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Kitchen Lighting Ideas for Your Home

Kitchen Lighting Ideas for Your Home

One of the most overlooked aspects of kitchen upgrades and make-overs is lighting.  That’s because design-conscious home owners, especially with the likes of HGTV paving the way, are now paying more attention to form vs. function.  As in, how it looks vs. how it functions.

So, if you want your kitchen to look its best and still have all the light you need for cooking, cleaning, and just the right ambiance, regardless of the occasion, just follow these up-to-date kitchen lighting tips.


Modern kitchens are often lit by can lights mounted in the ceiling with bulbs that essentially will last forever. Consider placing a few of them closer than normal to the perimeter of the upper cabinets to allow more light on the cabinet doors.

Over kitchen islands, you’ll want to hang down some pendant lights or even a chandelier.  If using pendant lights, two light fixtures work well on an island that is about 4’ to 6’ long.


Cabinet lighting is one of the most important elements of any kitchen project, yet people often delete it or use inferior products for budget reasons.  But remember: cabinet lighting is harder and costlier to add after the fact.

There are many varieties of cabinet lighting, and different fixtures work better for different applications. Under-cabinet lighting, for example, consists of light fixtures that are mounted to the bottom surface of the upper wall cabinets. The cabinet either needs a recessed bottom or a light rail so that the light is hidden from view.  Halogen bulbs burn very brightly but create a considerable amount of heat, making Xenon bulbs a preferable choice.  Avoid fluorescent fixtures as the light is too blue and artificial looking.


The exact same fixtures that are used on the underside of cabinets can be used on top. This lends a soft glow to the walls above the upper cabinets, and creates an additional layer of light. Under- and above-cabinet lights can either be on the same or separate switches.


Another way to add beauty and functionality to your kitchen is with lights inside cabinets with glass doors.  You might also consider installing lights under an island countertop’s overhang, and additional lights under the base cabinets right above the toe-kicks.  The toe kick lights are sometimes nice to have on a separate switch, and they can be lit just at night for a truly awesome effect.

For more ideas on how to better illuminate your new or existing kitchen for both added beauty and practicality, contact Excel Electric today. Or, maybe you have a lighting scheme already in place and just need the right electrician to install them. Either way, Excel Electric is at your service.

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