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Commercial Kitchen Lighting: Necessities & Tips

If you’re opening up a new restaurant, you need to do research for lighting and ambiance. While doing that you also have to take into account your kitchen’s lighting. The lighting of your kitchen must be well lit. 

What things should you consider for your commercial kitchen lighting? 

When it comes to commercial kitchen lighting, there are some things you should pay heed to first. Among them are natural lighting, artificial lighting, and saving energy. We also have 6 tips that you can follow. They include shatterproof bulbs, easily cleanable lights, and recessed lights among others. 

This is just a TLDR of all the things that you can do. Interested in knowing more about what you can do for your kitchen lighting?

Just scroll down and read the rest of the article!

Necessities For A Commercial Kitchen Lighting

When you’re running a commercial kitchen, the lighting is one of the most crucial parts. If you want your cooks and staff to do their job properly, you need proper lighting.

Proper lighting doesn’t mean you can just fit in some bright light and be done. A commercial kitchen uses different lights for different areas of the kitchen. 

For example, you need bright lights in cooking areas and preparation areas. But you can use normal lights in washing areas. Now let us look at the necessary things you need for your commercial kitchen-

Natural Lighting

The natural light of your kitchen is the first thing you need to keep in mind. It’s true that artificial light is the main source of light in a commercial kitchen. But, it’s still necessary for you to keep the fact of natural lights in mind. 

Out of the total wall area in your kitchen, the windows should comprise 10% at least.

Skylights and windows help you get an improved work environment. But you need to be careful so that you don’t position it poorly. 

Prying eyes and glares can demotivate the workers. 

You should talk to your interior designer regarding balancing artificial light and natural light. It’s pretty important since the environment will impact the work environment. 

Artificial Light

Did you know that the lights you installed could pollute your food? Not by the light rays though. If your lights aren’t easily cleanable, they could pollute the food. 

We suggest you use lights that are surface mounted or recessed on the ceilings. Suspended lights collect dust and are very hard to clean. And these specks of dust pose a threat to polluting the foods. 

You need to consider getting a diffuser for your kitchen. Diffusers help distribute light uniformly. But that is not all they do. Your lights will eventually shatter when the temper on them runs out. 

Diffusers help in containing those shattered glass particles. It helps you create a safer workplace. 

Flush-mount ceilings are a good option to go with. Knowing how to change bulbs in flush mount ceiling light could be good for you. 

Also, check if your area has any regulations for minimum lighting requirements. The general minimum lighting requirement for commercial kitchens is usually 500 lux. 

In a commercial kitchen, more lighting like 800 lux is usually required. In places where you decorate your foods and desserts will require more. Since there’s the factor of detailed and precision work. 

We’ll suggest you get lights 100 lux more than you actually need. Light loss is a thing all lights and it’s bound to happen over time. 

Saving Energy

At all restaurants, the kitchen is where the larger amount of energy gets consumed. That’s why it’s imperative that you use energy-efficient light in your kitchen. And when you open your kitchen for work, make practices to save energy. 

And you don’t even have to think about it from a business point of view. You should naturally use energy-efficient lights to save energy. It’s good for the environment. 

You should avoid using incandescent lights as much as possible. They take up a lot of energy. Instead, you can use LED lights or compact fluorescent lights.

People usually tend to use incandescent lamps on signages and menu boards. These lamps use a lot of energy. You could use energy-efficient ones here instead. 

Motion sensors are quite large these days. A lot of employees might forget to turn off the lights. These motion sensors could help reduce a lot of energy. You don’t have to fit them everywhere though, you can just fit them in storerooms. 

The downside of this is sometimes, lights stay on at all times when they go bad. 

6 Tips For Your Commercial Kitchen Lighting

The chances of your business completely depend on your kitchen. You’ll run a food business after all. And the success of your kitchen depends a lot on the lighting. 

Now, for you to use proper lighting, you need to know a few tricks. Lucky for you, we’ve listed some of them below-

Shatterproof Bulbs 

This is the most important thing that you should keep in mind. We’ve already said before that your bulbs will break one day or the other. But, if you use shatterproof glass, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble. 

Shattered glass particles can be extremely dangerous. Not only can it injure someone in the kitchen, but it can also get in the food. You know the rest that can happen. 

If a normal glass breaks, the shards can get all over the place. And that can stop the work until the shards are clear. 

One of the main reasons you should get shatterproof bulbs is because of the heat. The heat in the kitchen is enough to break any normal bulb. 

In case you don’t find any shatterproof bulbs to your liking, use a diffuser. 

Task Lighting

In a commercial kitchen, you need tasking lights for different types of small tasks. The purpose of these lights is to focus on one area or give brighter lights. 

When it comes to decorating a cake, you need lights focussed on a single spot. Or when someone is cutting on a board they need bright lights. 

But other parts of your kitchen will need different lights for different works. 

Low Heat Emitting Lights

Kitchens are naturally a hot place to begin with. You don’t need lights that emit heat on top of that. Not to mention you’ll be wasting energy that way. 

Traditional lights or incandescent lights tend to give off more heat and waste more energy that way. People tend to use incandescent lights over LED lights.

LED lights are a good alternative to these traditional lights. 

They give off less heat while giving out more light. 

Warmer Lights For Plating Area

Warm temperature lights tend to give off a more aesthetic feel. You can use this type of light in the plating area. The food also looks more appealing under warm lights. 

You can use warmer lights as well for a nice ambiance. Another thing that you can do is, use the same lights in the plating area. 

Fit the same lights in the plating area and throughout the restaurants. This will help the waiters understand how the food can look from the customer’s point of view. 

Besides, warmer lights tend to look more appealing visually. 

Easily Cleanable Lights

We all know that cleanliness is a virtue. But in a commercial kitchen, cleanliness is more than that, it’s a must. And that’s why we suggested you use recessed lights. 

Recessed lights are easily cleanable, unlike other lights. They greatly reduce the time that has to go behind cleaning. This also reduces the danger of food pollution greatly. 

Vapor-Proof Fixtures

Another thing you need to account for in a commercial kitchen is vapor. Kitchens produce a lot of vapor. You should account for that when fitting your lights. 

Look for NSF-approved vapor-proof lights. These lights pass the food-rated safety inspections while giving you enough light.

If your lights get vapor inside, the lights will get dimmer. It could also ruin your lights faster. 

This is all about modeling your lighting system. You should keep a brief idea of how much it cost to remodel a kitchen. It’ll come in handy if you decide to remodel your kitchen in the future. 


Question: How many Lumens should my commercial kitchen have?

Answer: Any normal commercial kitchen should have at least 3,000 to 4,000 lumens. You can use 500 lumens of lights at every fitting. And 800 lumens where you need brighter lights.

Question: What type of lighting is ideal for a commercial kitchen?

Answer: We suggest using dome-shaped, semi-flush mount or flush mount lights. In flush mount fixtures, you could use a mix of white and warm lights. It’ll look more appealing this way. 

Question: Are LED lights safe for a kitchen?

Answer: LED lights are actually much safer than Halogen lights or Incandescent bulbs. Not to mention they’re much brighter as well. Overall, LED lights are a much better deal than Halogen lights and Incandescent lights.


These are just about all the suggestions we have for commercial kitchen lighting. Follow them accordingly to save unnecessary costs and get brighter lights. 

Hopefully, you’ll not be disappointed. 

Good Luck!