Last updated: August 10, 2021

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The kitchen is one of the most important places in every home. This is where people cook, bake, eat, work, learn and talk. In short, it is where life is lived. As an important focal point, a beautiful kitchen is particularly valuable. Here, your individual style decides whether it should be cosy and comfortable or highly functional.

In the following article, we will give you tips on how to find the right lighting for your kitchen. There are different types of lighting, each with different characteristics. The right kitchen lighting is extremely important so that you don't grope in the dark and cut your finger.




Summary

  • Kitchen lighting is particularly important for work surfaces. Indirect light sources or those that come directly from above are suitable here. It is particularly important to avoid shadows when working. Light sources with 300 - 500 lux have proved to be good here.
  • For kitchen lighting, LEDs are often used to create indirect light sources. They have very good luminosity and are energy-saving. Lamps that work via a motion detector are also suitable in some cases and can also save electricity.
  • The light sources for kitchen lighting can be installed in different ways. You can decide for yourself what kind of lamp you want. Depending on your preference, there are lamps that can be drilled, glued or pinned.

The Best Kitchen Lighting: Our Picks

Our editors have then compiled and described the best products for you.

Buying and rating criteria for kitchen lighting

In the following section, we show you the most important criteria to consider when choosing lighting for your kitchen.

Here follows an explanation of the individual criteria.

Battery or power connection

At a very basic level, you can consider what kind of lighting you want. It is also important to determine from the outset how the power connections are distributed in your kitchen.

Small lamps in particular, perhaps even with motion detectors, can be installed very flexibly with batteries. So if you use lamps with batteries, you can quickly and easily upgrade the lighting in your kitchen without any manual skills and without spending a lot of time.

Motion detector or switch

Here, too, the question is whether you would like to have a small automatic light for the night, for example, without having to look for the light switch first. Especially when you have your hands full, a motion detector is a good choice.

A motion detector is also suitable for illuminating work surfaces where you are actively preparing things, or for the dark storage room or even large storage cupboards. A motion detector is less suitable for lighting above the dining table, where people usually sit and eat quietly and comfortably. So a normal light switch is more suitable here.

Light colour

A basic distinction can be made between a more yellowish light and a cooler white. The first is warm and cosy, the second more like bright daylight. LED lights now even come with colour-changing settings. Here you can choose between several colours.

The best thing to do here is to think about what you want to use your kitchen for and what the rest of the design looks like. If you want to use it more as a cosy quiet zone, the yellowish colour is ideal. But if you prefer to use your kitchen to start the day bright and early, the cool white shade might suit you better.

Style

You can choose different styles of kitchen lighting. On the one hand, of course, this depends on the type of use. On the other hand, there are just as many different styles here as with other items of furniture.

For example, you can find modern, classic, antique, industrial, technical, oriental, Scandinavian and maritime lighting styles. So here you have a wide choice when actually choosing your kitchen lighting and you can adapt the lighting wonderfully to the rest of the kitchen and your own ideas.

LED

LED strips and LED spots are becoming more and more common in kitchen lighting. LED strips are often used to provide indirect lighting above wall cabinets or underneath cabinets.

The LED dots can be placed very specifically in difficult places or, with several of their kind, provide exciting ambient lighting. Most of the time, the dots can simply be glued on.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about lighting for kitchens answered in detail

In the following section, we clarify the most important questions about kitchen lighting.

For whom is lighting for kitchens suitable?

Basically, every kitchen needs lighting as long as you want to use it at any time of day. Some kitchens are open-plan and have access to the living room. In some cases, shared basic lighting is sufficient here.

But good lighting is essential, especially for work surfaces where sharp objects are handled. There are several types of lighting, about which we report more in the next section. Not everyone needs every type of lighting. But basic lighting is probably necessary in every kitchen.

What types of kitchen lighting are there?

As mentioned above, there are several types of kitchen lighting. Not every one is needed in every kitchen. You can decide for yourself where your priorities lie. Basic lighting, as the name suggests, is a basic level of lighting.

It is simply there to ensure that you have light in your kitchen at all times of the day. Larger ceiling lamps that can illuminate the entire room are suitable for this purpose. In kitchens, it is important that the lamps are easy to clean, as moisture can sometimes rise and odours can take root, especially in fabrics.

Another type of lighting is worktop lighting, to which we also include cooking surface lighting. In these areas in particular, it is extremely important to be able to see well. Often, lighting is already integrated in cooker bonnets. Here, it is particularly important that the lamps are waterproof and that they are positioned in such a way that shadows are avoided. Indirect lighting is particularly suitable for this.

Cabinets can also be illuminated. Kitchen cupboards in particular are large and deep. Contact luminaires that come on automatically as soon as the cupboard is opened are a good choice here. Again, you have the choice between battery and cable.

The lighting for the dining table usually needs to be able to illuminate a larger area. Nevertheless, shadows or extremely bright lighting can be unpleasant on faces. To avoid this, dimmable lamps are very suitable. This way, you can use the dining table as you wish and adjust the light to suit your needs.

Finally, we would like to tell you something about decorative lights. To establish mood and special lighting effects in your kitchen, small special spots or LED strips are suitable, where you can sometimes also change the colour. You can use these to emphasise shapes or create indirect light.

In keeping with the light style of the kitchen, a cool white tone was chosen here. (Image source: Adam Pinter / Unsplash)

Which kitchen lighting models are suitable?

In the table, you will find suitable models for the respective lamp type. This gives you a quick overview of what you can look for. You can find the individual types of lamps in the previous paragraph.

Type of lighting Suitable models
Basic lighting Ceiling lamps, Rotating spots
Work surface lighting Indirect lighting, Waterproof lighting
Lighting for cupboards Contact light, LED strips
Dining table lighting Dimmable light, Pendant light
Decorative lighting LED strips

With this small overview, you can now search specifically for the right lamps for you. Be sure to take a look at our article recommendations. Here we have selected the best models for you.

Conclusion

With the lighting in your kitchen, you can change the whole room and create a beautiful feel-good atmosphere that suits you. Moreover, the right lighting is really important when you consider that you have to deal with sharp knives here every day. This makes it all the more important to think about your local conditions and what you like in terms of style and luminosity before you buy.

Our little guide has certainly helped you with your choice and could certainly give you a good first overview of the topic. Now it is up to you to make the right choice for yourself.

(Cover photo: R ARCHITECTURE / Unsplash)

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