light fixtures in layers for the best results, providing plenty of general/ ambient, task, and accent lighting.

General Lighting

  • Flush Mounts: Affordable and available in countless traditional & contemporary designs, flush mounts (sometimes called “close to ceiling” fixtures) are an ever-popular choice for general lighting in the kitchen.
  • Kitchen Island Lights: A type of chandelier, these have a special elongated style perfect for kitchen islands. For more focused illumination (for homework or food preparation), choose an island chandelier with downward facing lights.
  • Wall Sconces: Looking to spruce up a wall or corner that’s particularly dark or bare? A wall sconce is a wonderful solution, adding style and general illumination.

Task Lighting

  • Mini Pendants: These kitchen light fixtures (miniature versions of pendant lights) are commonly used over a kitchen island or bar. An emerging trend is using “staggered” mini pendants over a small breakfast table.
  • Ceiling Pendants: To provide a more focused illumination for everyday tasks, choose a pendant that mainly emits light through the bottom (rather than a style with a glass diffuser). These are great for use over the sink.

Accent Lighting

  • Under Cabinet Lights: Draw attention to your prized backsplash or countertops with affordable under cabinet lights, your secret weapon in kitchen design. They are fairly easy to install, and available in “puck” or strip styles. Some under cabinet lights even plug directly into outlets, no hardwiring required.
  • Track Lighting. One of the most versatile kitchen fixtures, track lighting can double as accent and general lighting. Simply point the track head at any feature in the kitchen you wish to spotlight!