The key to any good lighting plan in the kitchen is finding the right balance between task lighting and ambient lighting. It’s easy to focus only on one of the two, but with our tips for choosing the right kitchen lighting, you’ll be able to design a kitchen light plan that’s perfect for you.
The Rete Pendant, $99 from Bunnings, is made from a black mesh material featuring a double layer.
“Because the kitchen is the heart of the home, it has to look like a beautiful space and not simply a utilitarian one,” she says. “I love the Rete pendant from Bunnings because it ticks both the style and functionality boxes. The black mesh looks stunning and the exposed bulb is perfect for illumination. It has quite a strong look so would work perfectly in an all-white kitchen or with materials like marble and granite.”
“It’s vital there’s enough light,” she says. “Have your lighting plan done at the same time as the renovation, and allow for at least three different circuits so you can easily control the different layers of light.”
The Nobi Pendant, $84 from Bunnings, has an industrial style and ideal for small or large spaces.
“LED strip lighting has longevity and can either highlight what’s in the cabinet or the cabinetry itself. It is a nice way to highlight beautiful workmanship.”
Task lighting makes it easier to see what you’re doing while you’re cooking, chopping or doing any other work in the kitchen. Many range hoods come with an integrated light for over the cooking surface, but you also need lighting over your island, peninsula or table. In general, task lighting should be around 30″ above the work surface. Illuminate dark corners of your cabinets with motion sensor activated lights that go on when you open the cabinet and off when you close the door. Under-cabinet lighting is also a good option for adding extra light without taking up a lot of space.
“LED flexi strips project a stream of evenly distributed light which is perfect for showing off splashbacks, or as under bench lighting or within open shelving,” she says.
The Marmo Pendant, $149 each from Bunnings, is made from metal with a marble finish.
To create a warm, inviting atmosphere, it’s essential to layer your lighting. Use a combination of natural lighting whenever possible, mixed with ambient lighting to amplify the overall light level in the room and show off your home’s decor. Add extra light to your workspaces and eating areas with pendant lights, floor lamps, and table lamps.
Note: Indoor Lighting only available at Armadale & Bunbury in WA.
“When it comes to lighting the kitchen, it is essential to consider functionality as well as visual impact,” says lighting expert Mariangela Galtieri. “If you have the luxury of selecting lighting from the kitchen floor plan, then it is important to choose the look and the functionality from the ground-up.”
With most kitchens today situated in open plan living areas, the decorative style of lighting you choose will determine the overall styling of the space. Bunnings interior lighting collection, says Brown, is a go-to for affordable style statements.
Decorative lighting is a great way to explore new styles without making and big ticket changes that are hard to reverse. You can easily hang some string lights around your kitchen for a festive touch or incorporate a few lanterns into the room. Not only will it brighten your space, but you can repurpose the lanterns for use in basically every other room of your hoe – even outdoors.
Add a bit of drama and hang a chandelier in the kitchen above your kitchen island or above the sink. If you don’t have the overhead space for a large chandelier, you can achieve the same effect with a flushmount ceiling lights and pendants hung over the island often create a balanced, elegant look.
Galtieri agrees. “Because it is made from a mesh style metal, installing a decorative globe provides beautiful reflection through the mesh shade. As a smaller fitting, Rete works in a small kitchen as a singular light, and in larger spaces, grouped in a straight line over a bench top,” she says.
“If you are after the Scandinavian look, then a pendant light in metal and wood, like the Nobi pendant from Bunnings, is ideal,” says Galtieri. “It’s crafted from metal, even the wood look is metal! It suits an industrial-style kitchen just as beautifully as a Scandi-inspired space.”
The LED strip lighting under this counter is simple but effective in this kitchen.
Kitchen design is not just about tapware and appliances. A well-considered lighting plan should be at the top of your priority list when designing your kitchen.
But what does a kitchen lighting plan entail? We asked three design experts to explain how to light up the heart of your home for superior functionality and guaranteed style.
For a more minimal design, look for a pendant featuring simple styling and materials.
“It makes it the centerpiece over the table rather than on it,” says Galtieri. Discover more of the Bunnings indoor lighting collection.
Designer Kara Durack Shanahan from KDS Design agrees, and says it is crucial to assign each layer of lighting a specific purpose.
Stagger three over an island bench, or suspend above the table in an open plan kitchen and dining space.
“Its main purpose is to enhance the overall style of the kitchen, soften the space, bounce off different finishes, and highlight areas,” says Shanahan.
“The Marmo Pendant from Bunnings lighting collection has a luxe look without the price tag,” says Galtieri. “It is made from metal but looks like marble. Using the real material to create a pendant would be extremely heavy so this is a clever innovation and a real style statement.”
Brown agrees. “Marble is popular and complements other marble features like kitchen benches and splashbacks beautifully. I would love to see it hanging over an island bench.”
The second layer of light serves to highlight specific areas.
“Downlights on dimmers as a main source of light is ideal,” says Shanahan. “If not, consider track lighting or lamp shades fitted to the ceiling with a defuser to cover the globes.”
For a more luxurious look, a pendant in an opulent marble look is a stylish steal.
Every kitchen is different so start by taking stock of what you’re working with. Minimal windows, dark finishes and tall ceilings create a dark room that needs more supplemental lighting than a room with lots of windows and bright finishes. In general, dark surfaces absorb light while light surfaces reflect it around the room. Take a good look at the natural lighting in the room throughout the day to start working out a plan to lighten and brighten your kitchen. Make sure to also note which spaces are the most active so your work areas are safely lit.
Kitchen spotlight: A helpful guide to kitchen lighting design
Galtieri agrees. “Downlights are great for directing light to a specific zone like a bench top, sink, or stove, but pendants create WOW factor.”