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Whether or not you realize it, the kitchen is the busiest room in the house with the most tasks performed in its walls. With meal prep, searching through cabinets for the right tool or food item, and dining, there are many things that happen in the kitchen that require adequate lighting. That doesn’t mean you should choose bright fluorescent lighting to make everything easy to see! You have to strike a balance between lighting the kitchen workspace and promoting a sense of welcoming elegance. Carefully choosing your lighting fixtures and glow will differentiate your kitchen from other homes and give off the perfect elegant mood.

Task Lighting in Workspaces

Shining specific lighting on your food prep and heavy workspace areas will give you the light you need to get all your kitchen tasks down. This type of lighting is not good for the mood of the entire kitchen, but is helpful when you are trying to get food on the table. Task lighting under cabinets to shine on the countertops helps accomplish any dicing, mixing, or serving you need to get done. This type of lighting will not cast any shadows, will not interfere with the rest of the kitchen lighting, and allows you to turn the lights on and off at will. The different types of task lighting include:

  • Strip Lighting – usually a bar bulb that is fastened under the cabinet with a switch on the strip.
  • String Lighting – a warm rope light stretched under the cabinet.
  • Puck Lighting – singular bulbs in a row that rotate and focus on specific tasks.

Mood Lighting in Open Spaces

Open spaces in your kitchen, such as islands, bars, and other open counter space designs, should be lit with what we like to call mood lighting. These are different kinds of lights that give off a softer glow to light the space adequately without being overly bright. The mood lighting options also give a touch of decorative design with the function of the fixture. Some ideas for open space mood lighting include:

  • Pendants Lights – the most popular type of mood lighting to provide a soft, focused task lighting on an open counter space with a decorative fixture to match your kitchen design.
  • Track Lighting – multiple singular bulbs over an open counter space, often arranged in a uniquely designed fixture for decorative purposes.
  • Downlights – singular bulbs fixed into the ceiling for a recessed lighting appearance.

Decorative Lighting Above the Kitchen Table

The kitchen table lighting is where you can get very creative with your design. Kitchen table and dining areas do not need to be as well lit as the kitchen, giving you more room to play with different fixture and glow options available. You will want to decide on a fixture based on your overall kitchen style. You can keep it very basic with a ceiling fan light or go elegant and extravagant with a chandelier.

If your kitchen table is used more for an extra food task space than dining, then you will want it to be a little more well-lit. You can still choose your decorative light fixture, but add more lighting as needed with some of the task and mood lighting options we mentioned above.

Natural Lighting Throughout the Kitchen

When it is daytime and you don’t need to use your lights as much, you want a great deal of natural light into your kitchen. Home shoppers will often turn away from kitchens that do not have a lot of natural light, so if you plan on selling your home in the future natural lighting is a must. You can do this by adding a glass back door if your kitchen as an exit or install additional windows. To cheat at making your kitchen seem like it has more natural light than it does, choose light kitchen design elements such as white countertops or cabinets to reflect the light better.

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