Kitchen Illuminating


Illuminating is frequently the last thing considered in a kitchen design and the first thing cut from a budget,’ says Randall Whitehead, a nationally known designer and author on the subject of residential illuminating. But to look its best and operate well, a kitchen must be properly lit — and that necessitates more than just specifying stylish fixtures. A good plan mixes illuminating into the architectural and decorative points of the room.

Avoid Glaring Errors

When it comes to kitchen illuminating, the most common error is trying to illuminate the entire room with one ceiling-mounted fixture. The effect ends up being what Whitehead calls a ‘glare bomb,’ which visually overpowers everything in the space. Recessed illuminating, if installed in a generic grid, is not much better.

‘A lot of people do it wrongly, and they will end up with too much illumination in some areas and shadows everywhere else,’ says Max Isley, a certified kitchen designer and board member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

Plan for a superimposed Look

Usually. no single illumination source can provide all the necessary illumination for a kitchen. A well-lit kitchen layers and blends four different types of illumination. Every kitchen remodel should include the following:

Blur the illuminations

As in any room in the house, the ability to adjust illumination levels in the kitchen is ideal. When cooking or cleaning up, a bright punch of illumination makes the job easier. For hanging around over a meal and conversing, blurred illuminations create great ambiance. One dimmer in the kitchen will not do the trick, nevertheless. Make sure the design calls for separate dimmers for each type of illuminating: task, ambient, accent and decorative.

Think Using a Illuminating Designer

Think adding a illuminating designer to your reconstructing team. (Visit the International Association of Illuminating Designers website at to find a professional.) A illuminating designer will analyze the kitchen's layout, as well as other components of the design, such as ceiling height, natural illumination and surface finishes, to determine the amount and arrangement of illumination needed in the space.

If your budget does not  allow for a illuminating designer, Whitehead's latest book, Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide, includes anwide section on kitchens.


One last kitchen illuminating tip from Whitehead: ‘Even if you do not have the budget for? a series of pendants over the center island, at least install the three junction boxes (during the remodel),  he says. Then fixtures can be bought at a later date and easily added to the kitchen.