Guest Post: Kitchen lighting tips for maximum impact

Guest Post: Kitchen lighting tips for maximum impact

The kitchen is the hub of the home, where family and friends gather together to eat, drink, relax and socialise together – they’re truly multi-functional spaces.

The lighting within a kitchen can have a huge impact on the entire room, so it’s certainly an important consideration when you’re designing your kitchen. Effective kitchen lighting will help you to create a cosy, inviting space as well as ensuring that it remains functional in order to cater for a range of activities. Your kitchen lighting needs to be suitable for the obvious food preparation to entertaining, dining and even working. Our top kitchen lighting tips will ensure that your kitchen is a stylish, functional and relaxing place to spend your time.


Consider different lighting options

With a huge range of kitchen lighting options available, it’s important to consider all of your available options in order to create a stylish, functional lighting design. You don’t just have to stick to the traditional down lights and pendant lights in your kitchen – there are a variety of lighting options which will add an extra dimension to your kitchen.


Task Lighting

Task lighting is perfect for use where a little more light is required, such as food preparation areas including the cooker, sink and worktops. These lights are the brightest, most functional type of kitchen lighting and, as the name suggests, should be used for carrying out tasks within the room.

Under-cabinet LED strip lights are the perfect task lighting options and will easily direct light over the areas where you need the most light. LED lighting doesn’t generate as much heat as traditional halogen lights and they’re also incredibly energy efficient, making them a great money-saving option for your kitchen.


Accent lighting


Accent kitchen lighting. Pendant lights and wall lights facing down


Accent lighting can really bring the whole room together. These sort of lights are the perfect way to draw attention to specific features within your kitchen, such as an island or dining table. Pendant lights make excellent accent lights and help to illuminate your dining areas, as well as adding a stylish, decorative touch to your kitchen.

LED strip lights are another excellent choice of accent lighting, due to their incredible versatility. By installing strip lights inside cabinets and under counters, you can subtly draw attention to the little details in your kitchen and add the perfect finishing touch to the whole room.


Ambient Lighting

Just as the name suggests, ambient lighting adds ambiance and character to the room. Ambient lighting is cast over a wide area and doesn’t focus on any particular feature, so is perfect as a general source of light. Recessed downlights are the most common source of ambient lighting in a kitchen. They look great when arranged in rows across the entire ceiling.

The ever-versatile LED strip lights are another great example of ambient lighting. When placed on top of kitchen cupboards facing the ceiling, the light will bounce back into the room and create a warm, soft glow for a truly inviting atmosphere.

Finally, natural light is another great form of ambient lighting, but is often overlooked. When designing your kitchen, you should try to use sources of natural light to your advantage and tailor the rest of your lighting configuration around this.


Natural kitchen lighting. Large window and door into large kitchen.


Use kitchen lighting to your advantage

A clever use of kitchen lighting can truly transform your room. If you’re working with a relatively small space, your kitchen lighting can help to make the room look lighter and more open.

By angling some directional spotlights up towards your cabinets and walls, you can dramatically affect the appearance of the room. This lighting technique helps to reflect light back into the room and create the illusion of a larger, more open space.

Ambient ceiling downlights can also help to make your kitchen appear larger than it is by creating the appearance of a raised ceiling, thus, visually expanding the space. However, it’s important to note that these lights should be strategically-placed along the ceiling. Placing them all in one line can actually make the room look narrower.

LED striplights are another great option for a kitchen with limited space. They’re unobtrusive and don’t take up any extra space. Simply install the striplights under your cabinets and along your skirting boards for a simple way to increase the light in the room without using up any extra space.


Get creative

Getting creative with your kitchen lighting can create some truly stunning results. By placing strip lights under cabinets and islands, you can create the illusion of floating furniture, adding a striking modern twist to the whole room.

Your lighting doesn’t just have to be focused on the exterior of your furniture, either. If you’ve got glass cabinets, you can add some extra dimension to the room by installing lights within your cabinets and illuminate those all-important wine glasses.


Set the mood

By adding a dimmer switch to your lighting configuration, you can truly set the mood in your kitchen. This simple addition will ensure that the room is a multi-functional space. Whether you’re cooking, working, enjoying a romantic dinner or even hosting some guests, having complete control over the intensity of your lights will help you to set the mood for any occasion.

Another important thing to consider is being able to control each set of lights individually. This means you’re able to customise your lighting depending on the occasion. The last thing you want is for your bright task lights to be detracting from a candlelit dinner. Equally, you might prefer to have your other lights dimmed while you’re preparing your food. Having multiple options available will ensure that your kitchen remains truly multi-functional.


Don’t overdo it

With so many lighting options available, it’s easy to go overboard and install as many lights as you possibly can. However, it’s important to use just the right amount of kitchen lighting to keep the room looking sleek and striking.

Many people tend to go overboard with pendant lights, having multiple pendant lights hanging all throughout the room. Ideally, pendant lights should be used to add a visual interest to the room and highlight important features. But make sure they don’t make the room look cluttered and messy. Sticking to two or three pendant lights over the dining area or island will keep this as the room’s focal point, rather than detracting from the rest of the room.


Low hanging pendant lights over dining table


By following these kitchen lighting techniques, you’re sure to create a truly welcoming kitchen. A kitchen perfect for hosting guests, exploring new recipes and enjoying meals with your family. If you’re looking for even more kitchen design ideas, then we have got all of the tips and advice for you.


About the author: Efficient light are experts in lighting solutions for both commercial and domestic purposes and can help you out with expert lighting advice, no matter what your project.


  1. Ash
    December 18, 2017 / 3:33 pm

    Wow, what an amazing post! I never knew the different ways to even light up my kitchen. Great tips!

    • sarahaelsley
      December 18, 2017 / 3:34 pm

      Yeah there’s loads of food for thought here! Thanks for commenting.

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