Bright Ideas: Kitchen Lighting

Here's a rundown of the most functional and beautiful types of indoor lighting.

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Pendant Light Trio Over Kitchen Island Whether you're illuminating an entire space, a work surface or the kitchen's architectural feature, here's a guide to pick the best lighting for the job.

Interior designers are turning more frequently to lighting designers to help them provide the most functional and beautiful lighting in the kitchen.

These designers point out the three types of lighting for any room: general lighting, task lighting and accent lighting.

  • General lighting illuminates the entire space as you come into the room and helps you move around safely. The most common types of general lighting are cloud lights (fluorescent fixtures surface-mounted to the ceiling) and recessed cans.

  • Task lighting shines a shadow-free light directly at a work surface. Undercounter lighting provides highly desirable task lighting in the kitchen. Puck or strip halogen lights installed underneath the cabinet are the most common and effective choices to illuminate counter work surfaces.

  • Accent lighting is used to accentuate an architectural feature or decorative accessory. It can create dramatic impact in any room. Spotlights and up lights are often used for accent lighting, as well as colorful table lamps and pendant lights.


The most popular type of lighting is halogen lights, which can be used in recessed cans, pendant lights or spotlights.

Fluorescent lighting has evolved over the years to warmer, color-corrected tones. It is quiet, instant-on and economical.

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