Light up your life

Your kitchen is the heart of your home and often performs more than one function. So it needs to be well lit.

But this means more than just having good task lighting over preparation areas; ambient and feature lighting are a consideration for entertaining or when visitors call.

When lighting your kitchen try to achieve three levels of lighting; general lighting for the area, task lighting for preparation areas and feature lighting to add interest.

Kitchens need very good levels of illumination and the best way to achieve this is to provide a good general light source that puts light on the ceiling.

There are many ways to achieve this, from simple ceiling mounted oyster lights to a custom made linear suspended fitting over the island with an up lighting component.

Installing dimmers for these light sources is a good idea so the amount of light you have can be controlled depending on the occasion.


Most importantly, kitchens are an area where down lights and spot lights are well suited. The high levels of bright and directional light they give illuminate areas where tasks such as chopping, peeling, mixing etc take place. The sink area is also an area where good levels of task lighting are needed.

It is important, where possible, to install lights directly over the area where the light is required. Spot lights which can be adjusted to aim at the area needed can be used if it isn’t possible to place the fitting directly over the task area. Having a light that is located behind your head so you are working in shadow is neither desirable nor pleasant.

Feature and decorative lighting in a kitchen can help create the wow factor. LED strip lighting running under kick boards, around the edge of benches and behind splashbacks is very effective. In open plan living spaces this can provide lovely background lighting in the evening when all other lights are turned off. And there are coloured LED options available for those who wish to be more adventurous.

You are only limited by your imagination with regards to feature lighting over islands and in other areas of the kitchen. Suspended single light fittings are common in groups of three or five (odd numbers are more visually appealing).

A very popular option is bespoke extruded fittings which span the length of the island to provide up lighting and direct task lighting; very good for when the kids are sitting at the bench doing their homework, or you are reading the paper with a coffee.

There is no reason why you can’t put a chandelier in your kitchen if you are brave enough to – as long as your task lighting is taken care of.

When choosing your kitchen lighting, consult a lighting professional – they have the training required to adequately light your kitchen.

Good lighting design is crucial to making the most of the heart of the home and good planning at the outset will give you an enjoyable, workable space you will love cooking and entertaining in.

Article supplied by Lyonne Edwards from Aesthetic Lighting.

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