Many kitchens, and especially older ones, only have one type of lighting or even worse, perhaps only one light! You may be thinking that a big light centered in the middle of the ceiling will serve your need effectively, but it is rarely enough. If you do go with one overhead light, make sure that you plan to incorporate enough reflection to let the light bounce into every part of the room so that it is lit properly..
One thing to consider if you only have room or resources for lighting on the ceiling is track lighting. This type of lighting will allow you to direct the light to specific areas of the kitchen. You can install a light or point a light to each work area as well as your stove and kitchen table. Or, try using track kitchen lighting for the work area and then install additional lighting over the table or island areas.
Typically, one big light in the middle of the room will be inadequate for proper task lighting. It is problematic since when you are standing at the counter with your back to the light you will be casting a shadow right on the area you want to illuminate. Task lighting is important for proper food prep and will make your kitchen chores much easier.
For great task lighting consider kitchen lights that are installed on the bottoms of the cabinets that overhang your kitchen countertops. You’ll be able to easily see while you are chopping vegetables and preparing meals. This lighting is soft enough to provide the right amount of light and can be easily turned off as needed or leave just one light on at night as a “night light” of sorts.
You’ll also want to consider how you light the island and table areas. Here is where you will want to insure that lighting is adequate, and looks great with the style of your kitchen.