Step into the light: how to choose the right lights for your kitchen

Getting the lighting right in your kitchen is important. Not only does it help set off the design features, it also allows you to see what you’re doing when preparing meals and generally running your household. These days, the range of options for lighting is as wide as it has ever been. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Statement lights

Lighting is one way to really make your mark on a kitchen design. From a magnificent chandelier or pendant light hanging from the ceiling to a matching set of stylish, wall-mounted up lights, you will find something to fit the bill. You could even add some strings of fairy lights to bring a whimsical, romantic feel to the room.

Close ups

Cooking often calls for intricate preparation work. This is made much easier with decent lighting. Angle poise lamps and articulated arm lamps are perfect for this, as they can be brought in when needed and then swung back into storage when the task is complete. Another solution is to have under-cabinet task lights that can shine extra light onto the counter tops in an unobtrusive, yet effective way

Natural light

If you are lucky enough to have a kitchen with large windows, or a door that leads out into the garden, you will already know how lovely it is to have lots of natural light streaming into the room,. You can increase this in several ways, such as placing mirrors in strategic places to reflect even more light back into the room. Or change your back door for one with a large glass component and switch heavy window blinds or curtains with lighter, slim-line versions.

DIY lights

If you’re feeling adventurous, you might like to consider making your own lamps. Jam jars, wine bottles or canning jars would look pretty with lights inside. Lamp shades can look fantastic when covered in decoupage or decorated with inks, paint or vinyl stickers. They can be fashioned out of wire or willow too – even interesting tree trunks or driftwood will for a great base. Just make sure your homemade lights will not turn into fire hazards and have been checked by an electrician before being put into use.


Candles have long been used in other rooms of the house to provide light and decoration, so why should the kitchen miss out? So long as you follow the safety guidelines for positioning and monitoring lit candles, they can add real warmth to the available space. Large church candles will give hours of light, while the more delicate tea lights and floating candles may not last so long, but will look delightful. You can also get candles that will help disperse unpleasant cooking smells and keep insects and bugs at bay – a good scent to look out for, for these two purposes is citronella.