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purpleproject

Open shelving in kitchen - lighting dilemma

purpleproject
May 14, 2019
last modified: May 14, 2019

hello!we have one wall in the kitchen with an open shelf. At first we were going to put strip lights under the shelf, figure out a way to hide the transformer and add a lip to the shelf to hide it all. This would help light the counter. BUT it is all looking a bit hideous to me so we are now thinking of lights Above the shelf, articulating lamps so they stick out more than the shelf to avoid the shadow from the shelf landing on the counter!). From what I have seen, most such kitchens with shelves either have zero under shelf lighting or above shelf lighting. I guess they just use the recessed lights and don't need a specific task/ambient light.what to do?? the lighting and shadows is making me lose sleep! help! anyone with an open shelf in their kitchen? thank you!

Comments (23)

  • purpleproject


    we are now thinking something like this.

  • pippabean,

    Houzz is really buggy these days. When uploading pix, give them lots of time to appear in full color, before submitting.


    I don't have a pic of our shelf with the UC lights on, but the light strip is located very close to the front of the cab, so it lights up the shelf contents as well as the counter. It helps, that the shelf is only about 7" deep, vs. the 15" deep cab and we also have ceiling spots that light the counter:

    Daylight pic:


  • NYCish
    What about an articulating sconce? Check out cedar and moss
  • purpleproject
    thanks Pippa.

    NYC. omg - we were just looking at the articulating matte black sconce from cedar and Moss. getting the cedar moss fjord spots for next to the stove.
  • NYCish
    Ha @purpleproject !! We are using the tilt cone in our kitchen above our open shelving. Actually we are using C&M a lot throughout our house!
  • PRO
    Retro Steam Works

    You could get something made to specifications specially for the space:


    Feel free to contact me if you'd like to know more at : retrosteamworks.etsy.com all of my fixtures are hand made by me and can be fully customized to meet your requirements.















  • Lawrence Sprowls

    A company called Envirolite (and I'm sure there are others) makes aluminum LED profiles for LED tape lights. These are very shallow; you could cut a groove in the underside of a shelf and insert the profile which would be nearly invisible. The profile's diffuser would prevent the LED's from reflecting in the countertop.

  • purpleproject
    wow Retro! gorgeous stuff!
  • purpleproject

    did I mention losing sleep.
    One of the reasons for an open shelf or ledge was because we are using zellige tiles which have an unfinished edge. I really would like to avoid schluter if possible. so the ledge was the solution. However, we rewound yesterday and said getting a shelf just for the zellige is one solution but maybe we should rethink. so now we are thinking no zellige but board and batten on that wall and a much higher shelf with the light UNDER the shelf.

  • PRO
    Creative Design Cabinetry

    We use this type of recessed lighting floating and other areas.



  • purpleproject
    where do you hide the transformer?
  • PRO
    Retro Steam Works

    Thank you, @purpleproject!

  • PRO
    Creative Design Cabinetry

    We put the driver in a nearby cabinet, closet, attic etc.

  • PRO
    Creative Design Cabinetry

    Puck light on flip


  • purpleproject
    hi Creative, would you be able to send me a picture or how you hid the wiring on an open shelf? please!
  • AvatarWalt

    We have both articulating lights and UC strips. The transformers for the UCL and other strip lighting are all in the basement utility room. As a matter of practice, I use the articulating lights much more often than the UCL, as it lights the counters well and also casts a nice light on the whole area. Also, I think zellige is fantastic--we have it on our fireplace and would have had it in the kitchen if I'd been able to find it in time. Don't give it up!


  • purpleproject
    thanks Avatar. would love to see a picture!
  • AvatarWalt

    Sorry, purpleproject, I didn't wait long enough for the photo to load so had to edit my reply.

  • purpleproject
    wow avatar! beautiful!! thanks for sharing!
  • purpleproject

    hi everyone. I think we are now leaning towards more minimalist. what do you think?

  • PRO
    Lights Online

    The minimalist look is very appealing! Reminds me of a photo I recently saw on the Instagram account of one of the brands we sell. Here's the item shown in that photo.


    If you're still interested in the adjustable/articulating wall lamps, here are some ideas:

    Savoy House Dakota

    Hudson Valley Latham

    Savoy House Morland

    Hudson Valley Metal No.2

    George Kovacs Save Your Marriage (cute name, huh?)


    Plus, some wall lamps that are not adjustable, but are stylish:

    Hudson Valley Signature

    House of Troy Hyde Park

    Elk Boudreaux

    Sonneman Chelsea

    Kichler Alden


    These are just a few options. Let me know what you think!

  • HU-357573177

    Amazing!

  • PRO
    Kichler

    Try tape lighting! It can be installed easily and easily hidden from view. We have a new adjustable wall light, check out https://www.kichler.com/kichler/products/indoor-lighting/wall-sconces/wall-lights-with-arms/ellerbeck-wall-sconce-bk/

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