How to Choose Lighting for Kitchens and Baths

Posted by Nicole R. Martin
Remodeling Project Specialist, Brubaker Inc.

When planning a remodel project, people often focus on cabinets, counters, flooring and faucets. The one item, and perhaps the most important, that often gets overlooked is the lighting. This seemingly less-exciting element not only dictates how usable your space is, but also, surprisingly, brings a huge WOW factor to the room. Lighting is essential to any well-planned, thought out remodel.

In both kitchens and bathrooms it is necessary to have room illumination as well as task and accent lighting. Here’s a look at some lighting options.

Photo credit: Kichler Lighting

Photo credit: Kichler Lighting

Kitchen Lighting

Photo Credit: Sea Gull Lighting

Photo Credit: Sea Gull Lighting

Recessed lights are an excellent method for bright, overall light in a kitchen. They also serve well as task lighting directly above an island or other work area. These fixtures can be completely recessed into the ceiling or have “eyeballs” that can be directed at particular areas.

Contemporary track lighting, with curved tracks and adjustable, stylish sockets, is an alternative for full room lighting in a transitional or modern styled room.

Hanging lights, such as pendant lights over islands and sinks, or chandeliers over tables, offer a great opportunity to bring accent style and art to the kitchen. Fixtures range from single to multi-bulb and from clean-lined to ornate. There is a hanging light for every taste and budget.

Photo credit: WAC Lighting

Glass pendant lighting. Photo credit: WAC Lighting

Cabinet lighting is another way to add accent lighting in the kitchen. Lighting can be installed either under or above cabinets or in glass-fronted cabinets. These lights are usually installed on dimmers allowing them to be used to help light counter surfaces and cabinet displays or dimmed to use as mood lighting. In the image below we incorporated lighting in the cabinet to highlight the glassware within the cabinet. We also incorporated lighting under the cabinets throughout the kitchen.

Kitchen remodeled by Brubaker Remodeling Team.

Kitchen remodeled by Brubaker Inc. Remodeling Team.


Bathroom Lighting

Vent fans which also contain lights are a great way to perform two duties with one device in one space. Most of these units will accommodate a 100 watt equivalent bulb, giving generous light for the average bathroom, and many will also allow for a smaller, night light bulb. This feature eliminates the blinding we’ve all experienced when turning on full lights in the middle of the night or during those sleepy mornings.

Task lighting is, of course, vitally important to have in the bathroom as well. This can be beautifully achieved with decorative vanity lighting either above the mirror or with sconces beside. No more of those dated, Hollywood style light bars with glaring bulbs. Current vanity fixtures are just as stylish as the lights you will find in any other room of your home. As with the vent fan light, most of these fixtures will hold a 100 watt equivalent bulb per socket, allowing for an abundance of light for applying make-up, shaving or styling hair.

Bathroom remodeled by Brubaker Remodeling Team.

Bathroom remodeled by Brubaker Inc. Remodeling Team.

 While it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of the major players like cabinets and counters in a remodeling project, no feature of a room is more hardworking or vital than lighting. You may be able to work around too little storage or counter space, but you can’t cook or shave in dim lighting! Today’s options make the necessity of lighting not only efficient but stylish and a centerpiece of your room.