6 Kitchen Lighting Ideas

16 December 2018

If you’re looking for a smart way to transform your kitchen space, updating your lighting is far more economical and way less hassle than replacing the splashback and cabinets. The popularity of open concept kitchens and big kitchens — not to mention the very nature of cooking — makes “brightness” the goal.

Here’s how to brighten up your kitchen with simple and inspiring kitchen lighting ideas.

Pendant lights

Pendants or suspension lights befit all types of kitchens, from traditional to modern and everything in between. As task lighting, they should be centered over the kitchen islands or dining areas in a line, all hanging down at the same height.

Tip: Add a Hue Dimmer switch to control the brightness and colour temperature of your pendant light. See the Philips Hue range of pendants and suspension lights that come with an included Hue Dimmer switch.

Dining table with pendant lamp above it

Hanging lights

If you are looking for a simple yet elegant touch to your kitchen island or dining area, you can opt for the Edison-style LED bulbs that add a vintage-look, or go for an array of modern suspension lights with minimalist design.

Tip: Keep a minimum distance of 30 to 35 inches between the surface of the kitchen island and the bottom of the fixture. For optimal lighting, go for even number of hanging lights depending on the length of your kitchen island or dining table.

Kitchen bar with hanging lights above it

Reclaimed fixtures

Enlist your creativity and add cool lights - like light strings - to antique pieces or flea market finds to recreate a farmhouse kitchen. Need help? Hire a handyman to do the tricky electrical bits.

Tip: Go a step further and install colour-changing smart bulbs to personalise the ambiance for every occasion. See how to create the perfect mood lighting with Philips Hue. 

Hanging lamp above dining table

Task lighting

Often neglected, the area over the kitchen sink needs task lighting, too. Install a recessed light source right above your kitchen sink. Keep the design of the lighting in line with your overall aesthetic, of course.

Tip: If your kitchen cabinets are above your kitchen sink, then install a Philips Hue smart LED lightstrip under the cabinets to get evenly distributed task light while doing the dishes.

Indirect lighting

Keep the kitchen lighting low when not in use for food prep with under-cabinet fixtures — hidden from view but positioned in such a way that you can still find the serving spoon you’re hunting for.

Tip: Install a portable motion sensor to navigate in the night without having to switch on your kitchen lights manually. Check out the Philips Hue motion sensor.

Woman on her phone

Lights for not cooking

The kitchen is a major hub of household traffic, not to mention an activity centre and gathering spot. Don’t focus all your energy on improving the visibility for cooks; make sure to address the non-cooking times the kitchen is used for socialising.

Tip: Include at least one layer of smart ambiant light in the form of wall lights and smart LEDs in shelves and plinths. Check out the range of smart lights from Philips Hue.

Kitchen area with accent lighting under kitchen island

*When a bulb displays "Up to" a certain number of lumens in its specifications, it displays the maximum lumen output of the bulb. It shows how bright the bulb can get at 2700 K (White bulbs) or 4000 K (White ambiance or White and colour ambiance bulbs). Learn more about brightness