How to Design Kitchen Lighting

The kitchen can be one of the most difficult rooms to light successfully. With careful planning and attention to detail, however, you can pull together many different kinds of lights and create a comfortable space that’s easy to use. 

If you’re intending to design your kitchen lighting perfectly, there are a number of considerations that you need to keep in mind. We will cover all of the necessary details throughout this article, and hopefully by the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll have a good idea of what you need to do in order to design the perfect kitchen lighting. 

Read on for our top tips to create a bright kitchen that you and your family will love!

Kitchen ceiling lights

Consider the Different Parts of the Kitchen

Before you start planning where to place lights and what kinds, you should decide which parts of your kitchen are the most important to you. Focus on choosing the correct type of light for countertops, stoves, and shelves, keeping in mind the lighting effect you would like to create in each space. 

Once you have considered which types of lights might work in each space, you can begin to build a list of lights which cover all of your needs and work with each other to shine a light on your surfaces, to brighten up shadowy cupboards, and to give your kitchen the overall look you want.

Don’t Forget About the Sun

Natural light is another factor that you need to consider. You should aim to get as much natural light in your kitchen as you can, but you will need to design lighting for the nighttime, or for when there is not enough sunlight.

Even if you succeed in getting natural light flowing through the whole room, you may still need to use some of your lights. For example, when cooking on a stove, it is a good idea to have a recessed spotlight pointed right at each of the elements. This way, you ensure that you can see everything you’re doing and reduce the risk of making a mess or even burning yourself. 

Plan Your Units and Fittings First

You must know exactly where all of your appliances, cupboards and everything else will be before you consider the lighting. However, you should also have the lighting in mind when you install these things. 

Your lights must cover all surfaces in the kitchen, especially the ones you will be working on. So, when you install those surfaces and appliances, you need to make sure there is space to install the needed lighting fixtures as well. 

You should only proceed when you’ve worked out a plan to get all of your surfaces and appliances installed with the necessary fixtures as well. You may want to consider looking for an interior designer to help you make the plans if you’re struggling for inspiration.

Under cabinet lighting

Utilise the Three Main Types of Lighting

Task Lighting

Task lighting involves using focused lights such as recessed spotlights to illuminate a specific area. Task lights are those that you will install either inside or out from the ceiling. They will light up your countertops, the stove, sink, and anywhere else that you might be working in the kitchen. 

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting helps to create the feel of the room. Things such as pendant lighting or LED strips from the ceiling or under a glass table would be considered accent lighting. 

These lights will set the mood of your kitchen, so don’t choose them lightly. Consider the feel you want to express in your kitchen and go from there. 

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is used to create the finishing touches in a room. These lights will cover any dark spots left in your kitchen, as well as put some light on the walls during nighttime. 

Wire Each Lighting Type Separately

Whether you’re working with the spotlights over each counter, the recessed spotlights in your cabinets, or some other form of lighting, you must wire them separately. You will need different lights at different times, so you can’t have them all wired together. 

The worst thing you could do is need your stove spotlight but have to turn on the entire kitchen lighting system just for that one light. Imagine how much power you would waste! 

Use Warm White Light Bulbs

You don’t just need lots of powerful lights in your kitchen. You need lights that will suit the atmosphere and your eyes. If the lighting you use is too powerful, it can cause you to have headaches or other issues while you try to focus on your cooking. 

Warm white light bulbs are the best colour temperature lights that you can use. These lights have between 2400K to 2700K. Using these lights calms you while helping you focus on your cooking. It also sets the mood of the kitchen, making it more inviting for others.

modern kitchen lighting

Final Kitchen Lighting Tips

  • Keep your lighting a significant distance away from the cabinets. If the lighting is too near, the cabinets will be overly lit and look strange.
  • Use only a few recessed spotlights if your ceiling isn’t very high. Too many and your surfaces will be overwhelmed with light. 
  • Add dimmers to your spotlights when possible. The dimmers will allow you to adjust the lighting based on how much natural light you already have. This will save your eyes and your money!
  • Set up your lights in such a way that it is easy to switch from a work-based cooking session to a warm social gathering. This way your guests won’t feel intimidated by the light you needed while you were cooking. This is especially useful for those whose kitchen and dining room are connected.
  • If your kitchen has more than one entrance, make sure to wire switches at both doors for ease of use. 
  • When possible, use LEDs to save energy. 

Are You Ready to Design Kitchen Lighting?

You’ve now learned all you need to know in order to successfully design your kitchen lighting. Remember, if you are still having trouble figuring something out, ask a professional to help you make your kitchen lighting perfect!

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