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How to Plan Your Kitchen and Bathroom Lighting

Steve Sheinkopf  |  July 12, 2017  |  3 Min. Read

Bathroom Lighting  |  Kitchen Lighting

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Lighting for your kitchen or bath is the most difficult to plan. It's completely task-oriented. You should always plan your lighting around 4 key elements: task, accent, decorative and ambient.

Lighting a whole house is a tough chore. You're probably not trained in how to choose the right lights based on lumen output. If you are lost, you are in the overwhelming majority.

Focus on the kitchens and baths. You have real tasks like cutting vegetables, cooking and serving in the kitchen. In the bathroom, you need to cross-illuminate your face to shave or apply makeup.

Kitchens and baths have also evolved from smaller spaces to bigger parts of your home. Now, there is way more to light, from islands to separate tubs and shower spas.



Other rooms need light as well, but not to the extent of these two areas. TV rooms and other spaces can be augmented with desk lamps and portables.

So, we created this video about how to light these two important rooms.

How to Light a Kitchen or Bath

Wistia video thumbnail - 170602_LightingPage-Wistia

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How to Light a Kitchen or Bathroom

First, let's look at how to light a kitchen.


Look at it again.


We'll throw in a bathroom, as well. Look how they illuminated these two rooms.


How they illuminated it:


The 4 Elements of Lighting

  • Task: The skeleton of your plan as defined by recessed or track and under cabinet lighting
  • Accent: Highlighting objects
  • Decorative: Chandeliers and sconces personalizing the space
  • Ambient: Up-lighting with sconces, pendants or tape

You can have a decorative sconce to up light the ceiling for two elements at once. Under cabinet lighting can provide task and accent lighting for the counters.

In the end, following these elements will leave you with a personal, yet highly, functional space.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about lighting? Download our free Kitchen Lighting Buying Guide and Bathroom Lighting Buying Guide for detailed information on how to light your home with the latest products and trends. Well over 220,000 people have used a Yale Buying Guide. 

Read our Kitchen Lighting Buying Guide

Bathroom Lighting Buying Guide

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Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

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