When changing things up at home, we often take stock of our appliances, carpets, and even our furniture. But something easy to overlook, like some creative kitchen lighting ideas, can make all the difference. 

In the kitchen, we usually look at color schemes. We’ll look at the cabinets and even the material and style of countertops. And as much as those all play a role, for an overall aesthetically pleasing look, we need to remember to give lighting its due.

If you’re lucky enough to have a kitchen with plenty of natural lighting, keep this as your primary focus. Design your kitchen to capitalize on this great advantage.

And if you don’t, no worries! You have many options on what you can do to make light fixtures work for your kitchen. Work with the positive attributes in your surroundings. And before we get to that, let’s look into why it’s so important.

Importance of kitchen lighting

Why Kitchen Lighting is Important

Your room can have the most beautiful furniture, flooring, and color scheme, but without good lighting, all those beautiful features can fall flat and lose their luster. Good lighting is to interior design as seasoning is to food.

You can have the most amazing ingredients, but it will be a bland feast without the right seasoning. That’s exactly how lighting brings out the best in your room.

Any good designer will tell you that the amount of space in your room doesn’t matter as much as how you use it. And the same goes for lighting.

Notice what lighting your living space requires for functionality and to enhance its features. Then you can use lighting to help set the aesthetic for your kitchen.

The types of kitchen lighting

What to Keep in Mind

These are the basic concepts of lighting in interior design. They’re something to keep in mind when you’re picking the light fixtures you want. A room with great lighting should have a combination of these three:

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is simple to understand. It’s essentially your primary source of lighting. This can be from a combination of natural light, as well as lighting fixtures like pendant lights, recessed fixtures, and wall fixtures. When you think of ambient lighting, think of huge coverage.

Task Lighting

Task lighting, on the other hand, focuses on lighting fixtures that cater to the needs of specific tasks. This type of lighting aids functionality in specific areas of the room. A good example of this would be under-cabinet lighting like puck lights or strip lights.

Accent Lighting

This type of lighting aims to accentuate certain elements of any room. These can be hanging lights or cabinet lights that draw attention to specific objects. Use this type of lighting under countertops, in the corners of the room, or even underneath specific objects.

Clever and smart kitchen lighting ideas

Implementing Some Clever Kitchen Lighting Ideas

So now that you know a little more about the basics of lighting, you can go about it any way you like. Just make sure your kitchen ends up functional, pretty, and well-lit. Here is some lighting you should look into:

Primary Lighting

The primary source of lighting in your kitchen helps bring about functionality in your kitchen. It can contribute to your aesthetic but still allows for practicality in keeping important areas well lit.


These are lights fixed on the ceiling. They can shed consistent light throughout the kitchen and are available in different sizes, depending on their use.

You can place them on the ceiling for even lighting and a compact look. With their premium appeal, a lot of luxury apartments and condos opt for this type of lighting.

Others can be placed on the ceiling or walls. They can light up the room or bring attention to walls and even specific parts of the room. These lights are visible, but not too noticeable. Spotlights can be an elegant way to go.

Pendant Lights

Possibly the most pretty and functional light for a kitchen. Pendant lights are available in many shapes and sizes and can bring out the best in your kitchen. They usually hang from the ceiling and can look quite sophisticated.

They can be quite bright too. So if your kitchen has little natural lighting, pendant lights would be a good way to fill that space with light.

Some of these include:

  • Bowl Pendant: These are like upside-down bowls. There is a huge variety available and depending on what you’re looking for, you can find them in different textures and sizes.
  • Multiple Pendants: These are lights that hang together in a group or cluster. They can look quite pretty.
  • Exposed Bulb Pendant: This type of fixture has a rustic aesthetic and can be easy on the pocket. 
  • Globe Pendant: These are glass spheres suspended from the ceiling. They can also add a lot of personality to the room. 
  • Mini Pendant: These are tiny suspended lights. They bring a pretty aesthetic if hung in a series.
  • Drum Pendant: These resemble drums, and are cylindrical hanging lamps.

Wall Lights

Wall lights are basic wall lighting placed throughout the house but, based on the lights you choose, they can be lovely additions to your kitchen. While wall lights have traditionally been a feature of living room decor, their utility is as varied as your imagination.

Using this type of light requires a little planning, especially when deciding the kitchen layout. First, think about where kitchen lighting can provide the most benefit. Based on that, you’ll find an option relevant to you.

Another good idea would be to choose the type of fixture that would go best with the aesthetic of your kitchen. You’ll have many choices of shapes, sizes, and styles.

Also, if you want to see only minimal changes made in your kitchen, wall lights would be a great way to go. Simply replace the existing light fixtures with the new style to suit your aesthetic.


Chandeliers are typically quite grand, so usually you’ll see them in a formal living or dining room. Of course, these days kitchen areas often merge with the dining or living room – so factor this into your decision. Based on your style and requirements, there are several types of chandeliers available on the market today.

When people think of chandeliers, they may think of ostentatious displays. However, there are many sensible options these days that are more subtle and diverse. They’re like pendant lighting but can provide more light at a single point. They look especially good when hanging over island countertops.

And if you choose to take the more ostentatious route, a chandelier can look fantastic. Just make sure it’s stylistically coherent with the rest of the room.

Toe-Kick Lights

Remember accent lighting? Toe-Kick lights are a great way to implement them at the bottom of kitchen counters and certain pieces of furniture. Toe-kick lights help bring an exciting element to your kitchen.

Essentially, they are lights that are close to the floor that provide a more decorative form of lighting.

Based on your desired theme or aesthetic, you can choose from a selection of different colors and degrees of brightness.

Cabinet Lighting

You’ll find cabinet lighting under cabinets, in cabinets, and even over cabinets. They can serve many purposes.

Under-cabinet lighting is task-centric lighting that usually helps provide light for kitchen countertops. However, cabinet lighting and over-cabinet lighting mostly serve decorative purposes.

Cabinet lighting often uses puck lights or strip lights, but can also use a combination of the two. This is one of the kitchen lighting ideas that can really help your kitchen stand out.

Smart LED Lighting

Next on our list of Smart Kitchen Lighting Ideas is Smart LED Lighting. Smart LED lighting is fairly new but gaining traction on the market. It can add an interesting addition to your kitchen if you’re open to new things and technology.

You can use Smart LED bulbs or Smart LED strips in various parts and fixtures in the kitchen. After installing them, you can control the intensity and color of the lighting through a remote or mobile device.

Using an application (made by the manufacturer), you can configure the lighting to best suit your kitchen layout. You can even automate the time the lights switch on and off through an application! Using this type of lighting can help make the aesthetic of your kitchen lighting more versatile.

Choose the right kitchen lighting

Making the Right Choices

Making sure your the kitchen lighting ideas work for your lifestyle is very important. Pay attention to it, find what works for you, and understand what value it can provide.

There is never a good time to renovate your kitchen, and the electrical element can often be the most challenging task to complete. Many things can go wrong – even after you’ve already overpaid! 

So when changing your lighting, be sure to find a qualified contractor. And in case the costs are running high, here are a couple of ways to make sure you can finance renovations.

Curating the lighting in your kitchen will enhance its most attractive attributes. Make the right choices and transform your kitchen and your home.