30 modern lighting ideas for a beautiful kitchen

Put your kitchen in the spotlight

<p>Harvey Jones</p>

Harvey Jones

Good lighting can make or break any room and it becomes even more important in a place where you'll be handling sharp objects and hot pans! Probably the most hardworking part of the home – and where we're spending more downtime than ever before – the kitchen needs to be lit perfectly to make the space practical as well as beautiful. From statement pendants to streamlined spotlights, read on for bright kitchen lighting ideas...

Motion sensor cupboard lights

<p>Brayer Design</p>

Brayer Design

Motion sensor lighting makes a great choice for walk-in larders or cupboards when you have your hands full. It's a clever little extra that will transform your kitchen lighting scheme from ordinary to impressive. You don't need to have a high-end kitchen for such fancy features, battery-powered versions can be purchased from hardware stores or online and screwed into place with brackets. And, of course, the lights turn off when the door is closed to save energy, too.

Industrial cage lighting

<p>Richard Salamander / Shutterstock</p>

Richard Salamander / Shutterstock

If you like the industrial look, a caged light featuring multiple bulbs is ideal for above a kitchen island or dining table. Choose vintage-style bulbs for ambience or if task lighting is needed go for daylight bulbs. Most designs come with a choice of pipe lengths, giving you the option to place the light lower over a dining table or raise it higher above practical work areas.

Spider flex pendants

<p>Marko Subotin / Shutterstock</p>

Marko Subotin / Shutterstock

For pendant lighting with a twist, spider lights are a great choice. So-called because they resemble spiders legs when fixed to the ceiling, this style of light allows you to choose where to loop and fix to the ceiling, so the lighting is just where you need it. There are lots of styles available, including exposed bulb options, for an industrial look.

Under-cabinet spotlighting



Lighting the dark space under wall-hung cabinets offers task lighting for food preparation and creates a welcoming glow that gently illuminates kitchen worktops. There are so many variations to choose, from single budget-friendly spotlights to integrated designs that disappear into the cabinet when not in use. Work them into your lighting scheme with matching statement pendants for a smart look.

Layered kitchen lighting



A truly functional kitchen lighting plan is one that can house all three lighting types in harmony without looking overcrowded or overbright. Matching matt black fixtures for the task, ambient and mood lighting suits the needs of this soft green contemporary kitchen with style and balance. We like how the trio of pendants are mini versions of the large statement light over the dining table.

Sink lighting

<p>Mereway Kitchens</p>

Mereway Kitchens

There's nothing worse than trying to take care of practical chores in a dimly lit space. These units problem-solve with stronger task lighting aimed at the sink and is an example of how layered kitchen lighting can be effective especially in small spaces.

Dramatic Sputnik lights

<p>PinkyWinky / Shutterstock</p>

PinkyWinky / Shutterstock

Who says kitchen lighting has to be practical and utilitarian? If your style is more glam, a brass Sputnik light with glass globes can be a real showstopper. In this stylish kitchen it perfectly complements the marble-effect island, glass cabinetry and fresh white scheme. If your ceilings are low, go for a semi-flush design.

Antique brass wall lights

<p>deVOL kitchens</p>

deVOL kitchens

If your style is more country house than modern spaceship, you'll want every aspect of your décor to fit effortlessly into the scheme, and this definitely includes your lighting. There are so many options for finishes and styles that you'll be able to find just the right light for your dream kitchen. These antique brass wall lights complement the traditional forest green cabinets and even the collection of artwork on the picture shelf, while their overhead pools of light will be atmospheric too.

Kitchen pendant lighting

<p>Harvey Jones</p>

Harvey Jones

Pendant lighting offers a stylish low-level focal point to the kitchen. When done right, they can add the perfect finishing touch to a kitchen scheme. Suspended from the ceiling, pendant lights hang down as a single statement shade or in a cluster – generally of three or five – and are best positioned over a breakfast bar or work surface where they are not likely to become a hazard.

Natural kitchen lighting

<p>Magnet Kitchens</p>

Magnet Kitchens

While integrating the three main types of lighting in your kitchen plan, don't forget the fourth and most flattering element; natural light. Aim to feature as many windows and doors as possible to flood your space with daylight and your kitchen will never look better. If you're extending your kitchen, a kitchen skylight is the most effective means of using daylight to fill the space. Then as the night draws in, switch on that well-planned lighting system.

Ceiling spotlights



Ceiling spotlights are a stylish and simple light option for times when you need strong visibility to back up accent lighting. Embedded into a surface, they are streamlined and unobtrusive, so work in almost any style of room.

Under-shelf kitchen lighting

<p>John Cullen Lighting</p>

John Cullen Lighting

Tiered open shelving in the kitchen can be used to display favourite cookbooks and accessories so under-shelf lighting makes a welcome addition to highlight the well-styled surfaces. These floating shelves are the same colour and material as the wall behind so the soft glow and decorative pieces take centre stage.

Integrated LED lighting



Integrated LED lighting is a great choice for highlighting areas of your space and so is often included within kitchen ranges as standard. LED undershelf strip lights can be white or multicolour and are operational with a normal switch or via Wi-Fi using an app. In this kitchen, they are tucked away in a mantel to provide light over the stove.

Elegant formal lighting

<p>Magnet Kitchens</p>

Magnet Kitchens

Smarten the feel of your kitchen with a row of sophisticated glass pendant bulbs hung from opulent metal fittings. Reflecting a traditional vibe, the timeless statement is perfect for everyday living or special occasions. These delicate clear glass designs are so light and airy that they make the ceiling feel a little higher in the space a good option for smaller rooms.

Colourful evening lighting

<p>pozitivo / Shutterstock</p>

pozitivo / Shutterstock

Did someone say kitchen disco? If your kitchen is the heart of any party or gathering you may want to get creative with atmospheric lighting. Coloured under-cabinet LED strips lights are fun and affordable, and pendant lights can be changed to a coloured bulb for evening entertaining. If you're a fan of smart home features, Philips Hue is a great more permanent choice – as you can control your lighting setup with Bluetooth to instantly change the ambience by adjusting the brightness, colour and temperature of your lights in each room.

Kitchen-diner lighting

<p>Wren Kitchens</p>

Wren Kitchens

Colourful lighting shades add a splash of vibrancy to any kitchen. Match the shade to your cupboards and furnishings to take the colour scheme up into eye level and create a coordinated look. These refreshing pendants hung at various levels over the dining table pick out the clean white backdrop, zingy yellow cabinets and smart navy dining chairs, giving the room perfect balance.

Glass cooker hood lights

<p>Good Homes at B&Q</p>

Good Homes at B&Q

Look out for kitchen appliances with integrated lighting features. This contemporary extractor fan offers a coloured LED light which highlights the curved glass hood. The colourful addition adds decorative and futuristic fun to a minimalist kitchen.

Wall sconces

<p>Fritz Fryer</p>

Fritz Fryer

Well-placed wall lights can add a gentle form of background lighting and are practical for enhancing specific areas. Here, wall sconces have been positioned to highlight the texture and colour of an exposed brick feature wall. The sconces alone don't provide enough light to chop by, so pendant lights with the same industrial look and warm tone have been added into the mix.

Large format task lighting

<p>Good Homes at B&Q</p>

Good Homes at B&Q

This take on under-cabinet lighting uses illuminated panels fitted flush to a surface. They can be used as contemporary and efficient task lighting and are double-sided to light the internal cupboard as well. If this feels too intense, they come with a dimmer sensor to change the level and colour of light to suit your mood.

Kitchen island lighting

<p>Wren Kitchens</p>

Wren Kitchens

Make a useful kitchen island the central hub by adding lights to illuminate the base. This is an ideal solution if you don't have the room or option for overhead pendant lights to enhance the feature or make it part of a wider lighting scheme that uses lots of different sources to create a twinkling social space.

Classic ceiling track lighting



Track lighting uses a series of adjustable spotlights that are held together and wired through a strip of metal. Stylish and affordable, they have been somewhat of a favourite kitchen lighting fixture since the 1960s and are now enjoying a revival thanks to their cool retro credentials, and can often be spotted illuminating contemporary kitchens.

LED strip lights

<p>Paul Vinten / Shutterstock</p>

Paul Vinten / Shutterstock

LED strip lighting is extremely versatile and affordable. Adhesive strips mean they can be stuck almost anywhere and they are super energy efficient. They are easy to install and can be used as under-cabinet task lights, as low-level floor lighting and can even highlight the handles of J-pull drawers and doors, which looks impressive.

Kickboard kitchen lighting

<p>Magnet Kitchens</p>

Magnet Kitchens

Plinth or kickboard lighting acts as another form of mood lighting to enhance the atmosphere of the room. The soft downlighters add a professional finish to kitchen designs and are a 'must-have' highlighter if you've gone for an on-trend statement floor.

Easy garland lighting



When installing additional lighting isn't an option, try adding a little sparkle by stringing fairy lights above open shelves. Battery operated versions mean you won't even need to stick to the area near a plug let your creativity run wild! If it's good enough for Nigella, it's good enough for us.

Glass cabinet lighting



Glass-fronted kitchen cabinetry breaks up a run of units with elegant charm. Highlighting the divide with internal lights enhances the feature and showcases gorgeous glassware and any favourite crockery within. Choose a glowing golden light to add warmth to a white kitchen.

Vintage-style lighting

<p>Harvey Jones</p>

Harvey Jones

Vintage lights and fixtures add contrast to modern kitchens and character to traditional kitchens. Look for reclaimed finds to create a unique look on a budget. You'll need to check any old pieces with an electrician to make sure it is safe and working before installation. If the 'real thing' is not a priority there are many new products that channel old-fashioned charm particularly Art Deco-inspired glass and brass, and industrial steel designs.

Statement kitchen lighting

<p>Harvey Jones</p>

Harvey Jones

If you want a kitchen with wow factor then go for a statement light as the main focal point. These three large pendant ball lights are huge, full of texture and visually stunning in this large kitchen. Be sure your space is big enough to carry off statement lighting or it could end up looking cluttered and excessive, not to mention cause a headache if you walk into them!

Mantel stove spotlights

<p>Martin Moore</p>

Martin Moore

If you are lucky enough to own a stove and kitchen mantel, set spotlights inside the alcove to make it a luxurious highlight. This works wonderfully in a neutral traditional English kitchen, and becomes a popping focal point if you add a rich colour to your splashback. We think a jewel-like teal or a warm terracotta would look amazing!

Eclectic pendant lighting

<p>deVOL kitchens</p>

deVOL kitchens

You don't have to stick with tradition to make kitchen lighting stylish and effective. Yes, worktop task lighting is usually provided with under-cabinet spotlights but if you don't have upper units why not go for something different and use pendant lighting instead? This vintage-style kitchen looks incredible with a display of small rustic pendant lights arranged at different levels above the counter and is in-keeping with the characterful kitchen scheme.

Asymmetric pendant lighting

<p>LEKSTOCK 3D / Shutterstock</p>

LEKSTOCK 3D / Shutterstock

While it's certainly true that the rule of three works well in design and a trio of pendants above an island is pleasing to the eye, the same can be said for an asymmetrical look. Here two pendants frame the seating part of this breakfast bar, and cleverly do not obscure the open shelving, creating a modern look in this Scandi-style kitchen.

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