How To Design A Kitchen Lighting Scheme To Transform Your Space


Lighting isn’t necessarily the first thing that springs to mind when planning a kitchen renovation. However, it can have a dramatic impact on both the look and practicality of your finished design. Of course, your lighting scheme must provide the visibility needed to use your kitchen safely, but what you might not have considered is its ability to transform the atmosphere of your space. We’ve outlined some handy tips and ideas to help you get to grips with all things kitchen lighting related.

The Main Types Of Kitchen Lighting

Ambient– Ambient lighting should brighten up your whole room so you can see to move around the space. Downlights and ceiling lights are the main forms of ambient lighting.

Task– Task lighting is used to illuminate worktops and areas you need to see clearly to prepare food safely. Undercabinet lights and pendant lights are popular task lighting styles.

Accent– Accent lighting is purely decorative. It can be used to highlight stylish design features such as alcoves, shelving displays and islands. 

When To Begin Planning Your Kitchen Lighting

We recommend planning your kitchen lighting as soon as you’ve decided on your layout. Planning your lighting scheme before your kitchen installation allows your electrician to undertake any rewiring whilst completing the first fix. This also means any damage caused by the rewiring can be skimmed by your plasterer, ready for your kitchen fit. Furthermore, some types of lighting such as plinth lights, undercabinet lights and internal cabinet lights are best discussed with your kitchen retailer to ensure they are compatible with your chosen products.

Where To Position Your Lighting – Mistakes To Avoid

You’ll need to consider two things when planning where to position your kitchen lighting, visibility and aesthetics. Downlights, pendant lights and undercabinet lights should be positioned to provide a clear view of your worktops and cabinets. Make sure you don’t accidentally install downlights directly above tall units, as this will block the light. You’ll need roughly one downlight per square meter. Take the time to check the alignment and spacing of your lighting. For example, make sure pendant lights are equally spaced and centralised over the feature you’re accentuating.

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

To help you envisage your kitchen’s potential and find some inspiration for your project, we’ve put together some of our favourite kitchen lighting ideas…

Stylish & Practical Undercabinet Lights

A stylish combination of handle rail lights and undercabinet lights brings a sophisticated glow to this modern kitchen. Trim lighting really accentuates the sleek, handleless cabinetry, while undercabinet lights provide much-needed visibility beneath the overhead units. The warm tone of the LED bulbs beautifully lifts the chic and moody colour scheme, taking this sophisticated space to the next level.

Characterful Wall Lights

Situated on either side of the cooker hood, the distinctive brass wall lights in the kitchen below add a fantastic sense of character to the design. As well as tying in perfectly with the classic vintage feel, they also offer an extra level of brightness to key food prep areas. These simple yet effective wall lights make a lovely finishing touch.

Eye-Catching Pendants

Pendant lights are ideal for emphasising a standout feature like a kitchen island or dining table. And what’s more, you’ll find hundreds of different designs to reflect your individual style. Illuminating your island will create a lovely focal point to your space, perfect for those sophisticated evening gatherings.

Add A Glow To Your Cabinets

As kitchens have gradually evolved into a more social space, creating an open and welcoming setting has become essential. Thus, overhead cabinetry is often sacrificed in favour of open shelving and glass-fronted cabinets. Illuminating your shelving displays with beautiful, glowing lighting is a great way to showcase your belongings and add a touch of luxury to your design.

Dramatic Overcabinet Lighting

Overcabinet lighting and plinth lighting can really accentuate the sleek and streamlined feel of a modern kitchen. Enveloping your cabinetry in soft lighting can bring a deluxe quality to your room, as well as setting an opulent and cosy atmosphere for entertaining.

Radiant Natural Light

Last but far from least, natural light is one of the most transformative kitchen lighting types. There’s no better way to establish a clean, airy and inviting kitchen than by encouraging as much natural light into your space as possible. Consider adding skylights, bi-fold doors or enlarging your windows. Opting for a white or neutral colour scheme will also help natural light radiate through your space.

Lighting offers the potential to transform your kitchen into an even more elegant and versatile space. So, if you’re planning to update your home, you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to create a fantastic lighting scheme. To discuss the best lighting options for your project or for any other kitchen planning advice, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly expert team by calling 01942 815953 or emailing