The door opens. You step through the threshold and flick the light switch. Beautifully curated lighting welcomes you into your kitchen, a cosy and functional space which makes cooking and eating a delight...
When considering the design of your kitchen, lighting is critical to perfecting the mood of the space. Sometimes overlooked, or considered too late in the design process, it can make or break the atmosphere of a room. Kitchen lighting ideas should be considered at the design stage where lighting can be used to complement the features of the room and highlight interesting accents or quirky features. By finding kitchen lighting images that inspire your own kitchen design, you will have a much better idea of how to light your space.
This article will take you through the process of choosing lighting that inspires you and maximises the potential of your kitchen; when you read the first paragraph, how did you picture your kitchen in front of you? Lighting can be unique and personalised while matching the aesthetic of your design. This inspiring guide will help you refine your ideas and provide insight into the different types of lighting available, so you can have the kitchen of your dreams.
You can also browse our stunning range of kitchen lights for even more inspiration!
What lighting options are available on the market?
The following is a table illustrating the different styles of lighting available on the market;
Ceiling lights are primarily used to provide ambient, multi-purpose lighting. Giving of a wide area of light which is brightest in the immediate vicinity of the light source, ceiling lights are best used when they are placed strategically in the room. There are many styles of ceiling lights available on the market.
Wall lights are versatile. They can be used to highlight accents and quirky details in a room, illuminate a working area, and work particularly well in rooms with medium to high ceilings. Wall lighting can also be used to illuminate specific areas, such as decorative or working areas.
A functional and modern solution great for high-use areas. They can be used to create zones within a room and provide ample lighting for tasks such as food preparation and cooking. It is also possible to angle spotlights so they best suit your needs.
Floor lamps come in a vast array of design options and are best used for adding small amounts of light and creating ambience and character within a room. They are ideal for providing more light in the evening or morning when full lighting isn’t required but some additional light is useful.
Similar to floor lamps, table lamps are available in endless different designs from sleek to unique. Great for adding visual excitement to a room as well as providing a versatile solution for task lighting such as reading or eating.
There are also three different types of bulbs available. These are;
- LED (Light Emitting Diode)
- CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp)
- Halogen Bulbs
LED kitchen lights are the most popular choice as they are energy-efficient, making them cheap to run. They are also highly versatile and suitable for a myriad of purposes because they can be moulded into any shape that you can think of! CFLs are also energy-saving, the most common kind of energy-saving bulb, but unlike LEDs require some time to reach their optimum brightness. Halogen bulbs are at the lowest price point and are dimmable, but have a lower lifespan than the previous two.
What is the style and layout of your kitchen?
Your kitchen is unique to your home. While styles come and go, the most important thing is that your kitchen makes you want to spend time in it. Most kitchen designs fit into the following style categories.
Included are some links to take you straight to our lighting products for your kitchen style or layout;
- Country kitchens
- Contemporary kitchens
- Minimalist kitchens
- Industrial kitchens
- Quirky/eclectic kitchens
- Rustic kitchens
As well as the design style, the layout forms an important role in deciding where to place lighting within the room. There are five common kitchen layouts. These are;
- Galley kitchen
- Island kitchen
- U-shaped kitchen
- L-shaped kitchen
- Peninsula kitchen
Within these layouts, there is of course variation according to each room and user. Each of these layouts will have different lighting requirements owing to the differences in zoning and layout. Consider which of these styles and layouts best matches the design of your kitchen, and work with the lighting accordingly.
Source 3: A beautiful minimalist galley kitchen, making full use of natural light with feature and detail artificial lighting.
Image source: studioblackinterior https://www.instagram.com/studioblackinteriors/
What is the size of your kitchen?
Lighting greatly influences how we perceive the size of a room. By using lighting design to your advantage it is possible to make rooms seem bigger and ceilings seem taller, or create zones within a larger space. For the purpose of this article, room sizes will be divided into four categories;
- Small kitchens
- Medium kitchens
- Medium to large kitchens
- Large kitchens
Small kitchens benefit from ceiling lighting and focused task lighting. Ceiling lighting can help exaggerate the size of the space, while focused task lighting creates a ‘zone’ within the room, making it functional and organised. Medium kitchens benefit from similar lighting to small kitchens, with the opportunity to create an additional zone through task lighting or add character with a fun lighting touch.
By comparison, with medium to large and large kitchens, there are lots of opportunities to get creative (not to say you can’t get creative in more limited space!). Islands, peninsulas, and multi-functional spaces like breakfast bars can be highlighted through kitchen lighting ideas as design features. A functional and exciting combination of ambient, ceiling, and zone lighting can create a sense of character within the space and helps break up large areas into smaller, more manageable ones. Pendant lights are beautiful features in larger spaces where they can be spaced out, and different styles can indicate different zones within the room as illustrated below.
Source 4: A multi-functional large kitchen, featuring a series of pendant lights to make full use of the space. Image source: devolkitchens https://www.instagram.com/devolkitchens/
What will you use your kitchen for?
Everyone uses their kitchen in different ways. Sure, we all use it for cooking. But your kitchen can also be used as;
- A dining room (check out our dining room lighting ideas for more inspiration!)
- A working space
- A socialising area
- A space for homework and kids activities
Your lighting choices should reflect the multi-functional uses of your space. For example, the dining area may use different feature lighting such as in the kitchen featured below;
Source 5: An excellent example of varying lighting choices to denote different zones. Note the pendant lights over the breakfast bar to differentiate it from the working space of the counters. Image source: restoring_rocklands https://www.instagram.com/restoring_rocklands/
Alternatively, socialising areas may feature dimmable ceiling lights to create ambience and a welcoming atmosphere. This is demonstrated below through the ceiling spotlights over the eating and socialising area;
Source 6: A welcoming and relaxing modern kitchen with spotlights, task lighting and pendant lighting to show different areas within the room. Image source: roundhouse_design https://www.instagram.com/roundhouse_design/
The options for small kitchens are just as varied. Due to the abundance of smart, space-saving products on the market, like these kitchen organization ideas, small kitchens can be just as versatile and functional as big kitchens. In fact, small kitchens have the cosy, homely feel that is hard to replicate. By leaning into this, you can create a very welcoming and useful kitchen in a limited space.
Source 7: Even though this kitchen has limited space, it’s bold and beautiful industrial-meets-tropical, brightly-lit design makes it appear more spacious than it is. Image source: cf.arq https://www.instagram.com/cf.arq/
Is there any source of natural light in your kitchen?
The common wisdom of kitchen design is to locate your sink under a window if possible. This creates a centre point for the room and maximises the natural light coming in. If this is not possible, don’t worry! Your sink can still be beautifully lit by a decorative and functional wall or ceiling light.
Source 7: A kitchen sink which both maximises the use of natural light and uses funky wall lights to make a feature of it when the sun has gone down. Image source kitchens.etc https://www.instagram.com/kitchens.etc/
There’s no shortage of kitchen lighting ideas when it comes to perfectly balancing natural and artificial lights. Sometimes overlooked, but when styled correctly they make awesome conversation pieces, are table and floor lamps in the kitchen. If you’re an early riser, or if the sun starts to set as you’re making dinner, it can be useful to have a half-way point between ‘lights on’ and ‘lights off’. Table and floor lamps hit the specification perfectly, as can be seen in the kitchen below.
Source 8: The artful placement of the lamp on this countertop allows it to provide a lovely ambient glow for evening food preparation. Image source: katypoppledesign https://www.instagram.com/katypoppledesign/
Source 9: This ultra-modern art style table lamp would make the perfect addition to a modern or minimalist kitchen. Wofi Soller Table Lamp
What is the colour scheme in your kitchen?
The most exciting part of designing a new kitchen for your home is definitely choosing the colours that suit you best. Colour is a great way to express your personality when designing your kitchen and helps it stay unique to your home. With all of the inspiration that’s available on the internet these days, it can be easy to forget that it’s your home and your kitchen so make it all about you!
Brightly coloured kitchens send an awesome message out to guests, friends, and family. Your kitchen is alive and thriving and you love to be in it! By carefully choosing your kitchen lighting ideas and solutions to stay in keeping with the colour scheme you’ve chosen, you can either tie together an eccentric colour scheme or add a pop of colour to a minimalist one.
Source 10: This kitchen makes a loud and clear statement! It would be perfectly tied together by gold or rose gold ceiling lights like the ones shown below. Image source: magnat_farby https://www.instagram.com/magnat_farby/
Source 11: A unique ceiling light perfect for the kitchen above. Wofi Russel Gold Swirl Ceiling Light
Below is a table featuring the right colour light fittings for the colour schemes in your kitchen. With such a plethora of kitchen colours available, it can be hard to refine!
Warm colour schemes
Warm colour schemes are best suited to warm lights. Touches of gold or copper in light fittings work well with red and orange tones and create a cosy atmosphere.
Cool colour schemes
Cool colour schemes featuring blue tones are best suited to cool lighting. Silver light fittings accentuate exciting light features as well as complementing the ambience of the room.
Don’t be afraid to mix, match and get experimental with your lighting options! There are plenty of colour scheme trends to get you inspired.
What features of your kitchen would you like to draw attention to?
Beautiful design is made with beautiful details. Within the design of your kitchen, there may be lovely details which you would like to highlight. These could be;
- Architectural details
- Decorative items or elements
- Feature walls
- Or anything else you want to show off!
Here are some kitchen lighting ideas for drawing attention:
Source 12: Soft lighting creates depth and elevation to make the shelves decorative as well as functional. Image source: dustin_gerken https://www.instagram.com/dustin_gerken/
Source 13: The wall lights in this kitchen are tied into the colour scheme by the matching door handles and create asymmetry within the design. Image source: kitchens_of_insta https://www.instagram.com/kitchens_of_insta/
Source 14: This floor lamp really brings out the colours of the plant above, creating a feeling of bringing the outdoors in. Image source: bride.r https://www.instagram.com/bride.r/
Hopefully, this extensive collection of kitchen lighting ideas sparks your own inspiration to create a beautiful kitchen for your home. From deciding between ceiling lights or wall lights, the colour of the light fittings, the right style of statement lighting for your home, you are now ready to create a perfectly-lit kitchen. Most of all, remember your kitchen is unique to you, so don’t be afraid to include elements of your personality in there!
If you'd like to find our how to light your entire home in style, why not take a look at our Ultimate guide to buying home lighting?