kitchen lighting layout

Essential Guide to Kitchen Lighting Layout: Brighten Up Your Space

Choosing a kitchen lighting layout often presents a unique challenge, especially for creative homeowners. While you want a decorative design that underscores your individual aesthetic taste, you need a layout that enhances visibility while you work in the kitchen. One Stop Kitchen plus Bath, your full-kitchen remodel contractor in Minneapolis, Minnesota, crafted this guide to help you blend function with fashion. 

Key Takeaways

  • Use general lighting for utilitarian purposes like illuminating your work areas. 
  • Experiment with your favorite light fixture designs to enhance ambient light.
  • Explore decorative accent lights to set the mood when you finish cooking. 

What Does Your Kitchen Lighting Layout Lack?

Before diving into details like color palette options or stylish hardware sets, you should pinpoint elements you’d like to see in your lighting layout. What elements would make you more satisfied with your kitchen? See if the listed descriptions apply to you:

  • You struggle to see when chopping vegetables or cooking: Don’t hurt yourself! Consider better task lighting before going further. 
  • The lights look too dim or bright: Switching the bulbs, changing your fixture positions, or adding dimmable features could significantly improve your experience. 
  • You feel closed off when working in the kitchen: Add natural light with a new window during a kitchen renovation service. 
  • You want more options to improve workflow and leisure activities: You need more ambient or accent light options to create the perfect effect. 

Types of Kitchen Lighting

You now have a better idea of which direction to explore. But what do terms like “accent” or “task” mean in the context of a kitchen lighting layout? You’ll find the details outlined below. 


Accent lighting refers to an optional feature that enhances the mood and emphasizes certain structural and decorative features. You can add accent lighting that doubles as ambient lighting under certain circumstances. Examples of lighting accents include:

  • Delicate, colored light strings
  • Well-placed lamps or free-standing fixtures
  • Lights installed under cabinets or along walls


Ambient fixtures add depth to your kitchen lightning design while illuminating pertinent work areas. Explore the following fixtures for ambient lighting that stretches across your entire kitchen:

  • Recessed lights
  • Centrally located ceiling fans
  • Wall sconces
  • Spotlights 


Finally, task lighting enhances specific workstations. For example, your ambient lights may not fully illuminate the areas beneath your cabinets. Therefore, you might install small task lights under the cabinetry to highlight that area. Versatile ideas for task lighting include:

  • Shelf lights
  • Downlights
  • Corner fixtures
  • Practical light strips 

Where To Add Lighting

Examine your kitchen for problem areas, especially spaces you haven’t previously considered. Some often-forgotten areas include:

  • Beneath the cabinets
  • Inside the cabinets
  • In the corners
  • Over islands, tables, and other essential structures

Helpful Features for Kitchen Lighting

Alternatively, you might feel satisfied with the location of your lighting fixtures. However, headache-inducing brightness levels or bulb shades make you dread spending time in your kitchen. These simple yet practical lighting solutions can make a world of difference while you cook and converse. 


Dimmable lights allow you to control the intensity of the bulb’s output. You can make your entire kitchen lighting design dimmable or choose one or two features. A few adjustments set the perfect tone, like bringing the overhead lights down a notch or two after cooking a romantic dinner. 


Various bulb colors can give your eyes a rest and add a festive touch to any occasion. Most kitchen renovation experts recommend warm white bulbs for task or ambient fixtures. Adding sparkling, colored light strings works beautifully for parties, holiday gatherings, and other spirited occasions.

Decorative Hardware

Sometimes, a new set of fixture hardware can elevate your kitchen’s interior design. Update your fixture hardware for recessed lights, chandeliers, and other viewable features. It’ll add an admirable shine! 


Creating the perfect kitchen lighting layout is a complex venture. However, it significantly improves your kitchen’s comfort, functionality, and overall vibe. At One Stop Kitchen plus Bath, our remodeling team can help you add this and other kitchen remodel trends to the heart of your home. Call 763-349-3656 to request a quote.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use warm or cool lighting tones?

Use warm lighting tones to make your kitchen feel cozier and more natural. 

Which type of kitchen lighting is essential?

The most essential type of kitchen lighting is ambient or general lighting. You can’t see as clearly without it! 

Should all light fixtures match?

No, your light fixtures don’t have to match. Experiment with different bulbs, hardware, and other decorative features for a balanced visual appeal. 

Brian Stogdill

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