Best Lighting Ideas for kitchens, big and small

September 17, 2022 3 min read

Best Lighting Ideas for kitchens, big and small

(image courtesy of Wren Kitchens)

The kitchen is the hub of the modern home – a place to make food and make memories. So it’s little surprise that we want our kitchens to be bright, welcoming, functional and brimming with charm.


Characterful kitchens don’t just happen by chance. From choosing your cabinetry to your appliances to your lighting, setting the right scene and creating a homely environment takes careful consideration. Not least among these important decisions are the design of your lighting scheme and your choice of lighting fixture.


The way you design your lighting scheme may heavily depend on the size of your kitchen, as this will impact the placement of your ambient lights as well as your feature and task lighting. Here, we’ll tell you our top tips for lighting kitchens both big and small – and check in with some design experts – so that you can plan your kitchen lighting and buy pieces with confidence…


Lighting small kitchens

perfect lighting ideas for small kitchens

Despite their relatively limited space, small and medium-sized kitchens come with a lot of benefits. They tend to discourage clutter (with everything in its place) and speed up cooking by having appliances physically closer together.


To make your small kitchen really come to life, we recommend installing under-cabinet lighting to bring better functionality to your counter-top workspaces and to make areas which can often seem shadowy look more expansive.


Spot lighting, including directional spots, work great as feature lighting and will help if there isn’t a ready supply of natural light coming from windows or skylights. Spotlights help to highlight the features of the kitchen you want to draw attention to – such as decorative shelving – while leading the eye away from less attractive areas.


Looking to add more interest and personality with an easy lighting installation? Try a feature pendant light over the sink or over a bistro-style dining area. Pops of colour and texture in the lighting fixture itself and in your home accessories will tie the entire look together.


As interior designer and design agency creative director Michele Rodriguez-Wise tells Good Housekeeping, carefully planned lighting is a must for small kitchens. “Lighting needs to function but also be ambient, as this will enhance the space,” she says. “Think of lighting as creating focal points so your eye is drawn to a design aspect on the wall or worktop, be that colour or texture.”


Lighting large kitchens


best ideas for lighting large kitchens

Copper Leaf Pendant Light

A larger kitchen requires a somewhat more complex lighting scheme. Whether your kitchen incorporates a stylish breakfast bar, a mini office workspace or relaxing sofa area, you can use lighting to create well-defined zones as well as inject character.

At Gwyn Carless at The Light Yard, we’re huge fans of ceramic and glass lighting options. These material types are tremendously versatile and easy to style.


Richard Moore, design director at Martin Moore agrees, telling Ideal Home: “Glass pendants or chandeliers are a brilliant way to subtly introduce colour or texture into a space and can be mixed and matched to create visual interest.”


If you like a clean, uncluttered effect, opt for a simple style of pendant light – such as our Alchemist pendant in clear or smoked glass – arranged in a linear design over a kitchen island or breakfast bar. Or mix and match for a more creative, visually compelling look.


A large kitchen also provides a perfect opportunity to create design continuity with other parts of your home. If, for example, you have hung a large statement chandelier in your dining area or entrance hallway, you can use this style in your kitchen to great effect.


While two oversize lights of a similar size may compete with each other for attention, you can use a smaller version of your statement piece in repetition to deliver a huge amount of impact but also bring a cohesive look and feel.


Questions? To speak with us about lighting for your residential or commercial project, call +44 (0)330 223 3940. Or email


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