Kitchen Task Lighting

With the kitchen being a place for multiple uses in most homes, it’s no surprise that choosing the right lighting can be confusing. We want our kitchens to have statement lighting fixtures and have suitable kitchen task lighting. There must also be lighting for eating, relaxing and entertaining.

There are many things to think about when it comes to lighting. Getting all of the required lighting levels right isn’t always easy (this is known as layering). Many people make many lighting mistakes when fitting their kitchen. Style often chosen over substance. It is normal for people to get carried away with form and forgetting about functionality when it comes to kitchen lighting.

The need for Kitchen Task Lighting

Statement lighting, pendants and sconces all give the impression that the kitchen is a dream to work in. When it’s not thought through, however, the worktops that are used for food prep can be left looking dark and gloomy. Without sufficient lighting, food prep is less enjoyable and can even be less safe when it comes to sharp knives. A good lighting plan will make all the difference to your kitchen and how you can work in it.

What is Task Lighting?

When we use the term “task lighting”, we are referring to the brightest lights that tend to target the main working areas in the kitchen. This means the worktops, the cooker and the sink. We rely on task lighting as it enables us to see better in certain prep zones. A good choice would be under-cabinet downlighters, flexible LED strip lighting or ceiling mounted lights with directional spots. You could also opt for rise and fall lighting as it works well over dining areas and kitchen islands. Here, we have five tips to get the most from your kitchen lighting.

Think about Lighting as you Plan

An extremely common mistake people make with their kitchen is to forget about planning the lighting. However, leaving it to the last minute can leave you with limited lighting options. You can’t get the task lighting you need if you don’t specify what is required during the planning stage. All electrical work must be arranged prior to the installation of your new cabinets.

Think about how you Aim to Use your Kitchen

It’s rather difficult to make decisions on how to make the best use of a space and create a workable kitchen environment. Even if you aren’t starting from scratch with your kitchen design, you can still change the way you use your space to create a more efficient area. Think about where you plan to prep food. Make this area the main focus for your task lighting. Remember, you will need sufficient lighting over your stovetop as well. Natural lighting is always something you need to consider too. In most kitchens, you will find that the kitchen sink is below the window. Uniform task lighting is often the best choice.

Consider Positioning and Glare

It is imperative that you think about the context of your kitchen lighting. Worktops that have a strongly reflective surface will create glare. If you add any task lighting, it should be positioned above your head and away from your eyes. The source of light should never in your direct line of sight.

Lighting Control

The way in which you control your lighting is just as important as general lighting. It may be a good idea to control the brightness using a dimmer. This is perfect for multiple functions of the kitchen space, from meal prep to social entertaining.


You need to think about where you will install your task lighting. A ceiling light source that illuminated a worktop without a wall cabinet should be around 60 cm away from the wall. With wall cabinets obscuring parts of the worktop, any ceiling task light should be around 100 cm away from the wall. Doing so will keep shadows from the wall cabinet to a minimum.

Rail systems for spotlighting work well in the kitchen. The majority of these lighting systems allow you to angle the lights. This will ensure that they illuminate your worktops in the correct areas. Where you have wall cabinets over the worktop, the best task lighting to choose is under cabinet lighting.

Here are some things you should avoid if you wish to give your kitchen the glow it deserves:

  1. Not understanding the importance of layering
  2. Not enough lights
  3. Forgetting about task lighting altogether
  4. Under or oversized fixtures
  5. Installing lighting that is too harsh

Talk to Euan Begg Kitchens and Bedrooms

If you want a stylish kitchen with perfect lighting options for your needs, then look no further. Get in touch with Euan Begg Kitchens and Bedrooms today for a free home design visit and to see what we can do to make your kitchen a dream space!


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