How Much Lighting Do I Need In My Kitchen?

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home, and it’s no surprise why. It’s where we gather to prepare meals, share stories, and create memories. But have you ever stopped to think about the role that lighting plays in your kitchen?

To answer the question how much lighting do i need in my kitchen? Calculate 70 lumens per square foot. Assess the area's size, the purpose of each zone, and personal preferences. Combine ambient, task, and accent lighting for a balanced and well-illuminated space

This guide will help you understand how much lighting you need in your kitchen and why it is essential to creating a functional and welcoming space using kitchen remodeling services.

Understanding the Importance of Adequate Kitchen Lighting

When it comes to kitchen lighting, more is often better. Adequate lighting not only helps in performing tasks efficiently but also enhances the overall aesthetic of the space. 

A well-lit kitchen can transform the mood, making it feel more spacious and inviting.

Why is adequate lighting so crucial in the kitchen? Well, for starters, the kitchen is a multi-functional space. 

From chopping vegetables to reading recipes, different activities require different levels of illumination. 

Moreover, proper lighting can significantly impact safety in the kitchen. Adequate illumination ensures that you can safely navigate through the space and properly see what you are doing, reducing the risk of accidents.

light needed in the kitchen

Key Factors Influencing Kitchen Lighting Needs

Size and Layout of the Kitchen

  • Larger Kitchens: Require more light sources or stronger lighting to evenly illuminate the space.
  • Layout: The arrangement of the kitchen elements (cabinets, islands, and countertops) affects where and how much lighting is needed.

Purpose and Task Areas

  • Cooking Zones: Areas like the stove and prep spaces need bright, focused lighting.
  • Dining Areas: If your kitchen has a dining area, more ambient and softer lighting might be preferred.
  • Cabinets and Storage: Inside cabinet lighting can help in finding items easily.

Natural Light

  • Assess the amount of natural light the kitchen receives and plan artificial lighting accordingly.

Aesthetics and Style

  • The lighting fixtures should complement the overall style of the kitchen.
  • Color Temperature: Warmer lights create a cozy feel, while cooler lights are more practical for task lighting.


  • Ensure that there are no dark shadows or blind spots, especially in cooking and prep areas.
how much light does my kitchen needs

Energy Efficiency

  • Consider LED or other energy-efficient lighting options to reduce electricity consumption.

Control and Flexibility

  • Dimmer switches and smart lighting systems can offer versatility in adjusting lighting levels.

Fixture Types and Placement

  • Pendant Lights: Great for islands and dining areas.
  • Recessed Lighting: Provides even lighting throughout the space.
  • Under-cabinet Lighting: Enhances functionality and adds a stylish touch.
  • Accent Lighting: Highlight specific areas or decor elements.


  • Plan according to your budget, but don’t compromise on essential lighting needs.

Future Updates and Scalability

  • Consider ease of updates or additions to the lighting setup in the future.

Technical Aspects

  • Ensure proper wiring and electrical provisions for all the lighting fixtures.

Color Scheme and Reflective Surfaces

  • Lighter colors and reflective surfaces enhance brightness, while darker tones may require additional lighting.

Professional Advice

  • Consulting with a lighting designer or interior designer can provide valuable insights and help in creating a balanced lighting plan.
kitchen light needed

Types of Kitchen Lighting You May Consider

Ambient Lighting: Setting the Mood

Ambient lighting provides the overall illumination for your kitchen. It sets the mood and creates a welcoming atmosphere. 

Ceiling lights, chandeliers, and recessed lighting are popular choices for ambient lighting in the kitchen

Task Lighting: Where Precision is Key

Task lighting is all about functionality. It provides focused illumination for specific tasks such as chopping, cooking, and reading recipes. 

Under-cabinet lights and pendant lights are common choices for task lighting in the kitchen.

Accent Lighting: Adding the Finishing Touches

Accent lighting is used to highlight specific areas or features in your kitchen. It adds depth and dimension to the space, creating visual interest. 

Track lighting and wall-mounted fixtures are popular options for accent lighting in the kitchen.

light required by my kitchen

Calculating Your Kitchen’s Lighting Needs

Calculating the lighting needs for your kitchen involves considering various factors to ensure adequate illumination for both functionality and ambiance. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

Step 1: Determine the Kitchen Size

  • Measure the Kitchen: Calculate the total square footage of your kitchen by multiplying its length and width.

Step 2: Understand Lighting Levels

  • General Illumination: Typically, a kitchen requires between 20-50 lumens per square foot for general illumination.
  • Task Lighting: Areas like countertops and cooking zones may need additional task lighting, ranging from 50-75 lumens per square foot.
does my kitchen need plenty light

Step 3: Calculate Total Lumens Needed

  • General Illumination: Multiply the kitchen’s square footage by the general illumination requirement. For example, if your kitchen is 200 sq. ft. and you are aiming for 30 lumens per sq. ft., you would need 6,000 lumens in total for general illumination.
  • Task Lighting: Calculate the lumens needed for specific task areas separately. Add this number to the general illumination total.

Step 4: Consider Existing Natural Light

  • If your kitchen receives a substantial amount of natural light, you might be able to reduce the total lumens required by artificial lighting.

Step 5: Choose Appropriate Light Fixtures and Bulbs

  • Check Lumens: Look at the product specifications for light fixtures and bulbs to find their lumen output.
  • Select Fixtures: Choose fixtures that not only provide the required lumens but also match the style and functionality needs of your kitchen.

Step 6: Placement and Distribution

  • Ensure even distribution of light to avoid shadows and dark spots. Focus on task areas and consider layering different types of lighting (ambient, task, and accent).
the light in the kitchen

Step 7: Adjust for Color and Reflectivity

  • Lighter colors and reflective surfaces help distribute light better, possibly reducing the total lumens required.

  • Adjust your calculations based on the color scheme of your kitchen.

Step 8: Implement Controls

  • Consider dimmer switches or smart lighting systems to have better control over the lighting intensity.

Step 9: Professional Advice

  • For accurate and personalized advice, consult with a lighting expert or interior designer.

Step 10: Installation and Testing

  • Once the lighting is installed, test it at different times of the day and adjust as necessary.

Step 11: Evaluate Energy Efficiency

  • Opt for LED or other energy-efficient lighting options to reduce electricity consumption without compromising on brightness.

light inside kitchen

FAQs On How Much Lighting Do I Need In My Kitchen

1. How do I calculate the amount of light needed for my kitchen?

To calculate the amount of light needed for your kitchen, measure the square footage of the area and multiply it by 70 lumens per square foot for ambient lighting. 

2. What types of lighting fixtures are best for kitchens?

Kitchens benefit from a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Recessed lighting, pendant lights, under-cabinet lighting, and chandeliers are popular choices that provide both functionality and aesthetic appeal.

3. How do I choose the right color temperature for my kitchen lights?

Color temperature is measured in Kelvin (K). For kitchens, a color temperature between 3000K and 5000K is recommended, providing a bright and inviting atmosphere. Warm white (3000K) creates a cozy feel, while cooler temperatures (5000K) offer a more energizing environment.

4. How can I incorporate natural light into my kitchen lighting design?

Maximize natural light by keeping windows unobstructed and using light-colored window treatments. Consider installing skylights or solar tubes to enhance natural illumination, especially in areas far from windows.

5. Are dimmer switches necessary for kitchen lighting?

Dimmer switches provide versatility in controlling light levels, creating the right ambiance for different times of the day and activities. They are especially beneficial for dining areas within the kitchen and can contribute to energy savings.

Final Words on How Much Lighting Do I Need in My Kitchen

Determining how much lighting you need in your kitchen requires careful consideration of various factors. 

From the size of your space to the types of activities performed, each aspect plays a crucial role in creating a well-lit and functional kitchen. 

By following the guidelines and tips provided in this article, you can achieve the perfect balance of form and function, ensuring that your kitchen is a welcoming and safe space for all to enjoy.

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About the author

Hi my name is Jeremy Maher. My wife, 2 kids and I went through Contractor Nightmares for 3 years straight.

Ben, Mark, and I teamed up to start Phoenix Home Remodeling to help homeowners remodel without the common contractor nightmares.

Learn more about Jeremy's expertise and topics he likes to write about on his author page.