Lighting

Kitchen lighting for harmonious practicality

Start with a plan for your kitchen lighting ideas. Sketch your spaces, remembering first and foremost that a well-lit work area is essential for safety, and next think about mood and ambience.

Practical guide - 24 January 2019

Tip 1

Large kitchen layers

Layer your light sources in a large kitchen to add depth and contour. A high central point mixed with medium-height spotlights for work areas like stove-top and counters plus low-level pendants for dining areas is ideal.

Tip 2

Small kitchen spotlights

Even in a small kitchen you can add interest with spotlights focused on your work area for practicality. Find kitchen lighting fixtures on the right scale to reflect the size of the space to create a natural-feeling design.

Tip 3

Recessed ambient light

Recessed lighting in ceilings or alcoves provides essential overall cover. It should include the whole area, not just those parts of the room that are not illuminated with working spotlights. Always aim for more than a single light source.

Tip 4

Varied pendant lights

Pendant lights over a dining area create a pool of warmth and intimacy: two of the most important design elements to create a dream home. Don’t restrict yourself to the classic dome-shaped shade; small pendant chandeliers make a sparkling focus.

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Tip 5

Under cabinet lighting

One of the best kitchen lighting ideas in decades is the practical under-cabinet strip light. These are easy to attach yourself and don’t dominate your lighting design but create a background-inclusive glow that really enhances the space.

Tip 6

Consider your colors

The color scheme of your kitchen affects the amount of light you need. White walls are easy to light, but if you have embraced the trend for darker kitchen colors, you need to up the level of lighting to compensate.

Tip 7

Light shade colors

Remember that the color of your shades, particularly if you have one or more pendant lights, naturally provides a splash of color, so decide on your overall scheme before finalizing the light shades – they could be the highlight you need.

Tip 8

Sculptural lighting shapes

Some beautiful kitchen lighting can be created with flexible monorail lighting. You could use a rail shaped to reflect or contrast with the contours of the room, making practical workspace solutions with an added artistic sculptured effect.

Tip 9

Ultimate cabinet practicality

For a brilliantly practical touch, install a micro switch, the kind used in the door of the refrigerator, in your kitchen cabinets. It makes finding what is stored away much easier and looks great as you open and close doors.

Tip 10

Independent lighting control

Don’t link all your lighting to an overall control switch: keep as many of the elements independently switched as possible. That way you can vary the scene and create mood lighting to fit the occasion.

In a nutshell

Use layered lighting for depth and practicality: ambient ceiling lights, spotlights for work areas and low-level pendant lights for dining.

Light kitchen cabinets inside and out: under the cabinet for added warmth and depth, inside for practicality.

If your kitchen colors are dark, increase the level of lighting all around.

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