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Lighting is a critical element to the comfort and function level of any kitchen. A good kitchen lighting plan should include the placement of a variety of lighting sources and types.
Plan on a mix of wide-angle lights for ambient lighting, and focused, narrow-beam lights for lighting over your counters, stove and sink. If your layout calls for recessed lights to be used throughout the kitchen space, you can use wide-angle lights in the center of the room and narrow-beam lights on the perimeter.
In fact, you’ve got plenty of lighting options to make the most of your tiny space. Whether your kitchen just seems small, or is, in fact, square-footage-challenged, our experts have some tried-and-true kitchen lighting tricks to make small spaces look larger.
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Kitchen recessed lighting offers a clean look and can be used throughout the room space.
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If low ceiling height is an issue for your small kitchen, flushmount lighting can be a perfect way to keep a small space looking polished without compromising style.
You’ll also need to decide on the type of recessed housing your lights will need. If there is insulation above the ceiling, you’ll need to choose IC housings. This type of housing can be used in contact with ceiling insulation. If you are doing a brand new kitchen space or new construction, Non-IC housings may be used.
Measure your room to see how many fixtures you will need. A common rule of thumb is that you use one recessed light for every 4 to 6 square feet of ceiling space. Doing so provides even, overall illumination. This is an important rule to keep in mind when you are going to rely exclusively on recessed ceiling lights to illuminate your kitchen.
• Highlight counter areas, stove tops and other details for visual interest.
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Dimmers help you adjust the atmosphere and mood of the kitchen. They also help save energy and extend the average lifespan of your bulbs. Use separate dimmer switches for different zones of lighting. For example, a separate dimmer for the lights over counter areas, the kitchen island, pantries, or other architectural details will give you a wide range of lighting options. It’s also a great idea to place all the non-recessed lighting on dimmers as well.
Another common layout is to place lights around the perimeter of the room. Aimed at the countertop edges, the lights will illuminate counter work areas or the sink, and avoid creating shadows by people standing at the counters working.
Mounted directly to the ceiling, these fixtures can keep the kitchen visually open, while still adding a bit of design focus in a smaller space.
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From under cabinet lights to chandeliers, incorporate a variety of lighting fixtures to brighten your small kitchen without taking up much-needed space.
If you have the height available, you may want to consider flushmount’s first cousin, semi-flushmount. Both kinds are called close to ceiling lights in the design world.
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Traditional recessed lighting still works in a small kitchen or other small spaces. It provides a smooth ceiling profile, and can light any space efficiently.
With its sleek, minimalist appearance, recessed lighting can help you accomplish all these tasks and more.
Our kitchen is a small galley kitchen….only about 7×9′. Will 4 recessed lights be enough for that size? Should they be 4″ cans or larger? We didn’t think we could put them in due to a concrete ceiling between our unit and the condo above ours, but learned that there is at least 10″ of space before the concrete. Compared to the surprise of learning that the wall we opened up had pipes and was load-bearing (we’d been told by 4 contractors that it would be “easy” to remove it!?), this was a good surprise…. but now I am scrambling to find out what type of recessed lights would work best. Thanks, in advance for your input : )
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If you are truly limited on space, a small sized pendant over the sink might give just enough texture and shine in a space.
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Under cabinet lights boast a double-duty function as both a mood changer and space-saver. Since they are installed underneath the cabinet, as the name implies, you save much-needed counter space. If the lights are dimmable, you can also use them to change the mood in the kitchen by dimming or brightening the lights according to your needs.
Shop our full range of kitchen lighting for even more lighting options, and there are lots of other kitchen ideas in the Shop by Room section of this site. Check them out for some more design and lighting ideas.
Do you need lighting ideas for a small kitchen? Lighting can become your best friend in a small kitchen — and we don’t just mean recessed lighting.
Place your recessed downlights 12″ apart from each other and 12″ to 18″ away from any cabinets to illuminate counter areas. Please note that these are basic kitchen lighting ideas; the exact placement of lights will depend on your unique room space.
Learn the formula for how much light a room needs plus how to space downlights, use dimmers and more
These space-enhancing tricks can make compact cooking zones look and feel larger
Yes, an eye-catching chandelier can work in a small kitchen. It may be the most challenging category to incorporate, but with a keen eye on selecting a fixture that is scaled to the space, has sleek style and smart placement, you can enjoy a chandelier in your tiny kitchen.
Here, a look at six different types of lighting fixtures and how to best use them in a small kitchen. And remember, all of these can use LED light bulbs.
Stylish kitchen pendant lighting is another option. You can make a series of pendants work in a small kitchen if you go with a delicate look.
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For example, you need lighting to accomplish specific tasks, such as food preparation and cooking. You’ll also want ambient lighting that will help illuminate the entire space and make it an appealing and inviting place to work and socialize in. And you’ll want mood lighting that helps highlight kitchen cabinets, special collections, counter spaces and architectural details.
Here are some quick tips for creating a kitchen recessed lighting plan. To begin with, draw out a rough map of your kitchen space. If you are adding recessed to an existing kitchen, note where you already have lights, such as ceiling fixtures or range lights. Whatever new recessed lighting you add should work with your existing fixtures.
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