Don’t Get Caught in The Dark In Your Kitchen – 13 Must Read Tips

Cambria Quartz Counter TopIs your kitchen dark or dull? Is something missing from the design? Maybe the solution is to change the lighting. Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your kitchen lighting. If you are looking for some more advice, or a reliable company to do some work on your kitchen, call the The Kitchen and Bath Company of Palo Alto.  Meet with  Tim Hmelar and his team and let them help you with their years of knowledge and experience.


Keep the Important Areas Well Lit

Maybe this is obvious, but sometimes people can get carried away with feature lighting and forget about lighting for functionality. Make sure that your preparation areas, walkways, sinks and stove tops are well lit. This will make using your kitchen much easier and safer. Think about functionality first, then worry about the mood lighting later.

  • Put one or two lights over the sink area that are on their own switch
  • Use dimmers whenever possible
  • All kitchen entrances  need to have a switch connected to a light.
  • If there is an exterior door in the kitchen make sure you have switched outdoor lighting.
  • Even if you have pendant lighting over a table you may want to add 2 to 4 recessed lights above table (if you have space in the ceiling)
  • Make sure if you are adding recessed lights to an existing space that the recessed can is rated for your application, especially if there is insulation in the ceiling space.
  • Consider under cabinet lighting – I’ve never had a client that doesn’t love it!
  • If installing recessed lights try to center the light with the front edge of the counter top.  If you’re using recessed lighting for general counter top lighting; don’t install it to far from the front edge of the counter top or you will get a shadow on your work area.
  • Pendant lighting (lighting suspended from the ceiling) can really add life to a remodel; especially over peninsula or island counter top areas.
  • Consider adding a wall outlet with an integrated night light that turns on and off automatically depending on how much light is in the room.
  • Don’t worry about recessed lighting being installed  perfectly symmetrical on the ceiling.  Sometimes ceiling joists prevent installing recessed lights exactly where you want them.  Most people never pay attention to the location of the recessed cans on the ceiling.
  • If your upper cabinets don’t go all the way to the ceiling you may want to consider up lighting.    It looks great and is also easy on the eyes late at night while you’re getting a midnight snack.
  • Consider installing at least one wall switch with a light in it at each entrance for ease in locating switches when entering the kitchen.


Recessed Can Light Fixture
Recessed Can Light Fixture

Today’s Kitchens Have Many Uses

Because of this, they need versatile lighting. Not only are they our meal preparing area, but they can also double as dining rooms, entertaining areas and homework or office areas.  All of these uses will need different lighting. Soft lighting for entertaining and dining, bright lighting in the right places for cooking safety and the right type of lighting for homework or office tasks to avoid eyestrain.

Use Natural Light

If you have the opportunity, embrace natural light. It can make breakfasts more appealing – artificial lights are incomparable to the warmth and brightness of the sun’s light. It can also save you a bit of money on electricity.

Hanging Island LightLight From Multiple Angles

If you only have ceiling lights in your kitchen, it is likely that cabinets can cast shadows over important areas. Mix things up and maybe get some LED under-cabinet lights or light your backsplash from behind. This can help get rid of any dark corners.

If you need help brightening up your kitchen or home give Tim Hmelar a call at (650)888-4745.