Sign up for newsletter Create an account Login


Expert’s Corner: Kitchen Lighting… Part II

Here are some more bright ideas about how to get kitchen and dining lighting right
   EKBB Magazine  |  written on: 04-07-2022 06:30am

Q & A – Sophie Miller, co-founder, Skinflint

- What’s the best way to plan for lighting in your design?
Essential task lighting is a must in the working areas of the kitchen, such as the sink, over the dining table, island and worktops. For these areas, carefully positioned downlighters are a great option. Under-cabinet LED strip lights can also be a great way of providing shadow-free illumination for your worktop and you can consider using one or two feature lights. Machinist work lights add texture and give light where you need it, as will a row of favourite feature pendants over the island or table.

For a generous pool of light over the work surface, hang a row of Industrial Factory Lights to create an urban look in the kitchen. Priced at £528, Credit: SimplexSkinflint

- What about layering light effects?
To create a nicely layered scheme, think about lighting work areas with task lighting and then adding accents using feature lights. If you have a high ceiling, add uplighters above high cupboards to bounce light from the ceiling and give additional illumination to your whole space. There is a huge variety of great lighting on the market, from entirely hidden LEDs and under shelf or cupboard lights to feature lighting in glass, metal or enamel. The choice is huge and what you select will depend on your own personal taste.

- What do you like best in lighting?
My favourites are machinist wall lights because they are easy to position as uplighters, to bounce light into the space or as task lights to illuminate working areas. I also prefer metallic lights, as their surfaces reflect light into the space and with a slightly worn vintage look to them, they add extra texture to your scheme.

Some more expert tips...

- Peter Bowles, founder and managing director of Original BTC, has the following advice...

...on choosing the right light
Nowadays the kitchen is as much an entertaining space as a practical one, so you need a layered lighting scheme with good, shadow-free task lighting for food preparation and cooking areas, and ambient lighting for dining. Make sure you consider your lighting at the early planning stages to maximise opportunities. Ideally, all your lights should be controlled separately so you can switch off your bright task lighting when it’s time to sit down and relax.

suspended, hang, hanging, lighting, light fixtures, pendants, pendant, cluster, illumination, industrial, contemporary, lights, marble,

Original BTC Walter, Credit: Original BTC

Consider not just your choice of lights but also how you use them – for instance, hanging a series of pendants low over the table helps create intimate dining zones in working kitchens. You can also use multiple pendants over islands which is a way to add drama and interest and break up the austere lines of kitchen cabinets.

Try using stronger, brighter bulbs for food preparation and cooking areas and softer bulbs over your dining table. If you only want to use a single pendant, choose a traditional rise and fall, which offers the best of both worlds. Raise high for a broad spread of light and lower when you’re looking for a little more intimacy.

You could match the style of your light fittings to your kitchen – as a flexible rule, prismatic glass and bone china work wonderfully in country style kitchens, metallic pendants give an industrial flavour while brightly painted pendants bring an often needed pop of colour. To light work surfaces, practical, space-saving wall lights make a great alternative to under-cabinet lights and will also bring a quirky, individual look. Look for flexible lights that can be angled and adjusted to effectively control direction or spread of light.

- Sheena Lawrence, co-owner and designer at Jim Lawrence Lighting and Home, has this advice...

...on creating mood and atmosphere
A simple group of three or five pendants makes a fantastic focal point over a country style dining room or kitchen table. Think about the finish of the light fitting itself, as that can really transform the feel of a kitchen. Many of our customers love the traditional look that our antiqued brass lighting gives. Metallic accents in lighting and kitchen accessories are such a strong trend in the home interiors market right now.

In a character cottage, barn conversion or older property, make use of exposed beams in the dining area by hanging a row of Lovell glass pendant lights in antiqued brass. Priced £138

To create a cosy atmosphere in your kitchen at evening time, we’ve designed a range of bulbs which are developed to give an instant warm light that’s far less harsh than blue LEDs. They really make a difference.

For further atmosphere try adding a dimmer switch to your pendants, turning the lights low in the evening and creating a gentle pool of light over the table. Then boost the light on the table with lots of candles and perhaps even a couple of little oil lamps too.

Credit: Hayley Gilbert (Words)
Published: As featured in EKBB Magazine, Issue 250, February 2017. Prices mentioned are at the time of publication

Read more:
Expert’s Corner: Kitchen Lighting… Part I
Must-Haves: Pendant Lights for the Kitchen and Dining

Do you have any more tips about kitchen lighting? Share them in the comments section below.

Related articles

Expert's Corner: Mix and Match Kitchen Trend

Designer Hilda Moore from In-Toto shares her top tips on pulling off the mix and match approach

Design Detail: Metro Tiles

Still all the rage, here's how to put a contemporary twist on this classic look

Profile: Dark Good Looks and Raw Edges Give This Kitchen a Theatrical Style

Given its dark colour palette, everything stands out dramatically in this London loft kitchen

   EKBB Magazine
The UK's No.1 kitchen, bathroom and bedroom magazine dedicated to real-life luxury homes and turning your design dreams into reality.

View this project