How Many Watts For Kitchen Lighting?

Good lighting in the kitchen not only helps you efficiently perform your chores but also improves the ambiance of your kitchen.

Kitchen lights must be bright because you use knives and other cooking supplies.

A wholesome amount of light has much to do with the total wattage of light fixtures, including the lumens and color temperature.

The best wattage for the kitchen lighting is 1.5 to 2.5 watts per square foot.

Try 100-watt bulbs for dark kitchens with more opaque fixtures.

If your kitchen receives a lot of natural light, install a slightly dimmer 80-watt bulb.

The following post discusses the considerations you need to make for finding the optimal wattage for your kitchen.

How to figure out the wattage for kitchen lighting?

an image of watts for kitchen lighting

Want to be specific?

Here’s a formula you can use to calculate how many watts are needed for your particular kitchen size:

Multiply the length by the width of the kitchen to get the area.

Then multiply that by 1.5 to get how many watts of electricity is required for general illumination (1.5 watts per square foot).

To find the wattage needed for specific task lighting in a place where stronger light is necessary, multiply the square footage by 2.5.

For example, if your kitchen measures 12 ft. by 15 ft., it’s 12×15 = 180 square feet.

If you multiply that by 1.5, you get 270 watts. 

That’s the total wattage all light fixtures should add up to. 

So if you install a chandelier with three bulbs each of 100W, it should be more than enough.

Sounds simple, but if you know something about light bulbs, the wattage doesn’t always equal brightness, especially true for LED bulbs.

To be precise, you need to calculate the lumens (which measure the amount of light).

That’s because an LED is nearly four times as energy-efficient as an incandescent bulb.

Related Reading: How Many Watts Are Required For Kitchen Lighting – Click Here To Discover.

How many lumens are needed for kitchen lighting?

You can measure light in lumens.

It is best to know the lumens of the bulbs to see if your kitchen has enough light power.

Depending on its size, a well-lit kitchen should have between 5,000 and 10,000 lumens.

Hence to determine how many and which bulbs you need, you must choose the number of lumens each light can provide.

Therefore, 4 LED light bulbs of 25 watts (1500 lumens each) would be required.

A new 25-watt fluorescent bulb gives around 1500 lumens.

An optimum installation would produce 3500-4000 lumen, assuming a combination of on and off periods when you don’t use all four lights.

Fluorescents dim with age, so you must consider this factor before determining the type of fixtures or amount of light needed.

It’s important to understand that a kitchen is not an empty box, and there are obstacles to consider.

Because a typical lighting arrangement is divided into layers and zones, you will likely require more than four light bulbs for proper illumination in the kitchen.

It would be best if you had separate fixtures for under-cabinets, sink areas, dining areas, kitchen islands, etc.

Eventually, you end up with many more light bulbs.

What are some kitchen light bulb types and their wattage?

Incandescent Lights

An incandescent light bulb has a filament inside that heats up to glow and produce light.

Since 5,000-10,000 lumens are recommended for the kitchen, you should opt for 100W incandescent light bulbs.

Halogen Bulbs

Halogen bulbs are incandescent light bulbs that contain Halogen gas to produce a brighter light.

For 5,000 to 10,000 lumens, you will need 70-watt halogen bulbs for your kitchen lighting.


CFL stands for compact fluorescent lamp.

These bulbs are great for saving energy.

For 5,000 to 10,000 lumens, you will want to use 20-watt CFL light bulbs.

LED bulbs

LED refers to light-emitting diodes.

All you need is a set of regular 14-watt LED bulbs for the kitchen to get 5,000 to 10,000 lumens.

They also have a greater lifespan when compared to ordinary CFLs and incandescent light bulbs.

Color Temperature for Kitchen Lighting

an image of kitchen

A light bulb’s color temperature may lie between warm (lower Kelvin) and excellent (higher Kelvin) values.

When looking for kitchen lights, you should consider the bulb’s color, temperature, and wattage.

This combination ultimately translates to how bright the light feels.

The recommended color temperature for LED lights used in the kitchen is around 2,700-5,000 K.

Related Reading: What Type Of Lighting Is Best For A Kitchen – Click Here To Find Out.

How Many Watts For Kitchen Lighting – FAQs 

1. Are higher-wattage lights brighter?

Higher wattage doesn’t always mean a brighter light bulb.

Hence, for choosing a bulb with the correct brightness, consider lumens, not Watts.

2. LED or CFL: Which is more energy-efficient?

LEDs are more efficient than CFLs since a 20-watt CFL is equivalent to a 16-watt LED bulb.

3. What is the brightest LED light for a kitchen?

A set of 14-Watt LED lights is recommended for kitchen lighting.

Related Reading: CAN Light Layout In Kitchen – Click Here To Read More.

In Closing

Homeowners, builders, and designers increasingly consider energy efficiency when planning kitchen lighting arrangements.

So LED lights typically consume 75% less energy, and the bulbs might last 10-20 years, making them a perfect choice for a well-illuminated kitchen.