Kitchen Lighting Ideas – A Complete Buying Guide

Kitchens are multifunctional spaces. Whether you love to create culinary masterpieces, or your children regularly sit at the kitchen table to do homework, your kitchen lighting needs to work for a range of purposes.

That’s what makes putting together kitchen lighting ideas so difficult. Your lighting system needs to be as flexible as it is practical, ensuring that your space is lit to perfection for every occasion or task.

Your kitchen lighting ideas also need to fit with the overall aesthetic of your property. Whether you’ve chosen a sleek contemporary space or a timeless traditional kitchen, certain lighting will complement your kitchen design more than others.

Whatever the style of your space or your requirements, this guide takes you through all the key considerations to bear in mind when putting together your kitchen lighting ideas.

Choosing lighting to suit your kitchen style

Whether you’re looking for modern kitchen lighting ideas or something a little more traditional, it’s important to bear in mind your personal style when planning and selecting your lighting system.

Remember, lighting isn’t just limited to the design of light shades, fixtures, or bulb choices. The right lighting plans will illuminate your space, creating exquisite ambience and atmosphere as well as enhancing functionality and versatility.

This is down to the style of your space too. Traditional kitchen lighting ideas, for example, often incorporate layered lighting to create soft illumination that complements classic style. Modern kitchen lighting ideas, on the other hand, regularly make use of spotlighting and bright illumination to enhance the clean lines and sleek design choices.

Whether you’ve chosen a contemporary space or a classic design, it’s important to think about your lighting during the planning phases of your project. The type of kitchen lighting ideas you choose could even inform the style of worktops, cabinets and colour palette you select.

Kitchen lighting ideas to match the size of your space

As well as marrying your kitchen lighting with the style of your space, it’s important to think about the size of your kitchen too. The right lighting system can transform your space into something spectacular, no matter what the size. It can create an atmosphere of cosiness or spaciousness depending on your requirements too!

Small kitchen lighting ideas often benefit from layered lighting systems. Ceiling lights provide an ambient glow, creating a soft illumination throughout the space. It’s a good idea to complement your kitchen ceiling lighting ideas with some accent and task lighting to brighten the darker areas. These darker corners of your kitchen can make your space feel smaller, which is why spotlighting or wall lighting is important.

While larger spaces offer the opportunity to get creative with your kitchen lighting ideas, it’s just as important to consider your illumination plan carefully. To prevent your room from feeling too bright or overwhelmed by light, you may need to focus on particular areas to sectionalise your kitchen. This is where task and accent lighting come into their own, although you may wish to incorporate kitchen shelf lighting ideas or strip lighting too for emphasis.

Lighting ideas for your kitchen shape

The shape of your kitchen should be at the forefront of your mind when planning your kitchen lighting ideas. Whether you have a galley kitchen, square shape, or open-plan space, the lighting you choose has the potential to add depth and visual interest.

For example, galley kitchen lighting ideas often make use of recessed lighting ideas or pendant designs to ensure that all areas are illuminated to perfection. Equally, under cabinet lighting is often used to give a functional glow to these areas, particularly as bulbs can often be shaded beneath the cabinets. If you wish to add height to your room, you may also want to think about adding accent lighting above your cabinets to draw the eye upwards.

Choosing the right type of kitchen lighting

As you plan your kitchen project, it’s important to think about what type of lighting you have available to work with. These will help you decide on how you light the different areas of your space and allow you to really get creative with your lighting design.

Pendant lighting

Pendant lights are fixtures that typically hang from a cord, chain or rod from your ceiling. They are often installed in multiples to create a stylish focal point in your space. They are usually used to highlight a particular area of your kitchen, such as an island or dining space. With a variety of light shades and bulbs available, pendant lighting is ideally suited to both contemporary and traditional kitchens.

Flush ceiling lights

Flush ceiling lights infuse effortless elegance into any kitchen space. Designed to be level with your ceiling, they work particularly well in kitchens that don’t have the dimensions for more dramatic pendant lights. With a plethora of design choices available, they add a sense of style and individuality to your kitchen.


Whether you are looking for kitchen recessed lighting ideas or spotlighting in specific areas of your space, spotlights are multipurpose lighting systems that work well in every kitchen. When planning your kitchen, think about the areas you’d like to highlight. For example, spotlights can work well for kitchen shelf lighting ideas or illuminate a drinks cabinet.


Striplights are the perfect choice for those looking for kitchen shelf lighting ideas or solutions for cabinet illumination. Whether you need extra light for preparing food or want to create a feature, these emanate a soft, task-focused glow. When thinking about kitchen strip lighting ideas, consider how you use your kitchen and whether there are any specific areas you want to highlight.

Choosing the areas you want to illuminate

When putting together a lighting system, it is often easy to focus on kitchen ceiling lighting ideas without paying too much attention to accent or task lighting. If you only think about your ceiling lights, you won’t get the depth and visual interest that comes with layered lighting.

With this in mind, it is important to put equal focus on distinct areas of your kitchen space. For example, if you have an island, think about what kitchen island lighting ideas would work for your space and personal style choices. Pendant or spotlights often work particularly well for these features.

Equally, you may wish to illuminate your kitchen cupboards or dining area to ensure that all shadows are illuminated and that you create exquisite focal points.

The right lighting can transform your kitchen into a spectacular space. The most important thing when putting together your kitchen lighting ideas is planning. It’s usually best to think about your lighting well before you begin choosing worktops and cabinets; the type of lighting you choose may inform your kitchen style.

There are plenty of different lighting options out there to suit every kitchen space and style choice. Whatever you choose, there’s no doubt that your lighting system will enhance your kitchen to create something truly special.