Five kitchen lighting ideas to illuminate your space

Pendant lighting

How you light your kitchen is a crucial part of getting your scheme right. After all, your space is not just used for cooking a Sunday roast. So, if you want it to be somewhere you can entertain, as well as relax at the flick of a switch, here you’ll discover ways to experiment with your kitchen lighting…

Task lighting
Let’s face it, who ever thought cooking in the dark was a good idea? Nobody, that’s who. However, this type of kitchen lighting will give you just the right amount to cook and prepare food. Set it underneath your wall cupboards or shelving, create warmth with articulated wall lights, or spots that can reflect onto the worktop to perfectly illuminate your work area. When adding these fittings to your kitchen, consider where you’ll actually be working and make sure they’re not blocked easily or create odd shadows on the surface. At the same time, you also want to make sure they’re not too strong – if they are, the reflection off, for example, a white worktop might also be more annoying than helpful.
Spotlight and accent kitchen lighting

This scheme uses a mix of spotlights, plinth and accent lighting, and a feature pendant above the dining table. Price on application, it’s available from John Cullen Lighting.

Overhead lighting
Spotlights would be the obvious choice here – however, if you have a high ceiling, why not choose track lighting or supplement the space with lights at the top of the cabinet directed towards the ceiling. Instead of putting in a standard grid of spotlights, think about accent illumination and directional solutions to help you see inside your larder cupboard or highlight a key feature, such as above your kitchen island. These fixtures also don’t have to be purely utilitarian – if they are on show, feel free to go for a statement piece, especially if you want to draw attention to a particular feature.
Above cabinet kitchen lights

Use the space above your head by installing lights at the top of the cabinet directed towards the ceiling for ambience. This blue shaker kitchen, from Harvey Jones starts from £20,000.

Mood lighting
If you’re having a dinner party or a romantic evening with your other half, get the mood right with some atmospheric lighting. Great for when you’re not cooking or need to otherwise have bright, shadow-free illumination, these fixtures are ideal for relaxing and winding down after a long day. You could place LED strips below worktops and shelves around the units, plinth and cornice lights, or even around the splashback or a dropped ceiling to create a soft glow. For a spot of fun and to impress your guests, go for colour-changing designs and have them on a dimmer switch, so you can set the perfect ambience – whether you’re entertaining, relaxing or reading. Whoever said kitchen lighting can’t be bold?
LED lighting

By placing LED strips below worktops and shelves around the units can be used to highlight key features such as an island. Kitchens start from £25,000. Life Kitchens.

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Internal lights
For an added wow factor and practicality, set lighting within your cabinets and have them switch on with automatically as soon as the doors open. As simple a solution as it may be, not only will it make the contents easier to see, these kitchen lighting solutions can also be used to highlight details you want to illuminate or act as another layer of mood lighting. They look particularly great in open units or those with glass fronts.
Larder cupboard lighting

Light up your larder cupboard to help you see the contents inside. Kingswood kitchen pantry as part of a kitchen by Brayer Design. Kitchens start from £20,000, Brayer Design.

Decorative lighting
An island with striking pendants above is my idea of a dream kitchen. Not only does it provide you with a beautiful feature (and potentially highlights another feature), it can also be used to highlight key areas. For example, create a soft atmosphere for dining by placing one or two large fixtures above your table, or turn your breakfast bar into a diner-worthy spot with cool concrete or metal pendants. Look out for rise-and-fall options that can be raised out of the way for extra versatility – plus, moving the light source will also change the way it illuminates your space, from harsher focused light when it’s down to a wider glow when you push it all the way up. Also consider fitting your pendants on a dimmer switch, if possible, so you can vary the brightness to suit your needs.
Kitchen pendant lighting

This kitchen features a row of simple, but stylish pendants above the statement island. Horizontal pendants, £225, Original BTC.

Who knows, with the perfect combination, you may never need the Big Light again.

Featured image: Create a statement by hanging a feature light above your island to create a focal point in your kitchen. The Villa Lumi Stewart ceiling light is priced at £1755. It’s available from Houseology. 

Post updated on: 20/08/20

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