How Far Should Recessed Lights Be from Kitchen Cabinets?

recessed lighting kitchen distance from cabinets

Recessed kitchen lights are a popular because they give it a slick and modern look besides providing sufficient task lighting. In order to avoid any eventualities, it is important to ensure that these lights are situated at the right distance from kitchen cabinets.

Recessed Light Distance from Kitchen Cabinets

To ensure the best illumination and no disturbance of room arrangement, one needs to put the light in place correctly. The ideal distance for recessed lights from kitchen cabinets is typically around 18 inches.

Furthermore, this leaves enough space between them so as not to cause any heat build-up or damage to your cupboards. Additionally, it is far enough that there is no direct light on your eyes while you are cooking or working at the counter.

Related Post: Best Under Cabinet Lighting For Kitchen & Buying Guide

Importance of Right Distance of Recessed Lights from Cabinets

1. Avoiding Shadows

One thing you have to avoid in your kitchen is shadows. Your body blocking light hitting something creates a dark outline or shape called a shadow. One way of avoiding them is ensuring proper lighting in your kitchen; ceiling and overhead lighting work best since they reflect off many surfaces preventing shadow formation.


2. Create a cozy atmosphere

You can add ambiance by putting recessed lighting anywhere in your kitchen area. The ability of dimmable recessed lighting to adjust brightness makes it possible for you to set the mood desired for any moment. Whether it’s an intimate warm dinner party or just a quiet dinner after work dimmable LED recessed lights will create an inviting atmosphere that everyone would love spending their time around. You can vary the intensity levels of your recessed luminaries as necessary with the help of an LED dimmer.

3. Color Changeable

Color control is another great feature of modern recessed lighting systems, thus replacing physical components only sometimes means a change in effects. Recessed fixtures with color-changing technology provide an alternative way to light different occasions with specific moods or emotions. You don’t have to settle for the same old primary white light as this feature allows you to change your lighting design without needing any tools; thus changing from laid-back soft whites into a glitzy festive display.

Factors Influencing the Distance Between Recessed Lights and Cabinets

Height of the Cabinets

The first factor to consider when determining how far apart recessed lights should be from kitchen cabinets is the cabinets’ height. Higher cabinets may need more space between them and the lights, whereas lower cabinets may require less.

Purpose of the Lighting

The distance between the recessed lights and cabinetry will also depend on what purpose it serves. Task lighting, for instance, might be closer to cabinets while general lighting can stand farther away.

Size of the Room

The room size is another important consideration when deciding how far away from kitchen cabinets must recessed lights be placed. Smaller kitchens will often require tighter spacing, while larger ones could allow more room between lights and cupboards.

Style of the Cabinets

Finally, the design of the cabinets can also affect the distance between the recessed lights and the cabinets. For example, glass-doored cabinets may require more space to avoid any reflections on their surface.

Too Close to the Cabinets

If lights are placed too close to them, heat might accumulate and thereby cause damage to these cabinets. This is true for wooden cabinets or other heat-sensitive materials. Additionally, lights that are placed too near could be a real strain on your eyes as they would shine directly into them making it hard for you to even cook.

To For Away from the Cabinets

On the contrary, if those lights are put at far corners from cabinets then adequate light may not be provided for all activities taking place there. This makes it difficult to see what you are doing while cooking or chopping at the counter which can prove frustrating and dangerous sometimes.


Can recessed lights be placed directly above kitchen cabinets?

Generally speaking, it is not advisable that one places recessed lighting fixtures right above kitchen cabinets. By doing this, harsh shadows could result and so would inconstant lighting that does not look good or work well inside such a place.

How do I calculate the optimal layout for recessed lights in kitchen cabinets?

One has to know how big his/her kitchen is before he/she comes up with an efficient plan for placing recessed lighting systems. Add all measurements taken above and divide by 2, the starting point where the initial set of bulbs should be located equals half of the total length measured above. Also, divide the width by 2 to get the next set of bulbs just beside the first set.

What type of recessed lights works best in kitchens near cabinets?

To choose between types of downlights in kitchens with cupboards consider using adjustable fittings or gimbal lights. These lights are adjustable and thus can go wherever they are required most to fill the shadows left by the cupboards.

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