What is the best type of lighting over a kitchen table?

Julie G
by Julie G
Uplight or downlight, that is the question. We're about to change out our old fluorescent fixtures in the kitchen and replace them with some mini pendants over the island and can lights around the perimeter. Now I'm realizing there will be no lights reflecting off the ceiling and adding that type of glow to the room. Will our table be adequately lit if we choose to put an up-facing fixture in that spot?
  6 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on May 21, 2012
    I had a really ugly down light chandlier over my dining room table for near 20 years...I replaced it last year with an up light version. we went with this one. http://www.homedepot.com/Lighting-Fans-Indoor-Lighting-Indoor-Ceiling-Lighting-Chandeliers/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbvn3/R-202024305/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051 It is on a dimmer so we can use it for mood lighting too.
  • The lights you choose not are only important for reading at the table, but will produce an entire different look to the room. Bounce lighting creates moods that may be acceptable in perhaps a dinning room or perhaps a large master bedroom combined with dimmers, I doubt however a up-light fixture over a table will provide enough light to be adequate for that area. Perhaps using both may be a better option there is in order. Also depending upon the condition of the ceiling are you sure you want to focus attention to that area? Bounce lighting can be really nice and it can also be difficult on a quality of wall or ceiling standpoint. Do not forget that the color of the ceiling will also have a big impact on how well bounce lights work.
  • Clay B Clay B on May 22, 2012
    I say uplight, with bright bulbs, and dimmer swith. I don't like lights that shine directly on you, and blind you if you happen to look in that direction. The cloud florecents give good light, but not dimmable.
  • Brighten Electric, Inc. Brighten Electric, Inc. on May 23, 2012
    Get a combo fixture. The light I used in my nook area has both up and down lights with a switch. The switch on the fixture can turn the up lights on and down lights off, the uplights off and the down lights on or all on and all off.
    • Elizabeth Winslow Horn Elizabeth Winslow Horn on Jun 20, 2017

      I am having trouble finding a replacement combo fixture .... I have an older dated one... do you have any recommendations?

  • Mitziblueyes Mitziblueyes on Jul 16, 2014
    I'd recommend doing canned lights on dimmers around the outer edge of ceiling then you could use a down light to project towards the table. up lights are going to draw eyes upwards, you want downwards at the table. You don't need bright bulbs, that's what your canned lights are for. As electrical contractors we found most our new houses took that approach w the best effects. -good luck!
  • Alex Alex on Oct 17, 2014
    I think a kitchen usually serves two distinct purposes: food preparation, and at least some of the time, food consumption. When it comes to food preparation it's of the utmost importance that the area you work in is well lit but not dazzling, after all you're dealing with sharp knives and hot liquids. Therefore a generous amount of shaded down lighting is best . When it comes to general lighting in the kitchen, it really comes down to personal taste, you might want a more directional down light so that you can put the focus on what you're eating, but personally I'd rather have a more ambient light that bounces around the whole room. Keep the walls painted in a white colour and fit an uplighter to achieve this. This way you'll still get plenty of light on the table, but the rest of the room will be nice and bright too.