Using LEDs in the Kitchen

kitchen lighting with LEDs

If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen and want it to look beautiful, (and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t?), high-quality lighting is an absolute must. No matter how much time, money, or effort you put in, a kitchen will lack that coveted “wow-factor” unless it’s properly lit. 

One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is through LED lighting. Kitchen LED lighting was one of the hottest home design trends of 2016, and is on track to dominate the scene once again in 2017. Highly customizable and energy-efficient, with the ability to create some stunning effects, this type of lighting is actually surprisingly affordable and extremely easy to install.

While kitchen under-cabinet lighting may be one of the most common applications, there are many ways to utilize LED lighting in the kitchen, beyond simply making food preparation easier. Traditionally, the kitchen is seen acts as the heart of the home, and even today it is an area where we tend to gather with friends and family. Having a bright, inviting atmosphere will help your kitchen it to become a space where you can not only accomplish your cooking goals, but also relax and entertain guests.

When planning LED lighting for your kitchen, it’s best to think of the room in levels. Picture your kitchen divided into three separate layers with spaces to light on the top, middle, and bottom. Each of these areas is equally important, as neglecting one has the potential to throw off the entire balance of the room. But each area also has unique requirements related to their function.

So let’s work our way from the top down. Recessed ceiling lights will likely serve as the primary source of ambient light in the room, so it’s is a great place to start when making the switch to LEDs. Many companies sell retro-fit fixtures and LED bulbs which can provide a high quality light source while reducing energy costs. A good rule of thumb is one recessed light for every five feet of ceiling space. Other key areas, such as those above the kitchen sink or over an island, are wise places to install additional accent lighting as well. For a more stylistic effect, especially around dining areas, pendant lights are a great way to add not only some extra light, but also some extra character. Lastly, don’t forget the area above your cabinets! This normally shadowed area has the potential to help create the overall look of elegance, giving the walls a nice glow which can easily serve as mood lighting when the main lights are off.

Moving down a level, the middle of the kitchen is where LED lighting can truly shine. There are a variety of different techniques for installing LEDs in this portion of the room, but most focus on the area under kitchen cabinets as a source of secondary task lighting for cooking and reading recipes. Flexible LED strips are the perfect choice for this location due to their low profile design. Inspired LED offers a range of energy efficient and affordable options in different brightness levels and color temperatures, though most often, Ultra-bright Flexible LED Strips are best suited for under-cabinet applications. These can be ordered in custom lengths, or cut in field using our line of patented solderless connectors, making them the optimal tool for both professional and amateur kitchen LED lighting projects.

While illuminating the spaces under the cabinet is always a great idea, there’s no nee to stop here! There are many more lighting tricks which can be employed in this section of your kitchen: try adding some in-cabinet lighting behind glass panels, illuminate pantry shelves, or call attention to a unique architectural feature using LED strip lighting..

At the bottom of your kitchen, toe kick lighting is an increasingly popular option which can create some stunning results. This type of low-level accent helps to balance the overall brightness of your kitchen, while illuminating pathways for an additional element of safety late at night. Inspired LED typically recommends Normal Bright LED strips for kitchen toe kicks. Whether you’re hoping to keep your space a little cleaner by eliminating the shadows where dust tends to hide, or you’re trying to create a guide light for midnight snack runs, LED toe kick lighting is the answer.

Kitchens are such an important area of the home, and one which requires great flexibility—from bright, efficient task lighting during the morning rush, to subtle accent lighting during a laid-back evening meal. So it’s important to do your research, balance your brightness levels, and invest in a dimmer switch for the greatest levels of control.

Now that you’ve seen a few ways to use LED lighting in the kitchen, it’s time to think of some ways to incorporate it into your own home.  No matter what angle you decide to pursue, Inspired LED offers everything you’ll to build a long-lasting, reliable lighting system at a fraction of the cost of big box stores.

Seeking some more inspiration? Check out our Kitchen Lighting video here, or visit our image galleryLooking for something unique, or need a little help getting started? Inspired LED offers complimentary layouts and quotes through our free Design Services, so take advantage by sending in your request today!