The Best Kitchen Lighting To Illuminate Your Space

Find kitchen lighting perfect for clear recipe prep and making a stylish statement.

Best kitchen lighting

by Eleanor Weaver |
Updated on

The kitchen is often described as the heart of the home. So, you'll want to fit it out with the best kitchen lighting to brighten the space and set the perfect atmosphere. Lighting can easily be overlooked. But, getting the right lights can help elevate your dining experience, make culinary tasks easier to see and do, and make a stylish kitchen come to life. Make sure to match the lighting well with your blinds and freshly-painted cabinets.

And it's not just your standard spotlights. We've shared the best kitchen lights, including on-trend pendants, statement lights, under-cabinet lighting, and recessed spotlights to keep lighting fixtures from disrupting your vision. All in LED, these lights are sure to 'wow' in style and efficiency.

What Is The Latest Trend In Kitchen Lighting?

For kitchen lighting that’s bang-on-trend, we’d recommend opting for pendant lights. According to research conducted by Atlas Ceramics, pendant lighting, aka hanging lights “are some of the most sought-after lighting designs in modern kitchens, with over 3.5 million searches on Google. Hanging pendant lights from your kitchen ceiling immediately add ambience and style to your kitchen.”

We’ve also seen a surge in industrial-style lights that fit contemporary, farmhouse, Scandinavian-style kitchens, and drawer lights. This sleek lighting detail turns on when drawers or cabinets are opened, triggered by a sensor. This is best suited to modern kitchens or those with limited natural light.

For the light source itself, we’d recommend LED lights. They have a longer working life, produce brighter, better quality light, and have greater energy efficiency – a must in this economy.

What To Consider In Kitchen Lighting:


There are two main functions for kitchen lighting; ambient and task lighting. Ambient is your general lighting that will provide overall illumination to the space. Task lighting on the other hand is to help you see what you’re doing more clearly. This could be lighting over your vinyl-wrapped kitchen counters or island to bake and read recipes. There’s also accent lighting, but this doesn’t provide a function other than to work as a visual decoration.


The design of your lighting fixture is likely to be dictated by function first and foremost. But, with ambient and accent lighting you have greater flexibility for lighting styles. You can find spotlights, pendants, light bars, and flush ceiling lights. For aesthetics, industrial-style lights are popular right now, but you could also try a colourful, mid-century, minimalist style instead.


In choosing a lighting fixture, you’ll need one that can meet your Lumen demands for the space. Lumens are the total amount of visual light emitted from a light source. After all, the amounts you need to light your kitchen can be achieved through the type and number of bulbs.

Whilst kitchen spotlights give you flexibility, each small and with one bulb fixture, other light designs have a fixed number of bulb brackets or recommended bulbs which may set your Lumen limit. You can find out more about the amount of Lumens you need in our FAQs section down below.


Some kitchen lights come with features that allow you to make adjustments to your light that'll transform the mood and environment of the room. This includes dimming, adjustable height of the light (specific to pendant lights), and smart features that allow you to control lighting colours, settings, and functions via Bluetooth. Fortunately, you'll spot a few of these in our round-up.

Best Kitchen Lighting

Best for fixed under-cabinet lighting

Perfect for providing direct light to those over-shadowed areas of the kitchen, the Teya can provide 25,000 hours of neutral white light through the integrated LED components. Sleek and modern, the fitting has a simple rectangular design in silver aluminium with a white plastic diffuser. The standout feature has to be the built-in sensor, so it will switch on when motion is detected within 15cm of the light.


  • It's IP20 rated so resistant to dust
  • Has versatile use and a contemporary style


  • Motion-sensor operated only
  • No customer reviews

Best for industrial-inspired design

If you are after a pendant light to sit above your kitchen island or dining table, the Baldwin is perfectly on-trend as an industrial-style pendant light. Available in Pewter/ Copper (pictured), Antique Brass, or Black, it's dimmable and the braided flex is adjustable so you can make sure it's the right height for your kitchen. If you do choose to position it over your kitchen island, we'd recommend opting for multiple to fill the space.

Customer Review: "Bought these to replace existing pendant lights and so pleased with them. The finish on them looks really expensive and I love the industrial-style detailing. Easy to install, you just need a pair of screws handy for the internal bracket in each one. They diffuse a warm light which is perfect for our kitchen island."


  • Looks classy and more expensive than it is
  • Rated IP20 with different colours available
  • Diffuses warm light for a cosy feel


  • Light is focused downwards - a longer bulb will help to widen the beam

Best for flexible lighting

Use this flexible strip lighting to create feature spaces in your kitchen, illuminate the under-cabinet, different levels of your kitchen, or place in drawers - with flexible strips and included adhesive, you have limitless possibilities. Better yet, you can control your lighting from your smartphone via Bluetooth, turning it on and changing the colours to set the mood. With bright light output, it's great for both decorative and functional lighting.

Customer Review: "Easy to install and very effective" and, "The colour spectrum seems unlimited!"


  • Versatile use
  • High lumen output
  • White and colour light options
  • Smartphone control


  • Requires the Hue Bridge to access more features and control options.

Best for versatile style

We love how versatile this ceiling light is for kitchen styles. Whilst we think it best fits a kitchen with mid-century decor, it could easily fit into a classic, modern, and industrial-style kitchen too with the satin nickel body. Complete with a height-adjustable clear flex, we love the beautiful detailing in the chic textured glass shades that'll allow light to shine through to illuminate the area.

Customer Review: "I love this light, looks fab in my dining room. Initially, I was disappointed with the size of each pendant as I wanted something larger, however now it's in place I actually feel it's completely in proportion, but double check the size if you did want a larger pendant. The drop is adjustable but there isn't much space at the top of the fitting for the slack to go, so again double-check the drop length. Considering this light is less than half price of the John Lewis equivalent, I think it's marvellous."


  • Dimmable compatible
  • Three lights in one
  • Good quality and stylish
  • Adjustable height


  • Bulbs not included.

Best for Scandinavian-style
Scandi light
Price: £96.99 (was £146.99)

If you have a minimalist kitchen or one with wooden features and neutral colours, this Scandi-inspired spotlight will fit in seamlessly to keep your aesthetic on point all the way up to the ceiling with a powder-coated metal finish. These three lights focus the light in your kitchen exactly where you need it.

Customer Review: "Love these lights, really stylish, perfect size - really happy with them."


  • Simple design with three lights in one
  • Dimmable compatible
  • Great quality
  • Matching alternative lights available.


  • Some found it tricky to fit.

Best for functionality
Norldux Skylar LED Bar Ceiling Light
Price: £175.96 (was £219.95)

Pairing impressive functionality with a modern and minimalist design, this powerful LED light will brighten your kitchen island with a huge 2,600 Lumens. It has an adjustable drop to suit your required height and three-step dimming functions: Choose between down light and side light, only down light, or only side light. It'll remember your last dimmer setting and is great for setting the right ambience, come night or day.

Customer Review: "We bought this recently to go over a kitchen island. It looks good for the price we paid."


  • Adjustable drop
  • Three-dimming functions
  • Powerful light, rated IP20
  • Zero assembly required.


  • The LED cannot be replaced, but it should have an excellent lifespan.

Best for smart technology

Much like the Philips Smart LED Lightstrip Plus, these spotlights can be controlled instantly with your smartphone via Bluetooth, but these provide better general lighting for your kitchen. The flush-mount bulb offers different shades of warm to cool white light, complete with adjustable brightness and dimmability. You won't need to choose between warm or white light and can make sure you always have the best lighting for tasks and ambience.


  • Rated IP20 and recessed seamless design
  • Fully adjustable settings with app control
  • Compact - can easily reach required


  • Requires the Hue Bridge to access more features and control options.
  • No customer reviews

Best for texture

Bring nature indoors. A sustainable look for your decor is trending right now, and we think this natural rattan pendant light does just that with a nod to Nordic design. Elegant with black accents, this would make a great feature in your dining room or over your dining table if you have open-plan living. Certainly a statement and enough to get dinner conversations rolling.

Customer Review: "Great feature light looks much better in situ than it does on the box. Looks great with vintage bulbs and throws a lovely pattern in the ceiling."


  • Stylish and unique
  • Easy to construct
  • Great quality.


  • We wouldn't recommend it for a small kitchen.

Best for luxury
Moricio Opaline & Brass Ceiling Light
Price: £137.50 (was £250)

Inspired by the Art Deco trend, this ceiling light is a glamorous choice that'll add elegance to your kitchen. Made of metal with a brass finish, the ceiling light has four matte, white, opaque glass globe shades with the two central globes able to pivot if you wish to change their positions.


  • Adjustable design
  • Chic and stylish


  • Pricey
  • No customer reviews

OUR VERDICT: Which Is The Best Kitchen Lighting?

For best kitchen lighting, we'd have to pick the Philips Hue 3-Pack Milliskin Recessed Spotlights. We love how, with smart technology, you can fully adjust the lighting brightness and tone to suit without having to pick the one coloured bulb. Being recessed, they fit in seamlessly and you can add plenty more to build up light without cluttering the space.

We'd also choose to hang three of the John Lewis & Partners Baldwin Pendant Ceiling Lights over a kitchen island. It helps to make a feature of the island, create a focal point to the kitchen, and add plenty of style with the industrial-inspired aesthetic.

Kitchen lights
©Getty Images


What is the best lighting for a dark kitchen?

To brighten up a dark kitchen, under-cabinet lights are best for illuminating the most overshadowed areas of your kitchen. They also help to brighten up your kitchen as a whole, reflecting off your backsplash tiles and creating a glow over your entire countertop.

We’d also recommend placing recessed lights across your kitchen ceiling as this will cover the widest area and hit those dark corners and areas that might not be covered by a spotlight fixture of pendant lights.

Should kitchen lights be warm or cool?

Warm white lighting, that with an orange tinge, is the most popular choice of lighting tone in the UK, as it gives the home a more warm, calm, and cosy feel. Cool white lights give off a blue-white colour which is often best reserved for commercial spaces.

That being said, there’s nothing to say you can’t play around with lighting tones in your home. For example, if you have an open-plan kitchen and living room, you may find having cool lighting in the kitchen is preferred for creating a distinction between the two spaces. Or in kitchens with a central island, you may want to keep your general lighting cool with the lighting over your kitchen island being a warmer tone to focus it as your cosy dining space.

Opting for a colour-changing bulb can create all sorts of dynamic lighting effects in your home. Using a remote control you can easily switch between 12 different colours, two lighting modes (RGB fade/flash), switch between brightness modes, and adjust the timing and lighting speed.

Nanoleaf Canvas Starter Kit
Price: £125.99

These clever modular LED square panels are designed to add a stunning statement of smart lighting to your space, and you simply stick to them to your walls. You can alter the different lighting styles and patterns to suit the mood of your kitchen, creating a warm glow or something more colourful. You just need a mains power connection.

How many lights should a kitchen have?

To decipher how many lights you need, you’ll first need to find the square foot of your kitchen. You can do this by measuring the length and width of the area and multiplying by two. Most kitchens require 30-40 Lumens per square foot in general, with 70-80 Lumens in countertop areas. By multiplying the square foot of your area by Lumens, you can find out exactly how many Lumens you need to adequately light the space.

For example, if you have a 100sq. ft kitchen with 20 sq. ft of countertop space:

100 x 40 = 4,000 Lumen

20 x 80 = 1,600 Lumen

Total = 5,600 Lumen

You can then use this calculation to work out how many light fixtures to need to get the right number of bulbs.

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