The kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where you cook meals for your family as you come together to start or finish the day. In our busy modern lives, it also doubles as a space to relax and home office, as well as a storage space and a place to entertain. That’s a lot of functions for just one room, so it’s important that you use lighting which is both stylish and effective for your kitchen.
Task lighting is perhaps the most important aspect of planning your kitchen lighting. You will need to place task lighting around your cooking and prep areas, for safety more than anything else. You’ll want to place task lighting above sinks, worktops and hobs. Recessed lighting works best for this, as hanging fixtures can attract dirt from cooking. Above the hob, opt for an extractor with four or more lights, and use pendant lighting above any islands. Drawer and cabinet lighting also works well, as it saves you time looking for a specific utensil or ingredient.
If you are using your kitchen as a multi-functional space with elements of a living area, you’ll want to use mood lighting to create ambience. You’ll want to seek out softer, warmer lighting that can be easily dimmed – this will transform the space from somewhere to cook to somewhere where you can entertain and relax. Plinth lighting (also known as strip lighting) works great for this, especially around an island or breakfast bar, to give the illusion of floating furniture.
If your kitchen is open-plan with a dining area, you’ll want to use different types of lighting to distinguish between the two areas. Pendant lights work best for dining tables, and you can use wall lighting to create a warm glow.
Lighting on different levels works perfectly in a kitchen. Mix overhead pendant lights with undercabinet lighting for maximum results. Try and make everything dimmable, including the undercabinet lights, to create the ideal mood.
Avoid lighting from the ceiling only
One mistake that some people make when designing lighting for their kitchen is lighting just from the ceiling. This can lead to shadows on the work surfaces, which isn’t good for safety whilst cooking. Lighting the backsplash above your hob is an easy way to avoid shadows.
LED bulbs save both energy and money, as they last for years without ever needing to be replaced. You can use them in task lighting and mood lighting, and they work well in any room, not just the kitchen. Here are some uses of LED kitchen lighting:
- Accent lighting on shelves
- Lighting glass countertops from below
- Highlighting architectural features
- Track lighting in rooms where recessed lighting cannot be used.
It doesn’t matter whether your kitchen is open plan, or small and closed off. You can use lighting to transform your kitchen into a stylish environment that is suitable for cooking, dining and entertaining.