Unlike any other part of your home, your kitchen needs precise attention when planning and selecting lighting. With insight from the experts, we bring you a guide to achieve an effective lighting solution for the hub of your home.

Lighting the kitchen involves the layering of three main types of lighting: ambient, task and accent lighting. Melissa Davidson of The Lighting Warehouse says: “The kitchen has evolved into being more of a living space that is often part of an open-plan composition, and good lighting design has become a must-have for any well-dressed kitchen. Any good kitchen lighting design will comprise various layers. You need to create layers of light to make your kitchen feel warm and welcoming, while also providing functional task lighting and highlighting various accents for an attractive overall aesthetic.”

The Lighting Warehouse

Ambient lighting vs task lighting

Ambient lighting, also understood as general lighting, is what every home owner should think about along with task lighting. Walter De Lima of Touchstone Lighting explains: “Kitchen lighting is a combination of ambient and task lighting. The kitchen needs to have sufficient task lighting so the area can fulfil its primary function of being a working and preparation area. However, kitchens have also become a central meeting and socialising space of the home. Lighting in this area should be made up of task lighting for cooking and similar functions and then be able to switch over to more mood-setting accent lighting when entertaining. Pendants play a role over kitchen islands, as does LED lighting in bulkheads and kick plates.”

Touchstone Lighting

Art of an accent

The third layer of lighting, which can be the decorative touch to your kitchen, accent lighting helps set the mood of the space. Jabulile Khumalo of Radiant Lighting explains how to effectively use accent lighting, she says: “One of the most overlooked areas for lighting in a kitchen is under-counter lighting. By using LED strip lights, accent lighting can assist in highlighting a specific feature or area of the kitchen. This can also be achieved by using cabinet lights to highlight the cabinet that is used to showcase your favourite crockery or glassware. The usage of strip lights or the easy plug-and-play cupboard lights will also do the trick.”

Radiant Lighting

Top tip

The trick to achieving a well-lit kitchen is to plan. Kelly Klopper of Eurolux advises: “Divide your kitchen up into zones and plan your lighting accordingly. Pendant lights, LED strips lights and task lights all have their place in the kitchen if planned and installed strategically. All lighting in the kitchen should serve a purpose and should be a size that flatters the space; for example, one small pendant hanging over a large island will not only look silly but it won’t provide enough illumination either.”