How To Light A Kitchen

brightly lit kitchen

As one of the key rooms in a home, the kitchen can become a hub of life; the perfect spot for socialising, cooking and eating. Having the correct kitchen lighting to make this a unique space is crucial to balancing the right homely ambience with a functional space that lets you cook safely and get your daily tasks done.

Updating your kitchen lighting can be the easiest way to give your old kitchen a fresh new feel. The key idea of lighting your kitchen is to make sure you’re brightening up the full space. Relying on one source of light in your kitchen will leave focus areas in darkness and make the whole room look smaller. 

Instead, you need more flexible lighting that allows you to work safely in the space whatever time of day and whatever the situation of the natural light. 

Best Types of Light For Kitchens

The best way to light up your kitchen effectively is to layer lighting into different levels of the room. Start with the focus areas and then pan out to lighting the overall space. 

Here are a few ideas on how best to do this:

Task Lighting

Firstly, you need to make sure those hard to reach places are well lit. Light up your work surfaces by putting lighting both into and under your kitchen cabinets. This works even better if you have glass cabinets or granite worktops, as the reflections of light onto the two can help brighten up the room.

Task lighting is vital for cooking safely, to follow recipes and to get light into those hard to reach places. It can also dually function as the perfect way to create ambient lighting at nighttime as the spaced-out, more subtle lighting provides easy-to-the-eye light in the dark.

LED strip lights are perfect for kitchen task lighting; not only are they easy to fit and remove they also create the ideal tone of light to help you get your jobs done without straining your eyes.

kitchen under-cabinet lighting

Kitchen Spotlights

Recessed ceiling lighting/downlights can help create a better ambience in your kitchen and fill the gaps that the main kitchen light can’t reach. Spacing out LED spotlights across your kitchen ceiling will give even light coverage to the whole kitchen whilst creating an overall aesthetically pleasing look to the room. 

How To Position Spotlights In A Kitchen

Your kitchen spotlights should be spaced out enough to create an even light coverage without any dark spots. Ensure your spotlights are installed following a clear pattern, preferably with one spotlight per metre square of the ceiling, to keep the light in the room balanced and aesthetic. 

Positioning your spotlights in this way will stop the kitchen lighting from being overpowering whilst creating a well-lit space for the whole family to enjoy.

Track Lighting

Track lighting in a kitchen provides spotlight-style lighting to the central part of the room. The ideal choice if you have a kitchen island or for over the dining table, track lighting should be spaced away from kitchen cabinets and other obstructions so it can be the central focus.

Position the spotlights of your kitchen track lighting so that the bulbs are not shining straight down where people will need to work or eat to avoid irritation and unwanted shadows.

Pendant Lighting

Even in your kitchen space, you can create a bold statement with your lighting using any of our kitchen pendant lights. Adding to your kitchen’s stylish look and creating good mood lighting, you can choose from an array of kitchen pendant styles that will become the focal point of your kitchen lighting. 

Pendant lighting is less about functionality and more about decoration, which is why it’s good to pair kitchen pendant lights with recessed lighting and spotlights to provide the best light coverage across the room.

Choose the right pendant style to suit your kitchen and keep key measurements in mind. For example, if you’re hanging your pendant light over a kitchen island, does it have enough space to drop?

Dimmable Lighting

Choosing dimmable lighting for your kitchen will make it much more practical and will take the light from soft, mood lighting to bright, task lighting in the flick of a switch. Dimmable lighting offers you more control over the lighting in your kitchen and means you can go from day-to-night lighting whenever you need to.

Dimmable kitchen lighting makes your lighting choice much more flexible and can transform the room to fit you, whenever you need it to.

Kitchen Accent Lighting

Accent lighting draws your eye to the more detailed parts of your kitchen in a decorative way. Accent lighting for your kitchen can include above cabinet lighting, toe kick lighting or any art lighting you choose to have.

Perfectly accentuating your kitchen features, this lighting can transform your kitchen island into a focal point and make those kitchen cabinets look bigger to widen out space visually.  

modern kitchen with natural lighting

Kitchen Lighting Top Tips

  • Think about your kitchen lighting choices before you begin! Plan where you want to accentuate, where you’ll need more practical lighting for cooking and where you might want more ambient lighting, perhaps for eating.
  • Measure, measure, measure – installing kitchen lighting before measuring is a fatal mistake that might result in more shadows, overpowering light or a kitchen that isn’t so pleasing on the eye.
  • Layer lighting throughout the kitchen to ensure every space that needs to be well-lit can be. Go from under-cabinet strip lighting to ceiling downlights, pendant lighting to aesthetic lighting and reach all those hard-to-get areas.
  • Opt for some dimmable lighting to keep control and flexibility a crucial part of your kitchen.
  • Not all kitchen lighting has to be for functional purposes, add in some accent lighting to add the finishing touches to your kitchen island or cabinets.

For more kitchen lighting inspiration, check out our blog on easy tips on brightening up your kitchen space or take a look at the full collection of kitchen lighting yourself here at Moonlight Design.

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