Kitchen Lighting Essentials

Elegant, brightly lit kitchen cabinets with under-cabinet lighting

When it comes to kitchen lighting, the design and function choices you make have an impact on both the safety and aesthetics of your space. The most critical purpose of kitchen lighting is to provide high visibility when cooking and chopping. Because the kitchen is considered to be the “heart of the home,” the aesthetics are equally crucial to ensure a welcoming feel.

Let’s shed some light on kitchen lighting functions and features!

Pendant lighting

Kitchen interior with island, sink, cabinets, and hardwood floors in new luxury home. Includes elegant pendant light fixtures, under-cabinet lighting, and recessed lighting in wood beam ceiling
Pendant lighting is a popular choice for kitchens of all sizes. A pendant is a lone light fixture that hangs from the ceiling at a fixed length suspended by a cord, chain, or rod. It is usually hung directly over a kitchen island or table, illuminating a dining or food preparation area. Pendant lights can include a single bulb, or multiple, and can act as general lighting or task lighting.*


Pendant lights that are height adjustable add versatility to any space, including kitchens. Rise-and-fall lighting is a great option if you have high ceilings. The fixtures work well with both minimalist and industrial motifs.


Recessed lighting is installed directly inside the ceiling or wall. These fixtures are used for both general lighting and task lighting and offer a feeling of understated elegance. We recommend LED bulbs because they stay cool and last for many years. While they look great in any kitchen, recessed lighting takes up less space than pendant lighting and, therefore, works especially well in small and medium-sized kitchens.


As the name indicates, these fixtures are mounted under cabinets or shelves for localized lighting. They brighten countertop workspaces and beautifully illuminate backsplash/countertop features. They can even double as a night light (which is helpful for late-night snacking).


Typically dome-shaped, these fixtures are fitted flush to the ceiling. Like recessed lighting, they take up little to no space and therefore are a perfect fit for small and medium kitchens, as well as low ceilings. They are easy to clean and come in a variety of styles.

Whether you are redesigning your kitchen or starting from scratch, we always recommend contacting a professional. Ensure the safety and beauty of your home by calling Milton Electric to help revitalize your space!

* General lighting (or ambient lighting) refers to the background lighting or overall illumination of a space. Task lighting focuses brightness on a specific task, such as cooking, reading, and baking. 

For more lighting inspiration, please see Exterior and Lighting.

Voted Best Electrician by readers of the Baltimore Sun, Milton Electric is your trusted provider for residential and commercial electrical work. Family-owned and operated since 1950, we proudly serve Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County. See our complete list of electrical services and call 410-276-3420 or contact us today for a free estimate.

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At Milton Electric, we have the skills to handle various electrical tasks, from installing ceiling fans to wiring new homes. With our expertise and years of experience, we are committed to delivering top-notch electrical services that meet your needs and exceed your expectations. Trust us to get the job done right.

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