How to Choose New Kitchen Lighting

Modern kitchen design in home interior.

For many homeowners, the kitchen is the focal point of the home. From morning until night, it’s a busy spot!

This is why choosing the right kitchen lighting is essential to performing tasks and adding character to this important space, taking the mood from functional to cozy.

If you’re thinking about choosing new kitchen lighting, here’s your guide to the different types of kitchen lighting, fixtures, and bulbs to get you started:

Types of Kitchen Lighting

The first step in choosing new kitchen lighting is to think about what you want the light to do.

The kitchen is a multi-purpose room, so you’re going to want to consider the areas that need more focused light and the ones that require more natural light.

Here are the different types of kitchen lighting you can choose from:

Ambient Lights

Also known as general lighting, ambient lighting will give you the most light in your kitchen by providing uniform illumination throughout the room.

This type of light bounces off surfaces and lights up more space than other types of lighting.

Task Lights

Task lights provide increased light to specific areas of your kitchen to help increase accuracy, such as when you are prepping food or washing dishes. They also help reduce eyestrain.

Accent Lights

You can use accent lights in your kitchen to illuminate specific points of interest, such as decor and architectural features.

You can also install accent lights to make your kitchen look bigger, and they can also work as task lights if placed in the right area.

Decorative Lights

Consider installing decorative lights if you want to add a little eye candy to your kitchen. These types of lights add interest to the space.

Think hangings lights for your kitchen, such as chandeliers and candlestick-styled sconces!

Types of Fixtures for Kitchen Lighting

Once you figure out the type of kitchen lighting you need, it’s time to look at the types of fixtures you can choose from!

From kitchen pendant lights to cabinet lights, there are many possibilities:

Pendant Lights

Pendant lights are a type of hanging kitchen light that is mounted to the ceiling and hung by a rod or chain.

They combine task and ambient lighting to bring light closer to surfaces such as tables, counters and sinks to improve visibility.

Recessed Downlights

Recessed lighting is installed directly in the wall, ceiling, or other surfaces, with the bulk of the fixture hidden within the surface.

Pot lights in kitchens are unobtrusive and maintain a feeling of openness in your kitchen.


Kitchen ceiling lights such as spotlights are a great way to give your kitchen a modern look.

They shine light at specific areas and can serve as task lighting if hung low enough. They can also be used as ambient lighting if installed closer to the ceiling.

Track Lights

Consider installing track lights if you’re seeking a more dramatic look in your kitchen. The lights are spaced along a row and are perfect for galley kitchens.

Cabinet Lights

Cabinet lights are becoming increasingly popular in newer homes and kitchen renovations!

They feature focused light fixtures that provide better illumination over your counter, sink, and prep areas.

Plinth and Toe Kick Lights

You can install plinth and toe kick lights to illuminate the floor for an extremely modern look.

These lights sit on the baseboards of counters, kitchen islands, and other furnishings to cast pools of light along the floor. Imagine how amazing these would look paired with glossy kitchen flooring!

Kitchen Island Lights

Kitchen island lights hang directly over your kitchen island and are usually grouped in sets of two or three. They offer direct task light to illuminate eating and prep areas.

Choosing the Right Bulb

Different types of LED light bulbs on wooden background

So, we’ve talked about the types of lights and fixtures you can use in your kitchen – now it’s time to choose the right bulb.

Different types of light bulbs give off different types of light, and some are more energy efficient than others.

Here are the types of bulbs you can use in your kitchen:

Incandescent Bulbs

These traditional light bulbs produce a warm, glowing light. However, they are starting to phase out of popularity in favor of energy-efficient bulbs.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

Also known as CFLs, compact fluorescent bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and also last much longer. 

They give off a cooler light but are available in a range of temperatures and brightness levels.

LED Bulbs

Using LED lights in the kitchen is becoming quite the trend! LED bulbs are energy-efficient like CFLs, but they can last up to three times longer.

LED bulbs provide direct light, so they are best used for task lighting. However, they do give off the same glow as an incandescent bulb.

Halogen Bulbs

Halogen bulbs are perfect if you are looking for a way to get a bright, white light that is similar to daylight. These are also great for task lighting and are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs.

Kitchen Lighting Trends

If you’re looking for ways to put these kitchen lighting options together for a fresh, new look, here are some kitchen lighting trends you should check out:

  • Industrial Lighting: Track lighting in a black iron style contracts beautifully with light whites and creams.
  • LED Strip Lighting: Strip lights can be mounted anywhere! You can add some under your countertops and under the toeboards of your cabinets for some extra flair.
  • Multiple Lighting Styles: You can use multiple different types of light styles and fixtures in your kitchen for a modern look. For example, you can use track lighting over your kitchen island, a pendant light over your sink, and dimming lights over your table.

Make Sure the Job is Done Right!

When it’s time to change up your kitchen lighting, don’t be tempted to do the job yourself!

Unless you’re a certified electrician, you need to hire a professional to complete any electrical work in your home.

Ridgeline Improvement’s team of professional kitchen contractors in Edmonton is ready to get the job done – and make sure the job is done right!

If you’re ready to change the look and feel of your kitchen, let’s get you started on a free quote!