A guide to choosing stylish kitchen lighting

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 7:30 AM

When making your kitchen as stylish as possible, you need to think about every inch of the room. From what type of appliances you have to the design of your kitchen lighting, the small touches are just as important as the larger ones, such as furniture.

Indeed, it isn't just about the style of lights but also how they illuminate a room and where they are placed. You will, of course, want plenty of lighting around the cooking area, while down lights underneath the cabinets are great in the evenings, when you want to create an ambience or just need a slight glow so you can quickly grab something. If you have a contemporary kitchen, a striking feature light over the dining table will certainly be a talking point. Below is a guide to which type of fittings you can choose from.

Down lights

As mentioned, down lights are great when you just need a small amount of light, or if you are reading from a recipe book and want to ensure you can see everything clearly. You can choose from a variety of designs, including the classic circular ones and more funky triangular down lights. While these lights will not be on show as much as the main fittings, you will still want them to look stylish. Fluorescent lights can work well if you are on a budget, but for a more favourable glow and design, brushed stainless steel LEDs will fit perfectly in a contemporary space. Alternatively, you might choose to purchase down lights finished in black - it will all depend on the decor of the kitchen.

Main lights

It is becoming increasingly popular to install LED spotlights in modern kitchens, as they look great, are efficient and easy to maintain. These types of fittings won't work as well in traditional homes, whether a farmhouse or period property, that has been decorated to continue the theme. The light given off by spotlights tends to be bright and white, which opens up a space much more than strip lighting does, for example. As they are fairly bright, you will likely find fewer lights is more, saving you time, effort and money. Spotlights come in a variety of finishes, so you should find a style to suit your taste. In a modern home, brushed stainless steel is likely to be popular, especially if the appliances for the kitchen - such as the extractor fan, fridge-freezer and oven - are also made from this material.

While LED spotlights often consist of one bulb per fitting, you can also purchase ones with three or four bulbs each. Don't make the mistake of thinking they have to be circular, either, as you might like to be different and select ones that are square.

Dining table lights

If your dining table is in your kitchen - and quite often it is in townhouses, flats and apartments - you will also want to have enough light for when you eat. While you might simply be happy to install spotlights over the table, fitting a feature light will make a statement when friends and family walk into the room.

Long and flat pendant lights with crystals look the part and reflect the light brilliantly, creating a rainbow on your walls. If it is a more streamlined appearance you are after, a light that consists of several hanging down will also be an eye-catching feature.

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