Once your new kitchen remodel is all said and done, you’ve made dozens of decisions covering everything from aesthetics to workflow. But if there’s one thing that can make it all fall flat, it’s underestimating the importance of one key kitchen component—lighting.
After investing so much money in a kitchen remodel, you don’t want to negate the value by leaving your workspace in the dark. Choosing the right lighting is essential, but often easier said than done.
Installing the Right Combination of Lighting
Not all lighting is created equal in the kitchen. Just because the room is entirely lit up doesn’t mean you’re maximizing aesthetic and functional value.
Layered lighting has become an important technique for modern kitchen remodels. By playing with combinations of lighting fixtures, shadows, and colors, you can bring attention to the best aspects of your kitchen remodel.
This technique is comprised of three specific types of lighting:
- General Illumination: The main fixtures for the room deliver ambient light that fills the space.
- Accent Lighting: When you have special features in the kitchen (a great backsplash, a unique island), accent lighting can highlight them to draw attention.
- Task Lighting: Think of this category as the practical addition for illuminating work spaces. You want total visibility when cooking or prepping, so task lighting can provide extra brightness in specific areas.
Finding the right combination of layers isn’t always easy. That’s why it’s so important to plan your lighting with a designer from the beginning. This isn’t something you want to figure out after the fact.
While each type of lighting has a number of different fixtures you can choose from to outfit your kitchen remodel, there are some common options that any homeowner should be aware of.
Common Lighting Fixtures for a Kitchen Remodel
The best kitchen remodel contractors will pair you with a designer to build the right solution for your kitchen project. But that doesn’t mean you want to head into the meeting without any initial ideas.
Before you get input from a professional, consider how you feel about common lighting fixtures, such as:
- Standard Ceiling Fixtures: Recessed lighting has become the most popular form of general illumination, but you can get surface-mount fixtures as well. These lights typically sit in the middle of the room to provide widespread ambient light.
- Pendant Lights: These decorative fixtures hang from your ceiling, acting as general illumination as well as task lighting for work areas. By taking advantage of size flexibility, you can perfectly illuminate areas of high traffic as well as work zones.
- Wall Lights: Whether you need to add task or accent lighting, wall fixtures can provide both decorative and functional touches to the kitchen.
- Track Lighting: If general recessed lighting fixtures aren’t right for you, a well-designed rail lighting system can add a different aesthetic feeling. The added design flexibility allows you to align fixtures in different directions, adding general and/or task lighting where necessary.
In addition to these common components, you can also consider things like undercounter lights, toe kick lights, chandeliers, and undercabinet fixtures.
The most important thing for your kitchen remodel is to work closely with a full-service remodeler you trust. Doing so will ensure you get all the aesthetic and functional value necessary for a kitchen that’s right for your needs.