Kitchen lighting - 10 contemporary ideas
The primary function of a kitchen may still be cooking, but it increasingly serves as one of the main entertaining spaces in the home. The right lighting can introduce several levels of brightness, make a room feel larger, and dramatically alter its mood and feel. It's important to invest in a scheme that provides good task lighting, as well as creating the ideal ambience.
Kitchen lighting can sometimes be the last consideration when it comes to desiging your space, but for a kitchen to look and function well, the space must be lit properly. Experts agree that the best time to decide on a new lighting scheme is at the planning stage, as you're signing off your kitchen drawings. Leave it until later, and it could become an afterthought, with limited possibilities.
A good kitchen lighting system needs at least two elements: bright, shadow-free task lighting for safe cooking and preparation, and atmospheric illumination to create mood, highlight architectural features and make the room feel more inviting.
Under-cupboard spots fitted directly above the hob, sink and chopping board will ensure bright, focused task lighting. Make sure you position them as close to the front edge of the cupboard as possible, otherwise you’ll illuminate the back of the worktop only.
For wider mood lighting, lights that are controlled separately are preferable so you can create different moods at the flick of a switch. To achieve the right ambience in relaxing zones, wall lights and ‘washers’ will add subtle background illumination.
Feature and accent lighting
Accent lighting guides the eye to points of interest around the room. Lights built into the kick boards of an island or a run of units give a gentle glow across the floor, making the cabinetry look like it’s floating. Meanwhile, a run of LED lights under the rim of a central island worktop creates an inviting spot — especially if there are bar stools there.
A series of beautiful pendant lights or a fabulous single lamp shade above a dining table will help differentiate the dining space from the kitchen’s work zones. For added flexibility, try fitting pendants with a dimmer switch, so the island can function as a bright area for working, or a place to gather with friends, with softer low-level lighting.