It would be a shame if no one could see your new kitchen renovation, but if you don't include sufficient lighting in your design, that's what will happen.

Your lighting design should fully illuminate your space, and it should also enhance your decor. The following kitchen lighting ideas will help you to accomplish both goals.

#1 Emphasize Natural Light

Although adding electric lighting to your kitchen is a must, it's hard to beat the beauty and ambiance provided by natural light. Windows that allow in plenty of sunlight make your room feel more open and spacious.

Additionally, natural light is just right for a kitchen because research has demonstrated that exposure to sunlight helps your digestive system to work its best and it encourages you to have a healthy appetite.

This Saint James kitchen renovation features a wide sliding door with multiple glass panels that let in plenty of natural light. Bright windows add to the illumination of the kitchen.

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

#2 Place Lights Under Cabinetry

If you're not careful, your upper cabinets may create dark shadows along the corners of your countertops, but lighting that is mounted to the underside of your upper cabinets can remedy this problem.

Under-cabinet lighting helps to provide even illumination throughout your room, and it can make it easier for you to see the food you are preparing. To make these lights even more useful, install dimmable bulbs. That way, you can use them for low lighting to guide your path as you walk through the kitchen at night.

Notice the small light that shines above the coffeemaker in this Smithtown home so that the homeowners won't ever need to fumble in the dark for a morning cup of coffee.

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

#3 Illuminate Glass Cabinets

If you have beautiful glass-front cabinets, it makes sense to show off what's inside as best as possible. Placing lights inside the cabinets can help to accomplish this.

Puck lights are useful for showcasing particular pieces that are especially attractive or meaningful to you. Strip lights, on the other hand, usually serve to illuminate the full interior more evenly.

In the Baiting Hollow home below, we brightened up a wall of dark cabinetry by placing lights inside the glass cabinets. We also added lights over the workspace below.

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

#4 Coordinate Light Fixtures

For a cohesive look, it makes sense for your fixtures to share similar features. Using a few different styles from the same lighting collection makes it easy to select fixtures that go well together.

Fixtures from the same family typically share the same metal finish. Sticking with just one finish for your lighting frees you up to incorporate another finish elsewhere – such as for your appliances or your drawer pulls – without introducing an overwhelming number of colors and styles to the room.

As an example of a lighting collection, look at the fixtures used in this Centereach remodel. The pendant lights over the work area have a different shape and structure than the chandelier over the table, but they all share a unified design and a matching finish.

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

#5 Choose a Statement Piece

Of course, although lighting collections are a good choice for some kitchens, they aren't the only design option. Another approach is to choose fixtures that work well together but don't exactly match.

In that case, you may want your fixtures to share similar shapes or colors, or you may want each piece to evoke a common sense of ambiance. You may want to select one fixture as the centerpiece, for which the other fixtures will play a supporting role.

In the Saint James kitchen below, the cylindrical fixture above the table sets itself apart from the many pendant lights throughout the rest of the room.

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

#6 Shine a Light on the Range

A hood over the range is essential for proper ventilation, but it can also cast shadows over your cooking space. A fixture that shines down onto the range from the vent above can help you to see adequately.

For full illumination of your stovetop tasks, you may even want to use more than one light source in this area.

In this detail photo from an East Northpoint kitchen, notice the light that's tucked into the structure of the hood vent. You won't notice this small fixture when standing back from the stovetop, but its placement ensures that the cook will always have a clear view of the meal in progress.

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

#7 Rely on Recessed Lighting

Many kitchens feature at least one eye-catching chandelier or pendant light, but that's not a decorating requirement. Instead, you may choose to keep your lighting subtle in order to draw attention elsewhere in the room.

Recessed lighting is an easy way to fully illuminate a room without bringing attention to the fixtures. Also, recessed lighting supports the clean-lined design style that is popular in many contemporary and transitional kitchens.

Because this Centerport home features recessed lighting instead of statement pieces, the large windows catch your eye instead.

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

#8 Bring in Light from Above

Perhaps you don't have space in your kitchen for large windows, or you simply want to fill the room with as much natural light as possible. As an alternative to adding more windows along the walls, consider bringing in light through a skylight in the ceiling.

In addition to providing light, certain skylight designs can also be used for ventilation in a room.

Notice how the skylight in this Kings Park home adds illumination to the entire kitchen.

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

#9 Include as Many Lights as Possible

For a kitchen that is both beautiful and functional, it's important for the room to be well-lit. The kitchen should have multiple lighting fixtures that are spread throughout the space.

Make sure that you have ambient lighting to illuminate the whole room and task lighting to brighten up the specific spots where you do work. Put finishing touches on your room by adding accent lights that draw attention to your favorite parts of the room.

This Saint James kitchen has no lack of lighting. There are large pendants over the island, a multitude of recessed lights and fixtures shining down on the countertops.

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

The right lighting design can make or break the look and functionality of your kitchen. Fortunately, these nine kitchen lighting ideas will provide a good foundation for your renovation plans.

For more lighting tips, contact the NDA's kitchen design professionals. We can help you craft the well-lit kitchen of your dreams.