They’re ideal over islands and dining areas to bring a warmer, more ambient light to the area, making a real visual impact and creating a sense of intimacy and cosiness. They bring light down to just above head level, are easy to install, and can be very reasonably priced. There are loads of different options, so you’re sure to find something that suits you.
Track lighting is a system of lighting that involves the use of several fixtures along a continuous track device. Even though they’re generally attached to the ceiling, they can also work when mounted on walls or along exposed beams. To make your kitchen track lighting more attractive, you can replace the light brackets with small pendants.
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Kitchen lighting can be roughly divided into three categories: general lighting (for overall illumination), task lighting (for detailed tasks) and accent lighting (for setting a mood, or doing something like illuminating glass-front cabinets).
The most important part of making a statement with your kitchen lights is positioning: your piece should draw the eye in the right way, and shouldn’t become an awkward burden to be dodged. Chandeliers should, in general, be centralised in the room; high enough for even the tallest of guests to easily avoid! Pendent lights really come into their own over islands and tables: then, as long as they’re skimming the salad bowl, they shouldn’t ever pose you a height problem.
Your kitchen is the heart of your home; it’s a place where you can spend lots of time with the family, prepare meals, and entertain guests. Whether your kitchen is open plan or inhabits a separate room, good kitchen lighting design will help you make the most of your space.
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Kitchen lights will always be the best way to set the scene, and the tone, of your room. Paying attention to the intensity of the brightness, the ability to dim, and variation of light sources in different areas is the best kitchen lighting tip we can give when it comes to getting that ambience just right.
These lights bring a real sense of style to your kitchen; they can come in the form of hanging lanterns, chandeliers, and repurposed industrial-style fittings. If you have enough room they look great used in multiples, hung in a straight line.
Recessed lights fit into a cavity cut into the ceiling of the room, with the face of the fixture even with the ceiling and the bulb mounted inside. You’ll need a few to illuminate the entire kitchen, but might consider setting them up with the option of only having a few on at a time – allowing you to choose the light level and ambience of your kitchen.
Having lights under your wall-mounted cabinets is functional as well as atmospheric. If you have work surfaces under these cabinets, the extra light can really help with food preparation.
A common misunderstanding is that tall kitchen ceilings require more lights, but that’s not always the case. Tall ceilings allow light to spread further, so recessed lighting can easily provide coverage for the room. The lights should be 24-42 inches apart to provide light to the entire room, not just areas without task lights.
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Lighting sets the overall mood and feel of your home, as well as contributing to its overall design. When you have great kitchen lighting, the room becomes a more effective workspace and it can even help you keep it cleaner. Setting the mood for a dinner party can happen at the touch of a switch, or if you’re a passionate cook, you can focus light where you really want it – for example, smaller and more focused lights can help with the chopping and peeling. Small touches such as a stylish and functional kitchen lighting design can even help you when it comes to selling up.
A great advantage to track lighting is that they can bring the light closer to areas where you need good visibility, and they allow flexibility in both size and position. There are plenty of track lighting systems that can be shaped in a way to suit you; for example, your lighting can be in a curve to work in irregularly proportioned rooms.
They add atmosphere, create a warm glow that softens shadows, and serve as a functional night light – you can turn these on at night for something not too harsh on the eyes. They are popular because they are very cost-effective, affordable, and energy saving.
Plinth lights are a modern, functional way to add warmth and light to your space without taking up a lot of room. Plinth lights are normally rows of small LED lights fitted into the skirting panel running along the bottom of kitchen units and cupboards.
Making a statement doesn’t have to be all about the glitz and glamour of a chandelier—although the pizazz of a sparkling piece can really complement a contemporary kitchen! For a more industrial chic vibe, look for a low hanging, metallic, pendant piece. In a more modern kitchen, look out for feature pieces in chrome and silver. If you’re looking to furnish something more along the lines of kitchen farmhouse look, you can still opt for a statement chandelier; but instead, look for a design crafted from natural materials, such as wood.
Recessed lights installed in the underside of cabinets above worktops are the best way to give your kitchen lighting a functional feel: you’ll really appreciate it in those short winter days! Be sure that these flush lights are positioned as close to the front edges as possible to ensure the best distribution of light on your worktops. You should also be lighting above your sink and cooker.
These types of light include T4 fluorescent strips, which hide underneath cabinets to provide a sleek, subtle light source. For a quick, easy lighting fix, puck lights are battery operated and are easy to stick on without any wiring. For the ultimate in under cabinet lighting, LED strips are economical and have an even longer life than fluorescent lights.
Mood lighting depends on control: being sure that every light (and lamp) is fully dimmable is an absolutely must. There are even clever light ideas for kitchens that can change colour with just the click of a button! Although setting the switch to ‘red’ might seem rather sudden and dramatic in most situations, a subtle colour change at different times of day and in different seasons can make a real difference in your kitchen lighting design.
If you’re looking to furnish your luxury kitchen with a statement lighting design, there are some amazing options out there for you. But it isn’t only opulent kitchens that can afford to make a statement with their lighting: even in a modest kitchen, a single hanging pendent over a dining table can draw the eye and become a real feature in the room. Using a distinctive lampshade or beautiful pendant fitting will help to distinguish your kitchen’s dining area from the workspace. As contemporary family life continues to make kitchens a more social space in the home, using a statement piece can be a great kitchen lighting tip to ‘zone’ up the heart of your home.
Most of all, when you’re planning your kitchen lighting, design something that fits with your lifestyle, your needs, and your unique taste. In no time at all you’ll have a kitchen to be proud of!
Using your lights to accent certain elements of the room can be a great kitchen lighting tip. Highlighting, lowlighting, and accenting are subtle ways to guide the eye to the areas where you want attention.
If you’re not sure how much lighting to go for, remember that it’s better to have too much light than not enough. We recommend installing a dimmer switch, as it gives you lots of flexibility, can save on energy costs, and is great for setting the mood.
The right lighting can work wonders in your kitchen: increasing the sense of space, highlighting feature areas, and setting the ambience. It’s important to consider the size, layout, and character of your own kitchen when planning your kitchen lighting design. There is a huge range of options out there—from different styles to makes, models, finishes, technical aspects, and everything in between. Be sure you’re making the right choice by reading up on our top kitchen lighting tips.
These bright and focussed task lights are best paired with a centralised general light source. Consider track lighting for a functional but stylish addition to your kitchen design ideas. With something of an industrial style look, track lights can be a fantastic way to focus the light in your kitchen, with the option of changing directions and positioning in the future. Designing a track lighting system for your kitchen can be more complex than the installation itself; but, with the potential flexibility it provides, can be really worthwhile.
Achieve feature lighting with clever use of a number of different lighting solutions, including: built in, flush, and cabinet lighting. Building lights into the bottom of upper cabinets, or along the kick board of islands, can create a great effect. Similarly, consider illuminated shelves for a dual effect—a feature lighting element in your kitchen, and a practical light source as well.
Plinth lighting can give a contemporary kitchen the edge by highlighting your flooring: it’s a new concept, but not one that’s too expensive to execute. Using either halogen or LED lamps, simple plinth lights can be installed at low levels, into the kick board of kitchen units. These lights can create the clever illusion that your cabinets are floating, and also cast a pretty illumination across your flooring. This kind of kitchen lighting idea can work especially well with wooden floorboards, but would be a great complement for any feature flooring.
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Also known as spotlights, recessed lighting is a modern and discreet way to illuminate your home, and they’ve been a popular part of kitchen lighting design for a while. These small, round lights sit flush with the ceiling and usually have sleek chrome fittings, which is great for fans of clean lines and simplicity.
An increasingly popular choice to achieve ambient kitchen lighting is wall washers—although, unfortunately they aren’t able to wash your walls as well as light them! These light fixtures are designed to sit against walls and bathe the area around in a soft illumination; alongside other light sources, wall washers will add a beautiful and subtle background illumination in your kitchen.
For even more design inspiration and top tips, check out our other kitchen ideas and you never know, you might even be able to add even more value to your property too!
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Many kitchens will feature the usual hanging bulb or other light source that’s designed to illuminate the whole room, but there are plenty of other options that can add more warmth, personality, and utility to your kitchen. We’ve listed some of the best kitchen lighting ideas to help you on your way.
Pendant lighting is just what it sounds like – lighting that involves gorgeous, stylish pendants or hanging features.
Lighting ideas for your kitchen need to make a safe, well-lit environment for your work surfaces, as well as creating interesting effects. Task lighting puts functionality first by predominantly working to light the areas that need it most. In this case, it should be your first priority to light work surfaces and other food preparation areas; while general room lighting can be provided from another, centralised light source.
As a general rule, using light on lots of different levels – not just the ceiling – reduces shadows and gives you a more evenly lit space. Task areas will also benefit from higher watt bulbs.
The most important part of getting the right light ideas for your kitchen will always be considering your own room: the layout, style, design, and size. Don’t make a lighting faux pas—like a massive chandelier in a little kitchen, or super contemporary plinth lighting in a traditional farmhouse. Work with what you’ve got; follow our top lighting tips—and you can’t go far wrong!
Of course, every kitchen is different – big or small, the colours, cupboard finish and the placement of your doors and windows will all affect where and how you can install lighting. If you are starting your kitchen from scratch or adding new fixtures to an existing one, we recommend drawing a layout of the floor plan to map out your lighting. Consider where everything else in the kitchen is going so you can make the most of your kitchen lighting ideas, without having to compromise on functionality.