Try to ensure that lights fitted near hobs fit flush to the wall or ceiling – making them easy to wipe clean. Using fittings with a covered glass is ideal.
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This article was first published in April, 2013. It has been updated for the current season.
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Forget grids of downlights; use light only where it is required. Work surfaces need good task lighting, whether it is from downlights or pendants.
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Under-cupboard lighting is usually best for task lighting because it is well hidden and stops your shadow obscuring the worktop. The latest LED products have less heat output, which saves money and prevents cupboards and food becoming too warm.
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If your kitchen or dining area is small, you can increase the sense of space by using directional spotlights angled towards the cupboards and walls. The light is reflected back into the room and is much more effective than shining the light straight down at the floor.
Layer the light. I’ve mentioned general and task lighting, but also add some accent and ambient lighting. Using a number of different sources lends a more ‘three-dimensional’ feel and so helps you create the mood you want.
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Perfectly on trend, this chrome spotlight is versatile, stylish, and ideal for making small spaces seem larger than they actually are.
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With glass cabinets, I prefer to light them internally. They become almost like wall lights, so make sure you don’t mind people seeing what you have inside them.
Using a continuous Contour LED strip or individual fittings of only two watts is an easy way to create practical and attractive lighting.
Lights below an island unit can make it appear to float Credit: John Cullen
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Be sure to check the packaging for a colour temperature of around 2,700 Kelvin and a CRI (Colour Rendition Index) over 90 to ensure you end up with a warm, attractive light.
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5 The latest developments of LEDs means the most recent downlights are only eight or 10W rather than 50W. A large kitchen with 14 downlights and under-cupboard lighting can now be lit with only 200 watts.
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Angle spotlights at the cupboards and walls to create the illusion of space Credit: John Cullen
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Made from either solid brass or steel, this copper pendant light comes in a choice of finishes and would be perfectly suited to any kitchen, hanging just above the main island or kitchen table.
As well as adding impact and visual interest, a row of pendants over an island will help provide a visual divide between the dining and kitchen areas.
Think creatively about where you put your light sources. For example, incorporating lighting below an island unit will make it appear to float. In kitchens with high ceilings, try adding uplights to the tops of cabinets. It adds general light to the space so you will need fewer downlights.
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Each source should be controlled individually so that the scheme can create anything from the feeling of bright daylight to an intimate atmosphere over dinner.
Use spotlights to shine a light on the areas that need it the most, such as where you’ll be doing the majority of your cooking an eating.
If using track lights, the key is to position the track so that spotlights never shine in your eye. Too often the track is located in the centre of a kitchen, meaning a central island may be lit effectively but people sitting to one side are in danger of being either in shadow or full glare.
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Everything you need to know about lighting your kitchen Credit: John Cullen
All your lighting doesn’t need to come from one source. Consider getting a floor lamp to illuminate task areas in your kitchen.
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This lightbulb will add some vintage charm to your kitchen, and is available in clear and amber glass finishes.
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Spots should be placed where you need the light. Selecting directional versions gives added flexibility. For example, lights over a kitchen counter often work best placed above the edges of the counter, but angled across it to create glare-free lighting.
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Place lights over the areas that need them most Credit: John Cullen