The kitchen is easily one of the most important rooms that should be well-lit in your home. A well-lit room not only inspires a positive mood but also ensures that you can see what you are doing. This is very crucial especially in working areas where you handle sharp objects like knives and turn on equipment like stoves and ovens. With the variety of LED bulbs available in the market today, getting overwhelmed with your choices is very possible. But, fear not, we compiled the best LED bulbs for your kitchen.
Which LED bulbs are best for the kitchen? The best LED bulbs for the kitchen are cool and bright whites that have high lumens. The kitchen bulbs should add up to at least 5,000 lumens. These lights are best placed in the ceiling for overhead light and in the counter space for task lighting.
In this article, we will discuss the specific brands that are best for each area in the kitchen. We will also explain, best as we can, why there is a need to place lights in specific areas and why you should invest in good lighting. Furthermore, you will also learn about the factors for choosing the best lights which include longevity, ease of replacement, and energy efficiency. If you want to know kitchen lights like the back of your hand, this article is the right match for you.
All You Need to Know About Kitchen Lights
The Best Type of Lights for the Kitchen
The best lights for the kitchen are bright and cool white lights because they make for more visibility in the room. Compared to warmer tones, these cool lights can induce a more energetic and focused vibe, which is a big plus when you’re preparing meals. The kitchen is not essentially for “relaxing” and calm subdued moods, so bright lights are perfect for the bustling cooking area.
To check if a bulb belongs to the cool and bright color temperatures, see if the bulb belongs to the higher Kelvin range as well. According to BatteriesPlus.com, bright/cool whites should be at 3500K to 4100K. To ensure a bright setup, one measure you can also do is to check if the total lumens provided by all your bulbs in the kitchen add up to 5,000 to 10,000 lumens.
Suggested Setup for Lights in the Kitchen
For the kitchen, there should be two main lights — an overhead light and a counter space light. Again, this will ensure visibility especially in the task areas. So, you may also want to add a light over your sink.
Types of Bulbs Used in the Kitchen
Before we can dive into the best LED lights for the kitchen, it would be helpful to first identify which types of bulbs are used in that area the most. First off the list is a flush mount. These are the “pie-like” or, for lack of a better term, “half of a crystal ball” bulbs you usually see in the kitchen. These are crowd-favorites because they don’t get in the way and need little to no cleaning. There are also tube lights for bigger kitchens as well as chandeliers for a more elegant look.
Other lights in the kitchen include track lighting which can illuminate multiple areas in the room and island lights which can also provide additional ambiance. Next, we have under-cabinet lights for more task lighting and recessed lights for a more spaced out but reliable lighting set-up.
The Best LED Lights
Let’s get to the good stuff!
For the Kitchen Ceiling
For this area, you will have to deal with considerations like ceiling height. Clearly, this will determine what types of lights you can get, especially if you want to get chandeliers. Ceiling lights also contribute a lot to how the kitchen would look. So, you might want to decide what design you are aiming for, like modern or contemporary, before getting ceiling lights.
For flush mounts like the popular Designers Fountain, you can get the standard A19 LED bulbs. These flush mounts (especially the bigger-sized ones) can hold up to three 60-watt LED lights. Cree is a popular choice for these A19 bulbs.
Cree A19 Bulbs
Cree bulbs are one of the most recommended lights for the kitchen. This is because they provide clean and crisp illumination over working areas. Specifically, you can get Cree’s 60W Equivalent Daylight (5,000K). These come in 2 bulbs per pack and are priced at $9 on Amazon while you can get it for $2 cheaper in Home Depot.
This is a good buy because one Cree bulb lasts for 25,000 hours. Aside from that, a Cree bulb can even be controlled by a dimmer, if you would want that option.
Next, there are also “flat” style flush mounts which have built-in LED lights.
Youtob LED Flush Mount Ceiling Light
This is a popular choice for the “flat” style ceiling lights as it provides 1,200 lumens and is very bright at a color temperature of 4,000K. Its slim design is also the perfect fit for those who are going for more modern looks. Furthermore, this LED light is marketed to last 30,000 hours and can save you 85% electricity. It also helps that they are easy to install as they come with a kit containing screws and a box mounting bar.
This costs about $20 on Amazon.
Lithonia Lighting 24-Inch Futra Linear Design
The Lithonia lighting for the kitchen is basically similar in purpose with a regular tube light bulb. However, being on the pricey end at around $80 on Amazon, this product has a sleeker design and, being 2 feet long, has wider coverage. This LED fixture is then really known for its even light distribution and its lifespan which can last up to 50,000 hours. This can also be used with a dimmer switch and generally makes for easy installation (at just about 20 minutes).
For Recessed Lights
TORCHSTAR Basic Series 6 Inch Slim Recessed Lighting
TORCHSTAR is known as one of the best low profile LED recessed lights for the kitchen. Not only do the lights have thin junction boxes, TORCHSTAR is also designed to be installed without the need for additional housing.
These cost at around $60 for 6 pieces on Amazon and have stellar “would buy again” reviews from customers. It’s worth noting that just like the aforementioned lights, TORCHSTAR can also be used with a dimmer. A word of caution, however, these lights may be harder to install than your average lights.
For LED recessed lights, you could also check Sunco Lighting priced much cheaper at $65 for 12 pieces.
For Under-Cabinet Lights
For under-cabinet lights, you generally have two choices. First, you can go for LED Strips, or second, you can go for Puck Lights.
Albrillo Under Cabinet LED Light Strips
The Albrillo brand provides for bright and energy-saving light strips that are each equivalent to one 40-watt fluorescent tube. Since they are very light, they can be installed using mere adhesive tapes if using screws and bolts is too much for your handyman skills to handle. Aside from the easy and flexible installation, these LED light strips are also made out of plastic, which means that they are anti-rust. Definitely, you can save money with the quality and longevity these lights provide.
One thing that could both be a pro and con for this lighting system is that the led strips are separate, so you would have to turn each light on one by one. You can get these lights for $48 on Amazon.
Brilliant Evolution LED Puck Light
This particular puck light is rated is the “#1 Best Seller” on Amazon for Under-Cabinet Lights. Brilliant Evolution has the best reviews from satisfied customers because, first, they are wireless and the remote control can also tweak the dim level as well as set a timer. This remote can work up to 15 feet away from the lights, which is just the right distance you’ll need when you’re working around the kitchen.
Each puck light emits 55 lumens at a 3000K color temperature. Furthermore, they can run for 100 hours on 3 AA batteries. For 6 pieces of puck lights, you can get this for $44.
For Track Lights
For track lighting, Lithonia is a popular choice because aside from functionality, these stylish lights are also tagged to be “designer-approved.” While providing bright lights, they are not that noticeable because of the small track heads designated for LED light bulbs. Even when the track lights are noticed, the finishing on it is really attractive and can only add to the ambiance of your kitchen. For finishing, you have the option of getting Black, Bronze, Brushed Nickel or White.
Convenience-wise, these track lights are dimmable with a dimmer switch and they can be adjusted to point almost anywhere. These lights cost $102 if you buy them new on Amazon.
For general uses in the kitchen, you can also check Thinklux BR30 65-Watt bulbs and GE 60-Watt Color Enhancing Dimmable Light Bulbs. These are two brands which are recommended by their users.
Factors You Should Look at When Buying Bulbs
When buying bulbs you should look at the lux level. This is a crucial feature because for kitchen lights, we are essentially buying one of the brightest lights in the market. You might want to have the option of dimming, especially if the natural light is still good, but you just need additional lighting.
Next, look at the lifespan of the bulbs. You want to buy something that will last for a long time and give you your money’s worth. Third, it is unavoidable that you will have to replace these bulbs in the long run. But still, you want bulbs that are easy to replace. Furthermore, replacing bulbs should be something you can do on your own without having to call a technician every so often.
Lastly, mind the power consumption. But, since we are talking about LED lights, this is not really something you should worry about that much anymore.
All in all, the best LED bulbs for your kitchen are those that are cost-efficient, energy-saving, and most importantly, convenient. You want bulbs that will make you happy you spent that money for good lighting and a fixture that fits your design. When buying bulbs for your kitchen, remember that the main point is purchasing cool and white bulbs which will help you see better while cooking. So, do not get so entranced with chandeliers and whatnots that you end up buying bad lights because then again, no cooks in the dark.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article, if you found it useful then share it with other people who might be interested in learning more about kitchen LED lighting!
p.s. If you want to learn more about how Phillips Hue can work with Nano Leaf check out Hue Lights and Nano Leaf – A step by step guide