Kitchen Lighting – Above and Beyond the Predictable

The kitchen is the heart of the home so when we redesign these spaces, no spare inch should be overlooked. But what are the best kitchen lights to show off your new design? We’ll talk you through the best lights for all areas of the kitchen.

  • Over Unit Lighting and it’s benefits
  • Advantages of Under Cabinet Lighting
  • Lighting up Kitchen Islands, Breakfast Bars and Kitchen Diners

Monaghan Lighting REZNOR adjustable industrial style single wall light in antique silver

Over Cupboard Lighting:

One of the most sought after styles of lighting for your kitchens is a more modern concept. For years, we have adopted the more traditional under-cabinet lights, but with a desire for injecting some modernity, we are now seeing kitchens utilising lights at the top of the cupboards. A design feature for many kitchens is to now adopt open shelving to add a cosy, eclectic effect and this style of lighting works particularly well utilised with these.

There are also a host of benefits, one of which is that it will free up ceiling space which will:

  • Allow for glass skylight feature ceilings
  • Work with uneven or sloping ceilings
  • Reduce dark corners and worktops where traditional ceiling spot lights may not reach
  • Hide away any ugly electrics, cables and back plates
  • Allow you to accurately position the lights where they are required for your kitchen layout
  • Create effective task lighting whilst providing ambient lighting for the room

Lights that are suitable to use over cabinets are available in a huge variety of styles to compliment all designs of kitchen. Ideally, what you need to look for is a light with an adjustable arm which will allow for a direct downward illumination. If there is additional adjustment within the arm, or at the base of the shade, this will allow you to adjust it for your own personal requirements, or for more tricky areas such as a corner.

As with everything, there are always drawbacks and if you are a hoarder of dusty items on top of your units then they need to come down! You don’t want to have your illumination blocked. You may also need to check that you can get power up there – that said, you can of course trail the cables out of view.


For modern kitchens, we have contemporary styles which are perfect to be used over shelves and cabinets in sleek and modern kitchens:

The Rio wall light from Mullan Lighing. Image credit Mullan Lighting / Relic Interiors.

The Lighting Book CRUISE LED adjustable chrome wall light

Lighting Catalogue SWING ARM WALL LIGHT in satin silver

ATELIER GRANDE adjustable plug in wall light in matte white finish

JOEL GRANDE modern wall light in black finish

For more traditional kitchens, or kitchens with a retro, vintage or industrial style, these lights are perfect over units:

Edison Lighting Map Room Double Adjustable Wall Light Antique Brass C/W LB4 Bulbs

Monaghan Lighting LONN adjustable scissor cage wall light in antique brass

MONAGHAN LIGHTING REZNOR - Adjustable Poster Light In Antique Silver

MONAGHAN LIGHTING APIA - Swivel Poster Light Wall Light In Antique Brass

Under Cabinet Lighting:

Far from being outdated, the under cabinet lighting is still so useful at providing great illumination for your worktops that there is no better kitchen task light available. Better still is that many of the lights on offer can be used as plinth lighting too! Benefits include:

  • Space saving design
  • Works will all styles, shapes and designs of kitchen
  • Available in colour changing to add ambience and character to your kitchen
  • Great and wide spread illumination for preparing your food
  • Glare free light

It is really beneficial using both under and over cabinet lighting together to create the perfect balance of light. There are hundreds of under counter lights available and we understand that it may be confusing as to which lights are the best to use in your kitchen. Here at The Lighting Company, we have plenty of options and lighting styles perfect for illuminating kitchen worktops.



NORDLUX PIPE - LED Strip Light 6W Under Cabinet

Kitchen Island, Breakfast Bar and Kitchen Diner Lights:

Eating in the kitchen has seen an increase, especially as we strive for a feeling of relaxed informality as a respite for our stressful pace of life. We see this as a modern leap in dining, no longer feeling like we’re about to be reprimanded for elbows making their way close to the edge of the table. Lighting these seating areas in our kitchens is key to our comfort and the lighting plan for the rest of the room just won’t cut the mustard.

Our top tips for creating a great lighting plan over kitchen islands are:NORDLUX PIPE - LED Strip Light 6W Under Cabinet

  • Choose lighting that compliments the style of the kitchen
  • Ensure that there is a good spread of light throughout the length and depth of the surface below
  • Consider the height of the ceiling and required clearance from any nearby cupboards or access points etc.
  • Sit down and consider the ideal height of the light from this perspective
  • Choose your bulbs wisely; you may wish to have a warmer, softer light at this area of the kitchen

Ceiling pendants always work well over dining areas in kitchens, but do take care to ensure that they spread enough light. If not, you could look to choose one with open or glass sides, but if this is not the look that you are after, consider a pair, row or cluster of ceiling pendants:

Do be cautious when deciding where to site your ceiling pendants, especially when used near a hob, sink or other kitchen appliance. We would always advise to seek the advice of a qualified electrician if you’re in any doubt, to ensure your home is as safe as it is beautiful.

Innermost BEADS OCTO modern gun metal globe cluster pendant

HOBSON industrial aged brass pendant with seeded glass (large)

Paying the same amount of attention to your lights as you do to the rest of your kitchen and you’re sure to have the perfect space for creating your mouthwatering meals and relaxing with friends and family. Make the kitchen the heart of your home!

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