10 tips for lighting your kitchen

9 min

It is impossible to compare rooms in an apartment in terms of importance, but the kitchen certainly belongs to the most visited, because food is constantly prepared here, the whole family gathers here and welcomes guests. In order for the room to be multifunctional, regardless of its area, cozy and comfortable, it is important to pay special attention to its lighting. Competently organized, it can transform the kitchen from a “hot shop” into a cozy dining area in the blink of an eye, conducive to long and pleasant family gatherings. That is why it is so important to think over the design of the future kitchen and all the lighting points even before the renovation, and our advice should help you with this.

# 1. What types of lighting should be provided?

A couple of decades ago, the most popular option for organizing kitchen lighting was a single chandelier located in the center of the ceiling. This solution cannot be called the most convenient, because in this case all the most remote areas, an important part of the working area and the dining table, were not illuminated. Today, even the smallest kitchens need to provide several types of lighting. There are these main types of kitchen lighting:

  • general, which is still necessary;

  • illumination of the working area;

  • lighting of the dining area;

  • decorative lighting.

You can do without purely decorative lighting in the kitchen, but correctly selected functional lighting can also play a decorative role, and modern lamps are real works of art, made for every taste.

kitchen lighting

kitchen lighting 2

# 2. What should be the lighting?

To create the right lighting project, you need to know the basic requirements for it. And they are as follows:

  • the light should be located so that people in the kitchen do not cast a shadow on the work surface and in the dining area;
  • at the same time, light sources should not be too bright, so as not to dazzle a person;
  • it is important that some light sources complement others;
  • the color scheme of the kitchen must also be taken into account. So, light walls and furniture will reflect up to 80% of the luminous flux, and dark – only about 12%;
  • the dining area and the work area require different lighting power. Approximate norms are as follows: lighting power for the working area – 100 W / m2, for the dining area – 50 W / m2;
  • when arranging the lighting of the working area, you need to monitor the distance from water sources to lamps. It must be at least 60 cm.

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No. 3. Arrangement of general lighting

It is impossible to do without a common main room, so a chandelier can be provided in the center of the kitchen or in the area of ​​the dining table. An alternative to chandeliers for small kitchens are flat lamps and recessed lighting in the suspended ceiling. It will be great if a rheostat is provided with which you can adjust the intensity of the light flow and change the atmosphere in the kitchen.

general kitchen lighting

general kitchen lighting 2

No. 4. Work area lighting

Above the working area, where all the processes of cutting meat, peeling vegetables, kneading dough and the like take place, you need to equip a sufficiently bright lighting. It is best to place light sources on wall cabinets so that the light from them falls directly onto the work surface. If there is no such lighting, then when working, the entire space in front of you will be in the shadow, which means that you will have to strain your eyes. It is also important that the light be directed directly onto the work surface and not hit the eyes. You can choose a set of furniture, where the manufacturer has already provided holes for installing lamps, but you can also solve the issue with the help of separate lamps.

lighting of the kitchen working area

An excellent replacement for conventional lighting fixtures is the LED strip, which is also attached to the bottom surface of the cabinets. This is one of the most economical and uniform lighting methods. In addition, LED strip is a great way to decorate the kitchen, highlight individual areas, and create a smooth transition to ceiling lighting.

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Not only the work surface needs lighting, but also the sink, the stove, and the kitchen island, if there is one. Above the stove, you can use only the lighting that the hood gives – this is quite enough.

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No. 5. Dining area lighting

The dining table should have soft, calm and cozy lighting that will sufficiently illuminate the surface, but not create too bright lighting. It is worth considering the location of the table in the kitchen relative to the window. You need to make the most of natural light, so place the dining table near the window opening.

kitchen dining area lighting

Artificial lighting of a dining table largely depends on its location in the kitchen, as well as on the interior preferences of the owners. So, if the table is against the wall, then you can use a pair of wall sconces. Ceiling lights with adjustable hangers will also look good, but they are best suited for dining tables in the central kitchen area. One or more of these lamps with interesting shades and adjustable height are ideal for any kitchen.

kitchen dining area lighting 2

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If the kitchen is very small, then it is better, of course, to use sconces above the dining table. An alternative is small lamps or lamps that can be installed directly on the dining table: this way the interior will only be transformed and become even more comfortable. For the smallest kitchens, it is allowed to combine general light with lighting in the dining area, so as not to clutter the ceiling and walls with lighting devices.

kitchen dining area lighting 3

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No. 6. Decorative lighting

It is clear from the name alone that in this case we are talking about lighting, which does not perform any specific function, but serves only as an interior decoration. With the help of several bulbs, you can not only give the kitchen a zest, but even visually expand the space.

So, as additional lighting, you can use the illumination of kitchen cabinets. It looks especially impressive when they have transparent doors. By the way, such lighting has not only a decorative function, but also helps to quickly find the necessary items in deep cabinets.

decorative kitchen lighting 2

You can highlight the space between the ceiling and the kitchen set. A small gap between the wall cabinets and the ceiling can be covered with a plexiglass panel, and an LED strip can be placed behind it. As a result, we get an interesting design technique that is great especially for small kitchens, as it visually makes the room higher. In addition, such lighting will provide additional soft light, and the panels will cover the exhaust pipe and other unattractive communications.

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You can also illuminate the base of the kitchen unit. As a result, the feeling is created that the kitchen furniture seems to be floating in the air, and this visually enlarges the space. Another great option for small kitchens.

Don’t forget about a light source like candles. Their very appearance already gives a special atmosphere to the kitchen interior, and when lit, they give a soft warm light that turns into any festive dinner.

No. 7. How to use natural light correctly?

Natural lighting should be used to the maximum, because this is a great opportunity to save money. The window opening should be as large as possible, but if you live in an apartment building, then you need to use completely different tricks. So, if there is little light in the kitchen, it is better to provide the most transparent curtains so that they do not take away sunlight. You can use blinds, roman or roller blinds to regulate the flow of sunlight into the kitchen. By the way, the color of the walls plays an important role: the lighter they are, the more light they reflect. A kitchen with light walls will seem more illuminated and spacious than a kitchen with dark walls. But the main thing is not to overdo it, because too much light will also not make the kitchen more cozy and comfortable.

kitchen natural lighting

In order not to be mistaken, you need to follow the following rules:

  • windows facing north must be kept absolutely clean, because the dust on them can take away about a third of the sunlight;

  • kitchens with south-facing windows often suffer from an overabundance of light during the daytime, so in this case it is better to use curtains in dark shades or just blackout curtains, at least for the summer period;
  • also for kitchens with southern windows, it is advisable to use cold shades in wall decoration;
  • Blinds are the best way to regulate the flow of sunlight, and they are suitable for any kitchen;
  • if there is still not enough light in the kitchen during the daytime, then you can use fluorescent fluorescent lamps: they are a good alternative to sunlight and do not consume much electricity.

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No. 8. Features of lighting a small kitchen

The basic principles of lighting a small kitchen do not differ from the general ones, but the area of ​​the room must be taken into account when choosing lighting devices. Many people mistakenly believe that if the room is small, then only one chandelier in the center of the kitchen will be enough. It will not be able to illuminate all areas of the work surface, so it is better to use multiple light sources.

Precision luminaires can be used as general lighting, because they do not take up space, soffits or swivel spotlights. The latter are generally unique for small rooms, since the direction of light is very easy to change, illuminating certain zones.

lighting a small kitchen

Some kitchens cannot boast of high ceilings, so it makes no sense to organize a suspended or suspended ceiling – the room will seem generally tiny. In this case, spot lighting disappears, and you can choose a chandelier, but you need to pay attention not to all models. So, ideal for a small kitchen, a compact and very laconic model is suitable, which will not overload the space. It is important to remember that the lamp should be exactly compact, not small, otherwise it will emphasize the main disadvantage of the kitchen – its miniature size.

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Suspended lamps are not suitable for small kitchens: the closer the plafond is to the ceiling surface, the better. Lamps are well suited, the light of which is directed not downward, but into the ceiling, but the plafonds in the form of plates and boxes create a too dim glow.

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No. 9. Which lamps to choose?

For lighting, you can use lamps of various types, which differ in price, efficiency and other characteristics. Everyone makes a choice based on their own preferences and requirements, but the following lamps are considered the most popular today:

  • An incandescent lamp is one of the most common lighting options in recent times. Previously, such lamps could be found in almost every home, but today many understand how much more economical it is to use other types of lamps, so their popularity, albeit slowly, is falling;

  • fluorescent lamps are much more economical than incandescent lamps. With the same power, they give brighter light, last longer, but also cost more;

  • halogen lamps are also quite economical, but due to the huge variety of shapes and types, they allow you to create unique interior solutions;

  • LED bulbs feature high luminous efficacy and long service life.

lamps for kitchen

No. 10. Lighting device material

All chandeliers, sconces and other lighting items must be made of high quality glass or plastic so that they can withstand high temperatures and steam. If the kitchen is made in a country or Provence style, then some lamps may have fabric shades, but they should be made of an easy-to-clean fabric.

Of no small importance is the style of the lamps, which should match the style of the room. Modern lamps are so unique that they can decorate any kitchen. Color and style must match the interior design, and different lamps must be in harmony with each other.


To create competent lighting in the kitchen, it is necessary to think over everything in advance to the smallest detail, because at the stage of repair, it will still be necessary to correctly lay the wiring. If you have created a project for a future kitchen, then it will be much easier to determine the type, color and size of lamps, their number. Do not forget to take into account the position of the kitchen in relation to the cardinal points, as well as its area.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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