Kitchen and Bathroom Lighting

Author: Alecia Pirulis


Lighting is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to transform your kitchen and bath into comfortable, functional and attractive living spaces. When lighting a multi-purpose room, layering light allows you to effectively perform various functions within the space and always brings about the most noticeable transformation.

“Today’s kitchen has become the hub of the house,” says Larry Lauck, vice president of communications for the American Lighting Association (ALA). “Such multi-tasking kitchens demand equally versatile lighting. Gone are the days when a single 100-watt fixture centered in the kitchen’s ceiling was sufficient.”

A blend of general, task and accent lighting is the perfect recipe for kitchen lighting—a combination that allows for kitchen functions from cooking to entertaining.

Placing a light in the center of the ceiling supplies well-diffused general lighting, allowing you to see in drawers and tackle chores. Installing under-cabinet lighting will prevent working in a shadow. Adding recessed down lights over the sink or range provide adequate task lighting for cooking, baking, and scouring.

The kitchen table is often used for homework, hobbies or business. A decorative pendant, operating with a dimmer control, furnishes sufficient task lighting, while allowing the option to lower the light for dining purposes. For best results, pendant lights should be mounted 30 inches above the tabletop.

Island counters and breakfast bars benefit most from miniature, low-voltage pendants, which can add a decorative touch as well. Inside the cabinets, low-voltage, linear systems will accentuate the items stored inside.

Popular kitchen lighting includes ceiling fixtures, surface fluorescents, track lighting pendants, under-cabinet fluorescents, miniature track lights, and low-voltage linear systems.

The basics of bathroom lighting follow the same principals as kitchen lighting. A mix of task, general, and accent lighting provides ease and comfort while you are performing a variety of bathroom activities, such as grooming, bathing, and relaxing.

Decorative wall fixtures, placed on each side of a mirror, provide even, shadow-free illumination for daily grooming tasks. For best results, fixtures should be mounted 60 inches from the floor.

Bright, recessed down lights, suitable for wet locations, are recommended for shower or tub lighting.

A decorative fixture placed in the center of the ceiling serves as an attractive accent while providing adequate light for safety, cleaning, and moving about.

Popular bathroom lighting includes wall sconces, horizontal vanity lights, theatrical lighting strips, recessed infrared heat lamps, ventilator lights, close-to-ceiling lights, low-voltage linear systems, and lighted magnifying mirrors.

— Article Courtesy of Colorado Homes Magazine