Kitchen Lighting - functional and glamorous lighting for kitchens

Kitchen lighting is one of our most popular lighting design service areas.

People often spend more on the kitchen than any other room in the house and for many people it’s the heart of the home.  It can also be one of the most challenging rooms in the house to light.

There is no one fixed design template for kitchen lighting but there are common challenges to be addressed.  There is the need for good functional lighting on the working areas but there is frequently the need to zone the space.  Dining, sitting and relaxing, food preparation all warrant different lighting treatments and if you’ve got a beautiful kitchen you probably want to light it beautifully too.

There is no one fixed design template for kitchen lighting but there are common requirements.

Kitchen lighting in the eveningIt’s important to have the right quantity of light, but that doesn’t mean throwing a  ceiling-covering grid of downlights at the room.  A grid of downlights almost inevitably leads to shadows where you don’t want them.  It can also suck the shape and character out of the room.  Kitchens are multi-zone rooms, they serve a variety of purposes; they don’t need to be lit uniformly across the room.

The kitchen shown on the left uses high output fittings delivering shadow-free task lighting on the large central island.  It’s excellent functional light.  Other zones in the room have a more subtle treatment.  The dining area can be a cosy space for a supper for two; the window seat area a dramatic backdrop in the evening.

The key to this flexibility is looking at the different uses and space, lighting them appropriately and using enough circuits.  Using too few circuits in a kitchen compounds the issue of the rectangular grid of downlights.  Multiple circuits give flexibility; different zones can be lit at different levels and each zone treated differently for the effect you’re trying to create.

Kitchen Lighting - a custom chandelier in a kitchen / dining spaceColour rendering is an important quality in Kitchen Lighting.  If you’re preparing food you want a tomato to look like a tomato.  So we really encourage people to use good quality fittings.  High quality LED lighting can offer consistent, accurate colour rendering.  At the other end of the scale lower quality LED fittings can deliver wildly differing results.  We are constantly testing to find the best performers and the best balance between cost and quality.

The final element in many of the kitchen lighting schemes we design is a lighting control system.  The combination of multiple circuits, different usages and lighting treatments all lend themselves to using a lighting control system for ease-of-use and fine control.

Planning Kitchen Lighting

We’ve said there’s no preset template for kitchen lighting but we do have a structured approach to ensuring you get the best results.

  1. For each area or zone define the tasks, the lighting needs and the effects or atmosphere you’re trying to achieve
  2. Think about how the sight lines work through the space.  How are they going to link to create a unified scheme?
  3. What are the key elements you want to emphasise?
  4. What have you got to work with?  Can you use ceilings, walls, floors, furniture or kitchen units as fixing points?
  5. What fittings are needed to get the results you want? Review quantity, quality and cost
  6. How are you going to control it?

If you’re planning a new kitchen and would like to talk to any of our design team please call on 01845 525664 or contact us below.