Lighting in the kitchen and dining room: the rules of light design

lighting in the kitchen

The biggest mistake that can be made when decorating the interior of the kitchen – to provide only one source of light. We’ll tell you why you shouldn’t do so, and give you six practical tips for lighting.

General lighting tips

1. Plan the location of lights in advance: in the midst of repair is too late. The best thing is to decide on the number and location of lighting fixtures when you have outlined the main functional areas. 

2. Sockets, switches, lighting fixtures, wires, install at least 60 cm from the sink and water pipes.

3. use more than one light source. Be sure to provide work surface lighting. If there is a dining area, a light fixture over the dining area or a sconce for softer lighting is ideal. Decorative lighting and under-cabinet lighting won’t go amiss. 

4. Correct the space with lighting. Does the room have architectural flaws? To correct the geometry of a narrow kitchen, place light fixtures along one wall. Fixtures located along the middle line of the ceiling, on the contrary, will visually “elongate” the room.

Wall sconces with upward pointing light will visually raise the low ceiling. But for a very high ceiling choose a massive chandelier.

5. Adjust the color temperature of the lighting. Modern LED lighting fixtures give light of different colors and shades. Keep in mind that it’s better to cook with as much natural light as possible – for the working area, choose a cooler shade of bulbs. But the appetite is promoted by warm and soft light.

6. Make sure you’re saving money. Use LED bulbs, because they cut power consumption by 90% and last up to 15 years. And dimmers will help you get the right level of light and reduce energy costs.

Kitchen lighting: tips + infographic

1. Place built-in ceiling spotlights at least 30-40 cm apart. From the corner of the wall to the light fixture should be left at least 20 cm. Experts recommend installing a 20 watt light fixture per square meter of ceiling. Draw a diagram of the lighting fixtures in advance and indicate the distance to the walls.

2. Point light fixtures built into the top ledge of kitchen cabinets or embedded in the bottom panel are necessary for comfortable work. If instead of cabinets on the wall open shelves, use lights on hangers. The optimal distance between the bottom edge of the lamp and the countertop is 70-87 cm.

3. Pendant lights with a long cord should not hang too low – it’s easy to hit them with your head. If there is only one plafond above the round table – the lower edge of the lamp should be between 70-90 cm above the table top. The optimal diameter of the chandelier is about half the width of the table. 

Above a long rectangular table, hang several chandeliers – set back 30 cm from the edges of the table and place them at an equal distance from each other.

4. A group of pendant lights is just what you need to illuminate a kitchen island. The distance between the bottom of the light fixture and the table top is at least 65-70 cm: the light from the hanging lamps should not strike the eyes. 

Keep in mind that the distance between the lights in the kitchen above the table should not be less than 30-40 cm. 

If you have a kitchen lounge: 4 rules for lighting

1. The main thing is functional zoning. With the help of lighting fixtures you can literally turn different zones on and off. A central chandelier in the living area and spot lighting in the kitchen is a great option. Don’t forget about the recreational area: if you want to read in an armchair, a floor lamp with directional light will come in handy. 

2. Pendant lights over the bar – delicately zoning out the space. With the kitchen light off, they will create a more intimate living room space – nothing will distract you from relaxing. 

3. A beautiful chandelier above the dining table is a must. It will create the right mood: a festive atmosphere when receiving guests or romantic – for dinner for two. Pay attention to lamps, the height of which can be changed with one move of the hand – it’s convenient.

4. Decorative lighting: table lamps, sconces, floor lamps are responsible for a relaxed atmosphere and accentuate the decor. Highlight paintings, vases, tableware is easy with directional light fixtures: use built-in, wall, ceiling models.

lighting in the kitchen

Trends in lighting: the opinion of the pros

Standard lamps bring boredom and want something more interesting? Lighting designer Polina Gubonina talks about current trends in lighting. 

1. To highlight the dining table can be used not only a pendant lamp, but also installed next to a floor lamp on a curved tripod, a table lamp with a diffusing plafond or an accent projector mounted on the wall. 

2. Use an LED strip to create contour lighting for a glass table – the effect is self-illuminating. Place the strip inside cabinets with glass fronts: you’ll get luminous stained glass windows, creating the effect of additional windows.

3. Place the LED strip inside shelves, under cabinets or along walls: and all these ideas you can implement with a minimum of effort and without construction dust.