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Chandeliers aren’t just for dining rooms anymore. The juxtaposition of the hardworking kitchen sink and a crystal chandelier works in this simple white kitchen. When mixing styles, a simple background, such as white cabinets, white walls, and a bare window let the pretty chandelier take center stage.
If you want to update your cooking space without shelling out serious money, you’ve come to the right place. Lighting is an easy way to make a big difference in your kitchen. These fixtures will make a statement, enhance your existing design, and brighten up your kitchen without costing you a fortune. That way you can save those dolla dolla bills for the things that really matter, like having that bounce castle at your wedding.
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Lanterns are a classic fixture but still feel modern when hung in an unexpected place, like in the kitchen. Pick a finish for the lantern’s interior that works with your decor style.
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Puck or recessed mini can lights bring sparkle underneath and to the interiors of cabinets. Although usually outfitted with xenon or halogen bulbs, new easy-to-install puck lights are also available with LEDs (light-emitting diodes), the newest green alternative for lighting. LEDs use much less electricity to produce light, they last much longer, and they produce less heat (which affects home cooling bills). For example, a 2-watt LED spotlight bulb emits as much light as a 25-watt incandescent bulb and lasts up to 18 times longer.
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If you use a lot of color in your kitchen, add contrast with brass pendants. They’re neutral without looking boring or cheap.
A set of three pendant lights gives this large island plenty of direct task lighting for chopping and prep, but they’re not all business. The bold red drum shades steal the show — adding personality and drama to this kitchen. In the scheme of a kitchen remodel, pendant lights are less expensive than switching out cabinets or countertops, making them a great place to take a risk. When you need a change or grow tired of the color palette, it’s an easy change.
Create warmth and ambience by combining a variety of lighting that can be controlled independently. In this kitchen, there are none of the usual recessed ceiling lights. Instead, pendant lights over the island provide ambient light, supplemented by accent lighting inside glass-front cabinets, under the cabinets, and under the range hood. Each work zone is well lit, and the combined effect is glowing rather than harsh and glaring.
Balance rustic and modern with industrial hanging pendants. They can also help ground an all-white kitchen.
The size of your kitchen helps determine how many fixtures you will need for adequate illumination, but color makes a difference, too. White reflects light, bouncing it back into the room and making the space feel brighter. With many white surfaces, you might be able to lower the wattage of bulbs used or even cut back on the number of fixtures and still have a well-illuminated room. In this kitchen, a reflective white ceiling, white walls, and white countertops maximize the light provided by the pendant lamps. The pendants use a photographer’s trick to maximize light: They bounce light off the white ceiling, and the light reflects back down to the white marble countertop, spreading a soft general illumination the length and width of the large island. The uncovered window brings in natural light during the day, cutting down on the need to use electric lights until early evening.
The layout of your lighting is important. Learn helpful tips and tricks here.
Use a pendant to add a subtle vintage feel. Though longer ones work over kitchen islands, this short hanging pendant is perfect over a kitchen sink.
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Monorail lighting systems allow you to create functional sculptures for the ceiling. The metal track can be shaped into graceful curves to suit the design of your kitchen, and because it is suspended from the ceiling by hardware called standoffs, it can be mounted on ceilings that might not be perfectly smooth and level. Most monorail systems are low-voltage, operating on 12 or 24 volts. Shades are available in an enormous range of colors, shapes, and materials to suit the style of any kitchen.
These silver orbs/wannabe disco balls are the cool kitchen upgrade you never knew you needed. They’re unexpected, but totally rad.
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Recessed, or can, lights that provide ambient lighting for the room should be 24-42 inches apart and should work to light the entire room — not just areas without task lights.
Pendant lamps usually hang at a standard height, but for variety and interesting effects, consider adjustable cable pendants with a center weight. The pendants can be suspended from a low-voltage ceiling fixture or a track-mounted transformer. Raise the pendant by pulling the counterweight down; to lower it, simply pull on the lamp.
In this large kitchen, recessed can lights are evenly spaced on the ceiling to provide general illumination. The decorative chandelier over the island provides concentrated task light on the surface, and undercabinet lights along the far wall supplement the general lighting and ensure good visibility for food preparation.
Need to brighten up your kitchen? Paint lanterns white inside to reflect more light.
A globe lantern makes this colorful kitchen feel exotic. Even though the space is small, it still has an impact.
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A natural texture like rattan is ideal for a coastal kitchen. Even if you don’t actually live by the sea, you can decorate like you do.
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If you want to add some color but are afraid to go too bold, try a mobile. It will liven up a neutral kitchen without overpowering it.
Get inspired by these kitchen lighting ideas and learn how to develop an appropriate lighting plan for your kitchen.
The number of fixtures and placement of fixtures greatly depends on your kitchen’s size, layout, and look. For example, taller ceilings and darker finishes call for more light.
Mixing metals feels cool and perfectly imperfect. If you’ve got stainless appliances, try brass pendants.
Tie your kitchen together by matching your pendants to your backsplash. It can add even more color and liven it up.
In a clean-lined kitchen, pendants add an industrial edge. Up the vibe even more with black nailhead bar stools.
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For task lighting under open shelving, fluorescent undercabinet lighting sheds even light across the countertop, allowing you to see clearly. Look for a low-profile design less than 1 inch deep, so the fixture won’t be noticeable from standing height. The fixture should be almost as long as the shelf and mounted close to the front edge to provide the most even lighting on the work surface. The color of the light is particularly important over the counter — cool white bulbs will make food look unappealing and will also affect the way you see the colors of your cabinetry and countertops. Visit a lighting store to see how your skin, your dinnerware, and a piece of fruit look under the different colors of light and select the one that seems most natural and pleasing.
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The darker the colors in your kitchen, the more sources of light you’ll need to make sure you can see what you’re doing. Dark surfaces absorb more light than white and light-color surfaces do. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, a kitchen with dark surfaces needs about one-third more light than a kitchen with lighter surfaces.
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Industrial-style pendants add contrast above the kitchen island in a traditional home. They balance out an ultra-femme room.
If you want a neutral metal, choose steel. It works in basically any decor style.
If you’re tired of the recessed can lights in your kitchen and want to add stylish pendants, use recessed can converters. The switch is as simple as screwing in a light bulb. A socket adapter with a cord spindle plugs into the socket, and a cover plate masks the recessed-can opening.
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Pendant lights come in a variety of styles, shapes, sizes and colors. They work well to fill the visual void above islands and peninsulas, while providing necessary illumination for the work area. In this cottage kitchen, vintage-style lanterns are suspended above the island, adding another layer of chic to the room.
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Light up your counters with undercabinet lighting. Learn more here!
Make over your kitchen lighting with easy under cabinet lighting. See how to add two different types of undercabinet lighting.
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This essential light should be included over the cooking surface, at the sink, over the counters, and over any table or other work surface. These fixtures should be about 30 inches above an island, peninsula, or table, but might be higher if you are taller or are placing the light over a raised surface or an area such as a cooktop.
30 Breakfast Nooks That Are Easy Like Sunday Morning (To Create)
With a pineapple lantern and bright yellow wallpaper, it’s tropical vibes all around. It might be a bit much for a dining room, but it’s ideal for a breakfast nook.
A well-lit work area is a safety essential in a kitchen. Lighting can also be used to create ambience. The key to good kitchen lighting is to rely on a cast of lighting sources and to layer your lights, mixing ambient (overall), task, and accent or decorative lighting with natural light.
Pops of yellow wake up a breakfast nook. It’s like a jolt of energy before you’ve even had your first sip of coffee.
This is how you create the ultimate mic-drop moment in your kitchen. Bonus points if you DIY this from your backyard.
Use accent lighting to bring a wall of cabinetry to life. Linkable low-voltage puck lights, strip lights, or recessed mini cans can be installed inside glass-front cabinets to emphasize collectibles. Accent lighting typically uses halogen, xenon, or LED bulbs because they are small enough to fit into diminutive fixtures yet produce bright light. Halogen is falling out of favor because of the high cost, relatively short life, and high heat output. Xenon bulbs are similar to halogen without the drawbacks. To save on energy, choose compact fluorescent lightbulbs for fixtures that won’t be turned on and off frequently. Warm white CFLs are affordable and resemble incandescent bulbs in the color of light they emit, yet use less energy and produce less heat. If you’re remodeling or building new, check local building codes for guidelines on kitchen lighting.
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If a kitchen remodel isn’t in the cards, but still want to improve your lighting? You can, with this easy DIY installation. Watch and see two easy ways to add undercabinet lighting without any major rewiring.
Recessed undercabinet lighting and a hidden spotlight lend drama to dishwashing duties when the over-the-sink view is beautiful tile. Create subtle mood lighting in architectural coves or areas with accent tilework with programmable LEDs. Like theatrical set lighting, the color and intensity can be adjusted to create a mood.
If you’re already feeling your existing lighting, you can still update it by rearranging your grouping. An L-shape feels cool and unexpected.
Contrast a rustic, wood kitchen with glass pendants. It’ll brighten up the space and keep it feeling modern.
To see deep into the corner of cabinets, install a micro switch or motion sensor that activates the puck or LED light when the door is opened and turns it off when the door is closed. Costing $20-25 per switch, this allows you to maximize the space in your cabinets and find what you’ve stored.
A trio of pendants look clean over an island. Farmhouse decor goals.
How do you make a white kitchen less basic? We’re all about that brass.
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If you want an eye-catching piece in your kitchen, you need a statement chandelier. Even though this one is massive, it doesn’t feel obtrusive, due to the minimal design and clean, open framework.
People will think you bought them at a Moroccan bazaar. (But no one has to know that you actually didn’t.)
A chandelier is peak glam. Make it a gold one and live your fanciest life.
Bored of your traditional kitchen? Geometric pendants to the rescue.