With so many lighting options on the market, it may be difficult to choose which one is right for your kitchen. First, let’s look at lighting basics. Once we divide the multitude of options into four categories, you can decide what category or combination of lighting you want in your kitchen.

task lighting in a kitchen

Task Lighting

Task lighting will give an area of your kitchen more concentrated light to help you see what you’re doing in a specific area. You can hang a task light over a kitchen island where you do all your chopping and prepping, over the stove or other areas in your kitchen that get a lot of use.

You may also consider mounted lights under a cabinet or on the wall as a form of task lighting. This provides an even more direct light source, but you have to be careful about how you place it to ensure that it doesn’t create harsh shadows over other parts of your kitchen.

task lighting in a kitchen

Track Lighting and Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting — also know as pot lights or can lights — is a series of lights that brighten a room. They are rather inconspicuous nature. It’s a method of adding light to your kitchen that disappears into your ceiling.

You can also install a series of lights on a track, although this doesn’t give a seamless effect like pot or can lights. As the name suggests, these lights run on a track and snake around the ceiling in a way that offers the most light where you need it.

task lighting in a kitchen

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting creates a blanket effect as a means to brighten a room and is the most basic type of lighting you can opt for. It will add an efficient amount of light for you to get things done around your kitchen, but nothing more. It’s not meant to help you achieve detailed projects like a task light does. 

Many people opt for ambient light because it’s simple and for the most part effective, but also because it will brighten your kitchen in a more natural way. It won’t cast as many shadows as track lighting or a pendant light. For more concentrated light, you can pair ambient lighting with some form of task lighting.

task lighting in a kitchen

Pendant Lights

Pendant lights can work in a couple of ways depending on where your light source is facing. You can choose an inverted pendant light that will cast the light upward and thus function more like ambient lighting. Or you can choose a pendant light that casts light down, causing it to act more like task lighting. So, the type of pendant light you choose depends on the kind of lighting you require.

A chandelier is a type of pendant light that many people opt for because of its elegance and ability to elevate a room. A pendant light adds a bit more style to the room, which is why it’s so popular.


Once you’ve decided which type of light suits your needs, let us know. Mershon Realty has a preferred vendor ready to light the kitchen of your dreams.