Kitchen lighting for overall illumination and kitchen track lighting for accent features

Overhead kitchen track lighting and under the cabinet lighting seem to be the most popular additions to kitchen lighting. These systems help create a look and feel of ambiance while illuminating the food preparation area.



Less than a decade ago, the popular method of kitchen illumination was fluorescent lighting on the ceiling and that was all.

It’s still a great idea to have overhead lighting as the main source for illumination, but modern homes now use task lighting and accent lighting along with main lighting.

kitchen cabinet lighting


Also, a big part of the modern mindset is to conserve energy. The older fluorescent lights in kitchens used a lot of electricity compared to the low-voltage options we use today.


kitchen sink lighting

Many of the track lights and flex lighting systems are low voltage halogen bulbs that give off a fair amount of light, yet use very little electricity.

Kitchens need to be well lit, especially over the range, above food preparation counters, and over sinks. These are the areas where regular voltage bulbs should be used unless you can find a high output bulb that uses low voltage.


First, let’s plan on having a main lighting system in the kitchen. This lighting system will be the lights that are controlled from a switch when you enter the kitchen. Main lights don’t have to be super bright. They only need to illuminate the kitchen so you can see what you’re doing.

Many people still design the main kitchen lights as the big bundle of fluorescent lights on the ceiling.

fluorescent kitchen light


This mentality is changing though. I’m seeing many new homes install smaller recessed lights in the ceiling as the main kitchen lights. This makes sense because most of the time, we’re going in and out of the kitchen to grab a soda or snacks. Only a small amount of time is actually spent cooking in our kitchens.

When we’re cooking, then we can turn on the brighter lights to see better.

It’s also a great idea to install low voltage lights either under the cabinets, over the cabinets, or both so you can leave them on during the night and have adequate lighting without using a lot of energy.

kitchen cabinet lighting


To illuminate a certain area in the kitchen we can use recessed lights, kitchen-track-lighting, or incandescent lights.

Recessed lights are currently the most popular throughout most areas of new homes. A recessed light fixture over a kitchen sink, an oven/range, or a counter top can give the perfect amount of additional light.

recessed kitchen lighting


New kitchen track lighting helps illuminate a more specialized area and the lights are usually adjustable. These are available in both regular voltage and low voltage depending on the need.

kitchen track lighting

Incandescent lighting uses more electricity than fluorescent and low voltage lights, but still has its place.

kitchen lighting styles

Incandescent lights are a general method of lighting with many style options and usually a lower price.



Another very popular kitchen lighting option is the use of rope lights for a soft glow. These lights are very low wattage and are usually left on all the time.

These can be placed at the bottom of cabinets to illuminate the floor area and they can be used on top of cabinets to illuminate the ceiling for a soft glow.


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