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Northern Ireland Kitchen Lighting - Style & Design Guide

Popular Types of Kitchen Lighting

When it comes to kitchen lighting options, there are now plenty to choose from to suit every space, style and design.
Here are some of the current most popular designs to consider when it comes to kitchen lighting.

1. Functional Lighting

If your kitchen is primarily a functional space in your home, then you will want lighting options to match. LED lighting makes a great choice if you want to clearly be able to see your ingredients as you're cooking. LED lighting also helps to create a modern feel for your space by highlighting any areas that may be a little darker.
Often known as task lighting, choosing practicality over design doesn't mean you have to compromise on style when it comes to deciding on your kitchen lighting. There are plenty of great task lighting options to choose from, including focused lamps as well as LEDS.

2. Mood Lighting

Mood lighting, sometimes known as ambient, is a lighting option chosen to set the perfect atmosphere in your kitchen. Whether you are looking for something bright to aid with cooking prep, or prefer to have softer lighting to make your kitchen a tranquil space, the choice is yours.
When considering the right mood lighting, it is a good idea to think about using a number of different lighting options for maximum flexibility of mood. For example, mixing recessed lights with overhead lighting to balance the ambient brightness.

3. Trend Lighting

For some homeowners, staying up to date with the latest home décor trends is their top priority. If this sounds like you, then you'll want to make sure your kitchen lighting is not just functional but has a certain flair and fashionable aspect too.
Layered and floating lighting adds a modern twist to any kitchen and is also ideal for those looking for an innovative way to accentuate their kitchen island. Using strip lighting along the floor can also add a dose of contemporary style to even the smallest of kitchen spaces.

How Many Lighting Fixtures Will You Need?

When it comes to the amount of lighting fixtures you will need, this depends not just on the size of your kitchen but also the size of the space you're looking to light. Here are a few key points to remember when choosing your fixtures.

1. Know Your Lumens

Lumens refers to the amount of light that is emitted by a bulb no matter its type. So whether you are after LEDs, halogen or fluorescent lighting, you will still need to know the lumens amount as a starting reference point. Most standard bulbs will emit up to 1,700 lumens for reference.

2. What Are Your Watts

Whilst lumens refer to brightness, watts refer to the amount of energy your bulbs will need to use. This is important to consider, as it is a good idea to work towards keeping your kitchen as energy efficient as possible. The efficiency of bulbs can easily be calculated when we think about the amount of lumens produced for every watt used.

3. Measure Your Space

Measuring your space is a quick and easy way to then figure out how many light fixtures would work best in your kitchen. A rough rule of thumb is to use 'foot-candle' measuring to do so. A foot-candle refers to the amount of light that can be seen from a one foot distance. As such, measures for a kitchen in general would be:

Sink Area: 70 to 80 Foot-Candles

Oven Area: 70 to 80 Foot-Candles

Island Area: 30 to 40 Foot-Candles
As a quick calculation, you will need to use the formula:

Amount of Lumens x Square Feet of Space
Don't forget that although this is a generally accepted formula, when it comes to the perfect lighting for your kitchen, taste and personal preference will still be the most important factor.

How Bright Should Your Kitchen Be?

How bright your kitchen needs to be will depend on a number of different factors. If you have an internal kitchen with no outside lighting, you will naturally want to be finding ways to illuminate the space internally.
If however your kitchen is already quite bright and airy, you may prefer to just invest in particular areas of lighting instead. Here are a few ideas to consider when deciding on the brightness of your kitchen.


Downlighting offers the perfect way to highlight certain areas of your kitchen in a soft and more traditional way. They can also look funky and modern too depending on their positions. Although downlighting will provide a more muted source of lighting, they can still easily illuminate cabinets and certain kitchen work spaces too.

Strip Lighting

Strip lighting is great for both smaller and larger kitchen spaces alike, offering the opportunity to light underneath cabinets and kitchen units in order to create a chic yet bright illumination solution. Layering lights in this way can also help to give you greater control of how bright or not you want your kitchen to be at any one time.


Uplighting the top of kitchen units and cabinets can easily brighten even the most quaintly sized kitchens. As this will increase the amount of light in your kitchen, if you have a smaller space, it is best to opt for uplighting instead of downlighting.

Best Height for Kitchen Lights

High ceilings are generally considered to be above the average of 8 feet. So if your kitchen height exceeds this, you should be looking at lighting choices for a high ceiling. The best options to choose are:

Pendants - these help to accentuate the beautiful high ceiling of your kitchen and provide a modern focal lighting point.

Chandeliers - a chandelier will do a similar job to a pendant light but with added drama.

Recessed - this style of lighting is a great way to control the amount of light in your kitchen, helping to avoid any dark areas.

2. Low Ceilings

In contrast, low ceilings are considered to be any kitchen space under 8 feet. If your kitchen has a lower ceiling, you might want to opt for one of the following lighting designs:

Flush - this style of lighting is, as its name suggests, flush with the ceiling, making sure you get the maximum amount of illumination without the light fitting intruding into the space.

Semi Flush - similar to flush, semi-flush lights will hang a little lower but will still provide a good deal of lighting without taking up too much room.

Traditional vs. Modern Kitchen Lighting Styles and Designs

No matter the size and interior design of your home, there are always plenty of kitchen lighting style choices to consider. Broadly speaking, these will be divided into two categories of traditional and modern. Here are the most popular options for both

Top Traditional Styles

1. Vintage
For those who like a more traditional style when it comes to their kitchen lights, opting for vintage fittings is a great idea. Murano glass, Tiffany shades and art deco designed pendant lights add old Hollywood glamour to any kitchen island, whilst adding upcycled shades to any lights can instantly bring a more traditional touch.
2. Wall Fittings
Wall fitted lighting can be both traditional and modern, but when it comes to complementing an elegant kitchen, using wall lighting strategically can be charming and effective. By using wall fitted lights above a kitchen preparation area, this can create a focal point of light and drama without dominating the rest of the kitchen.
3. Neutral
Muted colours and earthy neutrals are a current favourite for those looking for a more traditional kitchen lighting design. Green and brown shades are ideal for wall lights and lamps, along with natural materials, such as wood, for any kitchen freestanding lights.

Favourite Modern Designs

1. Industrial
Industrial style lighting has been a popular favourite with those who love modern lighting for years and it's easy to see why. Sleek in design and available in a range of muted metallic materials, industrial lights often come with circular bulbs and geometric shapes for an at home modern art feel.
2. Wireless
There's nothing more chic and sleek than wireless lighting. Whether you are looking for a table lamp for your kitchen island or an extra free standing light to create added brightness, wireless lighting can keep you kitchen looking clean and classy.
3. Oversized
Opting for a larger scale central kitchen light can be a great way to pull focus and bring a modern lighting element to the heart of your home. Available in a range of artistic designs, an oversized pendant light can immediately add style points to your kitchen.

Free Kitchen Lighting Consultations:

For helpful guidance and assistance on any queries that you may have in relation to any aspects of lighting please phone Arches Lighting on 028 9047 1849 (UK & NI) or 048 9047 1849 (Ireland).


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