Kitchen Lighting Guide

How to Light Your Kitchen

How to
Light Your Kitchen

There are many ways to light your kitchen, depending on the size of your space, your budget and your own personal style. To give you a little helping hand, Arrow Electrical have studied the best and most efficient ways to help you when it comes to lighting your kitchen.

Where Required

Try and avoid full grids of lights across the entire room as this will use more energy and not pick out the areas of the kitchen that need lighting the most.


Make sure that any lights that are close to work surfaces or cooking appliances are flush fitted or behind glass to make them easy to clean and protected.

under cupboard

Under-cupboard lighting is perfect for lighting task areas such as regularly used work tops or benches. LED lighting is perfect for this as it doesn’t give off too much heat and keeps shadows at bay when you’re slicing those vegetables. Using LED strip lighting can be a simple way to install LED lighting in these little ‘cubbyholes’ around the room.

For more impact you can also use Cabinet Tube Lighting which when connected together they create one continuous light, which is perfect for tasks and making an impact on the room as a whole.


The height of your room can impact on the placement of lighting that is best for your kitchen – if you have high ceilings, adding lighting to the underneath of an island or close to the floor can make these areas appear to ‘float’ making the high ceilings less daunting. Alternatively, If you have low ceilings, adding above cupboard lighting can give the illusion of extra space up there,  making the room feel bigger.


If you have glass cabinets, its best to light these from the inside than using lights outside of the cabinets, this creates an almost wall
light effect that is non glare or reflective.


Pendant lights are great to light larger spaces and can look beautiful in a kitchen, but, placement is key. Pendant lights over an island or open space can create a feature piece. However, a pendant light over a small, closed area (especially if it is a low hanging pendant light) can cause a sense of being ‘cluttered’.

or Task Lighting

Lighting specific areas that are the most used is essential in a kitchen for health and safety reasons, hygiene reasons and of course design reasons. Lighting above a sink, workbench or dining area is essential. When choosing an extractor fan, choose one with at least 4 lights in it for full visibility.

dining lighting

Lighting up a dining area is where you can be a bit more creative as practicality is less of a priority as health and safety risks are lessened. Choosing a low hanging pendant light with a light shade
that stands out is perfect – taking this trend further, choosing
multiple (smaller) hanging pendant lights can create a cool sense of
industrial styles whilst also giving a softer impact on feature pieces.

ambient lighting

If you have an open plan kitchen or a larger kitchen that you entertain in, ambient lighting is for you. This is where you can add some colour to the lighting. Creating a cool, laid-back feel to the room that makes it perfect for relaxing in. This type of lighting is best installed using LED strip lighting under cabinets, in set-back areas, under the work surface of an island, just above the top level of cupboard doors. Any place that they cant be seen directly by the eye, but cast a glow of light is perfect.

bulb v brightness

The brightness of the bulbs in a kitchen is a tricky topic, as for practicality, you want powerful, bright white lights. But as the kitchen has developed into an area where most families and friends relax and socialise, you also want less bright, warmer coloured lighting (or coloured lighting if that is what you are going for). Installing both of these is vital, bright white lights in task areas is a must, all other lighting can be warmer.


Controlling the lighting in your kitchen is pivotal in getting the most out of the area. Being able to control each light individually, or at the very least each type of light individually i.e. ceiling lights, under cupboard lights etc. will give you full control of the area and make the room more flexible in terms of uses and dynamics. Dimmer switches are the perfect option for those kitchens that are made for hosting, giving you the option of bright white lights when preparing food and the option to create a warmer atmosphere when guests arrive.