If you’re reworking your kitchen, then it’s only natural that you’ll want to show it off. The only problem is, it’s not always easy to enjoy your brand-new upgrades and show them off to best effect if they’re veiled in darkness. Great lighting can help – so what are the best lighting options for a kitchen space?
What to look for in kitchen lighting
The truth is that there’s an almost unlimited number of lighting options for your new kitchen. Much of it comes down to personal preference. But there are a couple of important factors to look for in kitchen lighting, which can help to ensure that your new upgrades really look great and stand out:
The colour temperature scale extends all the way from an almost flame-like orange, to a much cooler light that has quite a blue hue. The Energy Saving Trust recommends a 3000 Kelvin light for kitchens. This is still considered to be a welcoming warm white, and it’s also suitable for food prep tasks.
Along with temperature, it’s also important to consider light intensity in a kitchen space. The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) advises a 250 lux light for domestic kitchens. That’s a little stronger than what you’d typically have in a living room, but it provides better lighting for kitchen tasks.
Kitchen lighting options
If you use the advice from CIBSE and The Energy Saving Trust as a rough guide, you can’t really go wrong. But if you’re looking for a touch of inspiration, here are 4 options we think are perfect for new kitchens:
Under-cabinet & recessed lighting
When you’ve just upgraded your kitchen, you want those upgrades to be the star of the show, right? Of course you do. You want all eyes on your new kitchen doors. You want your new fridge/freezer to shine. You don’t want your hard work being overshadowed by decorative fittings and fixtures. In an upgraded kitchen, the light itself is crucial. That’s why we love under-cabinet and recessed lighting options. These hide the fittings, and simply provide a glow that illuminates your impressive new features.
Task lighting – such as downlighters, flexible LED strips, and directional spotlights (or ‘eyeball’ lights as they’re sometimes known) – are very popular in kitchen spaces. They provide some much-needed direct illumination in ‘high pressure’ areas, such as food prep countertops, hobs, and sinks. But they don’t have to be used for activity areas alone. In fact, task lighting can be a great way to shine a light on some of your most beloved upgrades, making it easy to highlight your new kitchen’s very best bits.
Eye-catching pendant lights go against our idea of downplaying the kitchen lighting to make the upgrades the star of the show. However, these statement lights can work really well if they match your colour scheme. While fresh white kitchens are still popular, we’re seeing more and more homeowners looking to inject a splash of colour into their spaces. Upgraded kitchen doors can come in all flavours of yellows, blues, reds, greens, and oranges. Pendant lights that match the colour theme can be a wonderful (and practical) accessory.
Finally, the most overlooked kitchen lighting option is often natural light! A good way to maximise natural light – even in the darker winter months – is to keep your window sills clear of large plants and decor. Swap cosy curtains for more slimline blinds… or perhaps even nothing at all. Skylights and French doors can also help, although these design features aren’t possible for every kitchen. If you opted for high gloss kitchen doors during your refit, these are great for reflecting natural light all around your kitchen space.