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Kitchen lighting ideas to elevate your space

Discover our wonderful kitchen lighting ideas and inspiration, from clever task lighting to statement chandeliers.

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There are plenty of different attributes to consider when designing your kitchen space, and lighting is a key component to creating the perfect mood and ambiance of your space.

Whether you’re renovating or starting from scratch, at Magnet we understand that choosing the right lighting to suit your kitchen space can often feel a little overwhelming. 

With this in mind, we’ve put together a myriad of our favourite kitchen lighting ideas, to illuminate both your cooking and entertainment space.

Whether you want to utilise light fittings to create an optimum cooking experience, showcase your décor or simply amplify the overall look and feel of your kitchen space, we’ve got lighting ideas to suit kitchens of all shapes and sizes. 

Read on to learn more about how to use lighting to create both a safe and welcoming kitchen space.

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Kitchen lighting and kitchen size

There are three main light sources to consider when designing your kitchen space:

Ambient Lighting – Otherwise known as your main source of illumination, ambient lighting helps to brighten the whole room at all times of the day. 

Task Lighting – Task lighting helps you cook with confidence, supplying you with clear visibility in practical areas where you may need to cook or prepare food. 

Accent Lighting – Accent lighting helps to create a focal point or highlight a specific design feature in your space.

Although it can’t always be controlled, natural light can make a substantial difference to your kitchen area and is something to keep in mind when designing your space (especially if you’re starting from scratch).

Consider adding at least one source of natural light, in the form of a large window or bi-fold patio doors. This will give your kitchen a spacious feel, no matter the size.

Combining both natural light and well-planned light fittings can completely transform the look of your kitchen space.

Kitchens typically require a stronger amount of lighting than a sitting room or bedroom. Kitchen spaces vary in both shape and size, and you will normally need around 70-80 lumens (units of light) per square foot.

Start by working out the square footage of your current or planned space and multiply this figure by the number of lumens.

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A compact kitchen space does not necessarily mean you’re limited on lighting options. Small kitchen lighting ideas could include:

  • Opting for a centrepiece light to evenly illuminate your space
  • Incorporating task lighting to ensure a safe and efficient cooking space
  • Make use of spotlights to create a practical, sleek modern feel 
  • Incorporating cabinet or shelf lighting

Kitchen lighting and theme

When it comes to choosing bulbs for your kitchen light fixtures, it is important to consider whether you want to achieve cool or warm toned lighting within your space.

Cool lighting offers a bright white dimension, whereas warm lightening supplies more of a softer yellow tone - this can vary depending on the degree of lighting (which is measured in Kelvins). 

Before deciding on your bulbs, you might want to first consider the colour scheme of your kitchen. For example, adding a halogen warm-toned bulb to a cream kitchen area will create a cosy family-friendly aesthetic.

Keep in mind that pairing a white fluorescent lamp with a grey or neutral wall could leave your kitchen feeling quite clinical and cold.  

Choosing a colour and lighting scheme to suit your kitchen theme can at times be difficult, as it’s hard to cater for every form of natural light throughout the day.

Cater for the time of day that your kitchen space gets used the most, which is generally in the mornings and evenings. You will need to ensure your kitchen is bright and well-lit during darker hours, especially for safety during food preparation.

North facing rooms

Regardless of their size, north facing rooms tend to get the least amount of sunlight.

You could embrace this darker setting with dark kitchen features and incorporate warm toned halogen bulbs to allude to a cosy atmosphere.

Exude a modern luxe look and team vibrant colours with high kelvin LEDS. Consider our range of ‘kitchen lighting ideas no island’, to make the maximum use of space to avoid your kitchen area looking gloomy.


South facing rooms

Whether spacious or compact, south facing rooms are blessed with the most amount of even sunlight throughout the day.

South facing rooms allow you to be more experimental with your surroundings, as they suit both warm and cool colour tones, in both lighting and features.

East facing rooms

Known to let the light in during the morning hours, east facing rooms complement a kitchen that blends both warm and cool tones, to balance out the light throughout the day.

You could try intermixing warm palettes with cool toned bulbs or vice versa.

West facing rooms

Warm lighting tones complement west facing rooms, as they help to mimic the warm light that seeps through the space as the sun sets each evening.

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Where can you place lighting?

Lighting is often an afterthought when designing a kitchen, however, considering lighting placement in the early planning stages of kitchen design is essential.

This is because lighting will help influence the arrangement of your units, furniture and necessary power sources - helping to illuminate all of the best assets within your kitchen space.

Create your perfect Magnet kitchen with our easy-to-use kitchen planner.


Cabinet (over & under)

Integrating lighting fixtures into your kitchen cabinets is a practical yet chic way of incorporating an additional light source into your kitchen space.

Cabinet lights help to make finding things within your cabinets easier, while adding a distinctive design statement to your galley area. Discover our full range of cabinet lighting ideas.


Both soft and unobtrusive, plinth lighting helps to add both dimension and depth to your kitchen space. Perfect for creating a luxurious finish to really set off your kitchen design.

Discover our range of plinth lighting ideas.


Open shelving is a popular feature in both traditional and modern kitchen spaces. Revamp your shelving units and add an additional layer of lighting to illuminate your space. Utilise dimmable under cabinet lighting to exude a calm evening setting.

Discover our range of shelf lighting ideas.

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Distinct lighting types

As a rule of thumb, it is best to consider your lighting choices during the initial stages of the design process, to ensure you have the correct and essential wiring for your desired lighting instalments.

From kitchen unit lighting ideas to chandelier and pendant lights - discover our full range of lighting options to suit your kitchen space here.



Pendant lights are a great way to add a chic, modern feel to your kitchen space, and are ideal for fitting above breakfast bars, dining tables or kitchen islands - helping to create a central focal point within your kitchen.

Our range of kitchen pendant lighting ideas incorporate pools of task lighting within your galley area, elevating both the ambiance and overall design of the space.

Pendant lights are great for adding a distinct feature to kitchens with high ceilings. 

Add an industrial twist with a pendant beam light, offer a soft rustic finish with individual bulbs, or add a dynamic approach with a unique three-tiered fitting.

The pros:

  • They are easy to customise based on your design preference
  • They are relatively easy to install
  • An energy efficient and cost effective way to brighten up your kitchen area
  • They save space, whilst creating ambiance
  • Easy to clean


The cons:

  • Light quality is often lower
  • You may need to consider installing several lights to light your entire kitchen space
  • Pendant lights will need to be installed by a professional


A chandelier light is a great way to introduce a luxurious design dimension and wow factor into your kitchen space.

Elegantly hanging above dining tables or kitchen centrepieces for a statement finish, it's perfect for households that host frequent dinner parties and social gatherings. 

The pros: 

  • Statement piece that helps to provide your kitchen space with a sophisticated and elegant feel
  • You can easily change the light fixture if needed
  • They are available in a wide variety of prices ranges

The cons:

  • A chandelier light can often require a lot of maintenance
  • They work best in light and airy spaces  - meaning they might not be the best option for small kitchens
  • Requires a professional to install
  • Often difficult to clean


Create an all-over glow by implementing LED strip lights into your kitchen space.

Try placing them under your kitchen cabinets to illuminate work and cooking surfaces.

The pros:

  • They are energy efficient and eco-friendly
  • They have a long lifespan - they last at least 2-3 times longer than fluorescent bulbs
  • They are durable
  • LED lights are relatively cheap to fit
  • They provide a wide, even glow to dark areas and work spaces


The cons:

  • You will need to ensure you opt for a natural light colour - white lighting can be overpowering and clash with other kitchen lights
  • LED lights must be supplied with a constant flow of electricity at the correct low voltage, to ensure that the bulbs don’t overheat

Alternative lighting ideas

If you’re looking to add an alternative, contemporary feel to your kitchen space, we have an array of kitchen worktop lighting ideas, drop pendant lighting options, and statement feature designs for you to choose from.


Statement/feature lighting

Create a luxe, attention-grabbing focal point in your kitchen with statement and feature lighting.

This type of lighting adaptation works great in larger scale kitchens that perhaps have a vast kitchen island within the mid-point.

Choose from striking chandeliers and dynamic statement lighting to add a real contemporary feel to your culinary space.

Illuminate texture or create a focal point

Adding a focal point within your kitchen is an innovative way to pull a design together.

Strategically placing lighting to illuminate texture, or act as a focal point, is a subtle yet impactful way to create emphasis.

For large kitchen spaces, you may choose to illuminate your kitchen island or dining table using a solo pendant light or chandelier to create a visual impact.

For more compact culinary spaces, use LED lights or spotlights to illuminate alcoves or shelving units.

Emphasise beautiful surfaces and textures by opting for light installations that provide discreet illumination and minimal glare.

Choosing reflective surfaces and finishes is an ideal way to increase both natural and artificial light in a room.

Natural light will bounce off the reflective surfaces, allowing your kitchen to feel brighter.

Lighting alignment with the island

Aligning your lighting choices with your kitchen design allows your outcome to feel both elevated and considered.

Complement your island with light fittings of a similar shape and finish. Try to position lighting in line with the key areas of your island, for example the prep area or breakfast bar.


The rule of three

Ensure your kitchen incorporates the rule of three within its design, including: task, ambient and accent lighting.

Another rule of three includes opting for three pendant lights over two or four - traditionally odd numbers are a lot more easy on the eye.

For further kitchen lighting ideas and inspiration, head over to our blog to unlock the latest Magnet kitchen trends.

You can also browse our stunning range of kitchen lighting to help you start planning the lighting scheme for your space.