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When it comes to decorating your kitchen there are plenty of choices to make. From your colour scheme to your worktop material, everything needs to be taken into account.

One thing that many people seem to forget, or underestimate the importance of, is lighting.

Lighting may seem like something that is fairly standard, however, installing the right lighting in your kitchen, especially in those areas that need a helping hand, can be the difference between creating a large, inviting space or a room that appears cramped.

So, to help you create a kitchen that is warm and welcoming, we have put together our guide on how to choose the right lighting options for your kitchen.

Task lighting

What is task lighting and why is it important? 

Your kitchen is likely to have certain areas that are used the most. Whether it is the space you prepare your food, or perhaps where you wash up; task lighting can help.

Task lighting is lighting that is placed directly above those areas you use the most and focuses light just where you need it.

The first step in installing task lighting is to identify the parts of your kitchen that require it. Once you know exactly where you want to install this focused light, you will need to choose the right light fixture for you.

Many people opt for cabinet lights as their task lighting. It doesn’t matter whether you have newly installed cabinets, or older cabinets, these lights can be screwed into place and project a light underneath the cabinet and directly onto the worktop.

If the area that you want to highlight isn’t beneath any cabinets, then pendant lighting hung directly from the ceiling may be better. These not only illuminate the space, but also come in a variety of styles which can be a great decorative feature in your kitchen.

Kitchen lighting guide
This kitchen features a mixture of task, ambient and accent lighting.

Recess lights placed into the ceiling can be used to illuminate work stations, providing a large amount of light as well as being hidden away out of sight.

Installing task lighting means that you will be able to see clearly in the areas that need it most and won’t leave you in the dark when it comes to everyday life.

Ambient lighting

What is ambient lighting and why is it important? 

Whilst task lighting focuses light on those much used areas, ambient lighting is responsible for making your kitchen feel like a welcoming space for your family and friends.

It creates a warm glow that invites people to spend time in your kitchen and is particularly useful in the modern, open plan kitchens that many people have in their homes these days.

Ambient lighting is ideal for kitchens in which you entertain; no-one likes to eat their dinner under a glaring light, so why not create an atmosphere of relaxation with ambient lighting?

Pendant lighting can work for ambient lighting too. You could always install a dimmer switch which allows you to control the brightness of the light, changing it from bright for the preparation, to dim as you sit down to enjoy your dinner. Set the mood a little more with some carefully placed candles.

Accent lighting

What is accent lighting and why is it important? 

Do you want to use lighting to decorate, highlight and bring colour to your kitchen? If you do, then accent lighting is the way to go.

Accent lighting is the ideal addition to any kitchen that needs a bit of a boost. It comes in a variety of forms to suit different kitchens.

First of all, you need to decide which areas of the kitchen you would like to make the feature of the space. Once you know this you can choose the right lighting for your space.

Want to give a gentle flow across the floor, creating a floating look to your cabinets? Kick board lights are the best option for you.  Lucky enough to have an island worktop feature? If you are then you could install LED lights under the rim of the worktop, making it a focal point for your family.

Have you had glass-front cabinets installed? If you have then why not install strip lighting inside the door, which will not only light up the kitchen cabinet, but will also create a glow that will create a real sense of atmosphere in the room as a whole.

Another great idea is to combine your need for task lighting with accent lighting and install under cabinet lights which will not only light up the room, but also help you during food preparation.

Accent lights are the ideal way to create a designer feel to your kitchen; all without the designer price tag attached to it.

Top tip: For more “lightbulb moments” why not take a look at our 6 bright ideas for your kitchen lighting?

Lighting trends for your kitchen

What’s on trend this year? 

Sometimes we need a helping hand when it comes to decorating your home, and this is particularly true in the kitchen. Inspiration comes in a variety of forms, such as the current trends, fashions and styles seen in homes around the world.

So what are the trends this year when it comes to kitchen lighting?

Under cabinet lighting is a kitchen lighting trend that’s on the rise.

Extensive cabinet lighting

Cabinets are mainly chosen for storage, however, they are also great for giving your kitchen a touch of light too. Many people are creating a feature point of their cabinets by installing low-voltage, LED tape light strips inside, underneath and above their cabinets.

Big bold fixtures

Whilst some love nothing more than a subtle look, there are those of us who aren’t afraid to make a bold statement. Many use colour to do this, but why not combine great lighting with a focal point too? Bold fixtures with larger fabric shades are going to give your kitchen real impact and create drama in the room. 

Oversized pendants

As we have already seen, light can be used to create an impression in your kitchen. Another great idea is to install large, oversized pendants which hang from the ceiling and really grab attention. These can come in a variety of different materials including woven baskets, fabric and even glass.


As we saw in our top 5 kitchen interior design trends, kitchens have taken fashion accessories as their inspiration, with a real turn towards copper. Copper is popular because not only does it look great in your kitchen but it also lasts well too. Especially if you invest in good quality copper pieces. Copper also works well in both modern and classic styled kitchens, depending on what you choose to combine with the accessories.

Stainless steel

There is something beautifully modern about having stainless steel in your kitchen. Whilst too much may conjure up images of a hospital, when combined with splashes of colour and warm wooden cabinets, it can really create a fresh and modern feel, or be used to create a more industrial style. Best of all, it is really easy to clean!

Cluster lighting

Taking pendant lighting to the next step, cluster lighting involves taking a group of pendant lights and creating a cluster arrangement with them. To really boost the appeal of this form of lighting you can change the colours and materials that you use; not only illuminating your space but also giving you an interesting focal point too.

So there you have it, our guide to choosing the right lighting for your kitchen. Whether it is under cabinet lighting or perhaps some of the latest trends, you can be sure to have a space that you will all want to enjoy!

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How to choose the right lighting for your kitchen
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