If there’s one room in a house that benefits the most from proper lighting, it would be the kitchen. A room where someone regularly uses sharp knives, hot stoves, and 450-degree ovens is not a place you want to be improperly lit with shadows on workspaces. Unfortunately, many old theories of kitchen lighting that lead to poor functionality are still being taught.
Often, recommendations for lighting kitchens call for overhead can lights to be located 36 to 42 inches away from the wall so its light falls onto the countertops, but not the cabinets. Additionally, this type of arrangement has undercabinet lighting mounted against the back of wall cabinets. The problem with this design, according to Doug Walter, is apparent when a person is added to the mix.
The overhead can light is completely blocked by the person standing at the counter, meaning they are left with only the undercabinet light to work by with a big “self-shaped” shadow covering the one spot they need to be lit up the most.
A simple solution Walter offers is to move the can light so it is centered on the edge of the counter and mount the undercabinet lights on the bottom front of the wall cabinets. This provides plenty of light and improves the odds of the cook keeping all ten digits attached to their hands.