Gone are the days when the kitchen was a small room tucked away with the sole purpose of meal preparation. With modern home designs embracing open plan living, the kitchen area has become the heart of the home for families around the world. It’s the area where we entertain our guests, prepare and eat meals together as a family and even catch up on work or study. With a space that plays such a central role in your home, it’s important to light it correctly.   

Which, unfortunately, is often easier said than done. 

How do you select the right lighting to best complement all its many purposes? How do you achieve the right balance between decorative and functional lighting?  Well, just like every family, every kitchen is different and selecting lighting fixtures will depend on your own needs and style preferences. Here are a few ideas to inspire you and get you started.

Kitchen Pendants

Pendants are perfect over a kitchen island and one of the popular lighting choices in this space. They elevate the ambience with their stylish designs and create a focal point in this area. Besides their obvious aesthetic value, pendants are also perfect for flooding the benchtop with light and making it easier to carry out tasks like food preparation.

Our Top Kitchen Lighting Tips With Pendants

  1. If your kitchen has a neutral colour palette, add pops of colour with pendants in a variety of finishes like brass, oil-rubbed bronze or timber. Or go bold with black. If you have cabinetry or features in your kitchen that you want to showcase, choose lighting that blends in subtly without competing with the other elements.  
  2. Depending on the size of your kitchen island, choose a single large pendant or go with two or three in a row to ensure sufficient coverage and achieve visual balance. You can also create an attractive feature by clustering your pendants at different heights.

Track and Spot Lighting

Spotlights are designed to cast a beam of light on a specific area, and track lighting is an ingenious way to bring a row of spotlights together to illuminate multiple areas of a kitchen space. While downlights provide an even distribution of light, track and spot lighting is better suited for drawing attention to certain features or for creating a specific ambience with clever placement of lights.  

Our Top Kitchen Lighting Tips with Spot and Track Lighting

  1. Bounce light off the ceiling or walls to reduce glare and create a calm, more relaxed feel.
  2. Use spotlights to focus light on artwork or architectural features in your kitchen.
  3. If you have a sloped ceiling, spotlights are great options as they provide more flexibility than other light fixtures.
  4. You can choose to illuminate the entire kitchen island with a row of spotlights all directed downwards or you can adjust each spotlight to focus on different work surfaces.


Downlights are one of the most popular choices for general lighting as they don’t take up additional space and offer a modern, architectural look. You can choose recessed downlights where they’re fitted into the ceiling or surface mounted options, where they’re fixed on the surface of the ceiling without the need to drill holes.  

Our Top Kitchen Lighting Tips with Downlights

  1. Before installing, consider the size of your space to calculate the number of downlights you would need.
  2. If you have high ceilings, choose downlights with a higher wattage to ensure that your entire space is well lit.
  3. When planning the placement of your downlights, even spacing is essential. Too close and they’ll overwhelm a small space, too far apart and they’ll create shadowy columns.
  4. Position downlights in front of you so they don’t cast shadows on the work surface.
  5. Downlights with dimmers are an excellent idea as you can alter the mood of the room instantly. Alternatively, put banks of downlights on separate switches to enable you to control the lighting ambience and energy usage.
  6. Consider downlights that let you switch between colour temperatures, either at the wall switch or via an app or your voice. This way, you can use cool white light when you’re cooking and cleaning, and switch to warm white light when you’re entertaining or having a quiet meal with the family.

LED Strip Lighting 

Modest in appearance and gentle in light intensity, strip lighting discreetly adds a layer of luxury to your space while also being super functional. As LED strip lights are thin, flexible and customisable, they can fit practically anywhere, especially in places where traditional light globes can’t, like under the toe kick, around the island bench or behind shelves.

Our Top Kitchen Lighting Tips with LED Strip Lights

  1. Get creative with what you can accent in your kitchen and surrounding areas – place strip lighting under your overhead cabinets or above splashbacks to illuminate work tops and safely prepare meals.
  2. Use it on shelves inside dark pantries to make it easier to look for the ingredients you need.
  3. When you place strip lights in the recess between your kitchen island and floor, you can create a glamourous floating effect. Functionally, when you combine this with strips around kitchen kickers, it helps light up a pathway for enhanced safety.

Batten Fix

Giving your kitchen a lighting makeover doesn’t have to be a complicated, expensive process. With DIY batten fix lights, you can do it all by yourself in a few minutes without even calling an electrician! Batten fix lights are single lamp holders fixed to the surface of ceilings or walls and traditionally covered with a shade. Simply remove your outdated batten fix from the batten holder and replace it with a stylish new design. No electrical work required and if you're a renter, you don't need your landlord's approval. Plus, you can take them with you when you leave!

Want a pendant for your kitchen? Simply connect our Darly suspension cord to our Herman batten fix shade and voilà, you have a new pendant!

Flush Mounts 

As their name implies, flush mounts sit flush against the ceiling and are perfect sources of general illumination in kitchens with low ceilings and in smaller spaces like pantries and sculleries. They don’t take up additional space as they hug the ceiling, preventing dust from gathering above the shade or reaching the globe. If you’re after a pendant effect, choose a semi-flush mount which extends just below the ceiling but not as low as a traditional pendant. This space allows the globe to uplight the ceiling and create an interesting effect.

Contrary to popular perception, flush mounts are not always plain. They’re available in a variety of sizes, styles, finishes and materials. You can choose an industrial style flush mount with exposed globes, a Scandi style flush mount with a fabric shade or a French-inspired flush mount with crystal accents to suit your interior décor.

Need a hand with your kitchen lighting?

Call in the experts! Our accredited designers at Beacon Design Studio can create a customised lighting plan for you and help you transform your space. Book your consultation now or leave your details on our enquiry form.  

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