Bright Ideas: A Comprehensive Guide to Kitchen Lighting

Kitchen lighting renovation in Salem

When it comes to a home remodel, the room that is likely to attract the most attention is the kitchen. After all, the kitchen is the center of your family’s day-to-day living. It is the heart and hub of your home.

And there is no element in the kitchen décor that has a more powerful impact than lighting. The right kitchen lighting can set the mood and tone that you want. It can also create an inviting and welcoming space while also providing a useful and purposeful atmosphere in your kitchen.

Having sufficient illumination in your kitchen will ensure safety, cleanliness, and ease of visibility for all activities.

Your Guide to Kitchen Lighting for Your Salem Home Remodel

Lighting is key to a remodel in any room, but perhaps none more so than the kitchen. No matter what type of kitchen lighting ideas you’re considering, there are some universal guidelines to take into account. Also, they can be adapted to work in almost any style of kitchen.

Trust in 3R's Construction & Remodeling in Salem, Oregon with any kitchen light remodeling! Our team provides general contracting services for all your home renovation needs.

A kitchen light renovation can create an ambient lighting effect

Three Types of Lighting in the Kitchen

When it comes to illuminating your kitchen, it all centers around these types of lighting styles.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting, also sometimes called feature lighting, refers to the visual interest it adds to the kitchen. Accent lighting is the perfect way to highlight a decorative hood fan or wine rack, as well as a beautiful painting. Accent lighting also can nicely showcase an architectural feature like a stone fireplace or vaulted ceiling. Adjustable fittings are preferred for this type of lighting, as they allow precision focusing on small areas or objects. Accent lighting can also be used as backlighting to add to the aesthetic appeal of the kitchen.

Ambient Lighting

This is the primary source of general lighting that also tends to give off a soft, diffused glow. Ambient light could be used in addition to natural light or to fill in for the lack of it. For safety, as well as comfort, you can cast as much illumination as evenly as you can from the ceiling. Ambient lighting illuminates the floor and walls so you can easily enter, exit and navigate the kitchen. You can do a combination of ceiling lighting with chandeliers, pendant lights, or recessed lighting. Where you position ambient lighting will be based on your chosen light fitting. For example, flush or semi-flush fittings will normally sit over the kitchen island or in the center of the ceiling if you don’t have one.

Task Lighting

Although ambient lighting allows you to navigate the kitchen, it typically leaves shadows in areas that need more focus. With the aid of task lighting, work surfaces, and cabinetry are properly illuminated so you can safely cook meals, read recipes, and easily view ingredients on a shelf. Among the common kitchen task lighting options are punk lights and strip lights. Task lighting is the brightest of these three types of lights, so it can adequately illuminate countertops, islands, sinks, and other work areas for increased precision during food prep, cooking, and cleaning.

Need help installing new kitchen lights or remodeling your kitchen? Contact 3Rs Construction & Remodeling, your local contractor today!

Kitchen lighting renovations in Salem OR

Important Lighting Areas in Your Kitchen Remodel

When it comes to your Salem kitchen remodel, there are key areas in the kitchen to consider when it comes to lighting. Let’s begin with the area over the island.

Over the Island

Whether you should choose ambient or task lighting depends on the island’s purpose. For example, does your island have an integrated cooktop/workspace, or is it more for family gatherings?

Choice #1:  Linear Suspension Lighting

Linear suspension lights work nicely in a kitchen with high ceilings and can hang at a minimum of 40 inches above the countertop.

Choice #2:  Pendants

As a general rule, a set of two pendant lights over a kitchen island should be at least 30 inches from the center of the island and 30 to 32 inches between the countertop and the bottom of the pendant. It is recommended that a set of three pendant lights should be just as high up, spaced apart evenly, and be at minimum 6 inches from the edge of the island.

Choice #3:  Track Lighting

If it becomes challenging to move power around in the ceiling, then a track or monorail system might be a solution. However, you will need to make sure that the lights don’t create excess glare. Use lights with wide beam spreads – instead of narrow spotlights – to keep the light from resembling an art gallery.

Undercabinet Lighting — For Tasks and Accents

When it comes to your small kitchen remodeling project, it’s important to remember that your kitchen countertop is a work surface. A cast shadow in the wrong place as you’re using a knife while preparing a meal could be quite inconvenient and even dangerous.

Undercabinet lighting is an essential aspect of illumination that should be taken seriously and not simply looked at as a fancy add-on. It will significantly improve the functionality and environment of your kitchen. A wide range of fixtures and systems can be added to existing cabinets. You also have the option of adding fully custom rail kits that integrate lighting and power outlets into a seamless backsplash.


If you are looking to remodel the lighting in your kitchen, contact 3Rs Construction & Remodeling for a FREE quote today!

An important lighting area for your kitchen remodel is over the kitchen island

Ambient Lighting & its Importance for Ceiling Illumination

Choice #1:  Recessed downlighting

Recessed downlighting is perfect for this purpose. If you have a small kitchen, you may want to have one large flush-mount ceiling light in the center. But keep in mind that modern kitchen recessed lighting creates a more tailored lighting scheme.

To have lighting that is evenly distributed throughout the kitchen, with an emphasis on lighting in high-use areas, grid out the lights in straight lines along the axis of the counters. You’ll also want to put in dimmers for greater control in a range of lighting situations.

Choice #2:  Flush mount or semi-flush mount lighting

These types of lighting for your kitchen renovation work better in small spaces. And, as opposed to recessed lights, which are concealed in the ceiling, these lights can add more stylistic touches.

Adding More Lighting to Prep Areas

This is where task lighting comes in. It is the brightest light available. Adding a pendant light or a small track light can also generate more illumination in your food prep areas. To increase lighting on the counters, think about battery-operated LED-puck lights underneath cabinets that require no electrical wiring.

Adding Backlights

If you have a rather dark kitchen and the main, surface, or recessed lighting is not illuminating it properly, you can supplement it with backlights or accent lighting. These lights provide extra visibility to the worktops. They are typically positioned behind certain surfaces or backsplashes. They can function as task lights, too. However, their primary purpose is to brighten your kitchen.

Hire 3Rs Construction & Remodeling as Your General Contractor for Your Next Kitchen Remodel

If you intend to embark on a kitchen remodel in Salem in the next year, we invite you to allow 3Rs Construction & Remodeling to perform a beautiful, transformative kitchen renovation in your Polk County or Marion County home.

We have the expertise and experience to help you choose the right lighting for all areas of your kitchen. At 3Rs Construction, we know how important lighting is to the function and flow of your kitchen. You can count on our remodeling contractors to guide you in the kitchen lighting process so you are more than satisfied with your lighting choices.

Call us at (503) 363-1059, so we can get started on realizing your dream kitchen remodel today!

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About 3Rs Construction & Remodeling

We are your trusted Salem, Oregon general contractor with over 3 decades of experience in home repairs, additions, kitchen & bathroom remodels.