The kitchen is the beating heart of a home. In fact, Homedit did a poll online and found that a staggering 42,770,213 people named it their most popular room.

When you engage in a kitchen remodel, you are designing the epicenter of your home. And perhaps, the light fixtures are not your first thought.

But the wrong light fixtures can be boring, uninviting, and cause shadows.

But don't worry. This short and sweet guide has the tips you need when choosing lighting during your kitchen remodeling.

How to Determine Which Light Fixtures Will Work Best in Your Kitchen

Choosing kitchen lights is not as easy as just picking out fixtures you like.

To create flow from room to room you should consider the theme, shape, and style of existing light fixtures in the rest of your home. Also, think about the architecture of your home and how that will impact your selections.

Another important aspect of kitchen remodeling is getting the proportions right. Large light fixtures will overwhelm a small kitchen while too small will be underwhelming in a big space.

Functionality and Aesthetics: How to Choose the Best Kitchen Lighting

Getting the right balance of lighting in your kitchen is made easier when you start by establishing your needs.

Look at the placement of your windows. Once you see how much ambient light you get in that space you can determine where you need more lighting.

Getting kitchen lighting just right is the chef's kiss of a kitchen remodel. You want your lighting to be functional as you perform various tasks. You also want the lighting to help set the ambiance.

One way to achieve this delicate balance is with dimmer switches. Being able to turn down the brightness allows you to create a soft glow in the evenings which is perfect for entertaining.

Think About Under-Cabinet Lighting

An element of kitchen lighting that you can't overlook is under-cabinet. This is often the lighting that you leave on in the evenings to add warmth and coziness to your space.

There are several options you can choose from. A popular method is to use strip lights.

These are versatile and bright enough to illuminate your countertops. If you want uniform lighting under your cabinets, this is the best option.

Another choice is puck lights. These are great mood lights that can be used to form a pool or spot of light. This will give your under-cabinets a totally different look than strip lights so be sure to spend some time deliberating on the effect you want.

Over Your Island

Perhaps the biggest lighting decision you'll make for your new kitchen is choosing the lighting you want over your island.

What you opt for will depend on whether the island has a cooktop, sink, or is more for eating and hanging out.

If you will be performing any food prep on the island, you'll be happy with a combination of downlighting and hanging lights. On the other hand, if your island is for seating, perhaps mini-pendants will be just right.

Keep in mind that pendants should be placed at least 30-32 inches apart and 30-36 inches above the island.

Four Types of Lighting: Ambient, Task, Accent, and Decorative

Lighting can be broken down into three basic types. Knowing what these three are can help you decide on your needs for your remodeling project.


Ambient lighting is the main source of light in your kitchen. This type of light comes from the ceiling and should cast illumination evenly.

Accomplishing ambient lighting can be done with a combination of recessed, pendant, flush mounts, or chandeliers.

Ambient lighting, however, is not enough. Shadows in areas are likely that's where the next type of lighting comes in.


Task lighting is ideal for areas that require focus. Work surfaces and cabinetry require task lights so you can read recipes, finely chop ingredients and easily spot the spices you need on a shelf.

Often, task lighting is accomplished with the placement of strip lights or puck lights.


Accent lighting is the cherry on top! It is the final piece of a beautifully designed kitchen.

There are various options for accent lights such as toe kick, cabinet, or spotlights.

The right placement of accent lighting will draw the eye and emphasize your favorite elements.

A popular type of accent lighting is over-cabinet light. This choice adds flair to your kitchen. It is a great way to highlight your decor and architecture.

Another option is recessed lighting. Less flashy and more out-of-the-way, this option is refined. It's a good option for open shelves and glass cabinets.

We already mentioned toe-kick lights but we'll talk about it again. By using LED tape or rope lights, you can illuminate a pathway in the evening.


Of all the light types, this one is eye candy! Decorative lighting adds interest to the space.

But don't think that decorative has to be big and bold. Candlestick wall scones in a small kitchen remodel can be stunning.

Decorative lights do help illuminate the space. Yet their main job is to grab attention.

Putting It All Together: Choose the Best Light Fixtures for Your Kitchen Remodel

Voila! Now that you understand all about the types of light fixtures, the job light plays in the space, and how to combine them, you are all set to launch into your kitchen remodel with confidence.

Do you need some friendly, expert advice? Talk to a pro today.