The importance of good lighting in a kitchen

The kitchen is the hub of the home. As well as being the place where meals are prepared and eaten, a kitchen is for entertaining, relaxing and sharing good times with family and friends.

To enhance all of a kitchen's various functions, good lighting plays an essential role. Here's why.

Multi-purpose lighting

Because kitchens are used for several purposes, from meal preparation to relaxation, it's important to have different lighting in various parts, or zones, of the kitchen, to reflect how each section of the room is used, rather than just having one single light. This is especially important for those kitchens that are open plan, and incorporate a large space encompassing both dining and living areas.

Easy and safe meal preparation

For those parts of the kitchen where food is prepared, task lighting works especially well to brighten up this specific area. It's important that lighting provides good illumination onto work surfaces so that you can safely see what you're doing when chopping and prepping meals, and for easily cleaning up areas afterwards. Plus, if you're cooking meat, you'll need clear, bright lighting so that you can accurately assess whether the meat has been cooked properly, so avoid soft lighting or using tinted bulbs.

Task lighting for meal preparation can include strips or spotlights or lighting under cabinets that shine directly onto a work area.

Enhance the mood

When you're sitting at the kitchen table eating and drinking, the lighting does not need to be as bright as the task lighting used for cooking areas. This is where ambient lighting comes into play, which is used to enhance the mood or atmosphere you want to create, making your kitchen a cosy and inviting space to be. Lighting can be used on a dimmer switch, so you can control how much light you want to provide, for example, you might wish for brighter lighting whilst eating, or when kids are doing homework at the table, but lower lighting whilst you're sitting around the table chatting with friends over a glass of wine.

If you have a kitchen island or large table to sit at, there are lots of different lighting options to choose from, with pendant styles hung above the area being especially popular. You could opt for a large, single pendant or have a number of smaller pendants hanging down, depending on the look you want to create.

If you want to give your kitchen a modern, industrial vibe, choose lighting with metal pendants in dark or bold tones, with clear, white bulbs. Those kitchens that exude a country kind of feel can enhance this style using warmer bulbs and lighting made from natural materials.

Add decoration

Good lighting in a kitchen offers more than just practical benefits; it can also highlight areas of the room that you want to make as focal points. For example, if you have display cabinets with cherished glassware or china, you could add spotlights or accent lighting to illuminate these areas, ensuring your kitchen is both functional and stylish with its use of lighting.

Take a look at our great range of lighting options to enhance the many functions and features of your kitchen.