9 Modern Kitchen Lighting Ideas

A well-lit kitchen delivers on both style and functionality – read below as we reveal the brightest looks at the moment and how best to use them in your entertainment space.

Slender Lines

Sleek, linear pendants are having a moment. People are looking for lights that are minimalist and unobtrusive. Think a sleek pendant over a kitchen island that gently spreads light up to the ceiling and down to the bench. This look works well in busy kitchens – when there is a lot going on in a room, the less visual clutter you have on the ceiling, the better.

Big and Bold

At the other end of the spectrum, statement pendants are still proving popular. The kitchen island has taken over from the key feature lighting location – particularly in open-plan rooms. People want individuality; they are working with lighting designers to create truly bespoke lights for their kitchens.

Striking Finishes

A unique light fixture can completely transform your space. Geometric and organic shape, beading and metallic finishes are all big for 2020. Hanging a group of decorative pendants is a great way to add interest and soften the harsh lines.

Lighting Inside Joinery

Practical and appealing, fully functional joinery lighting is something we can expect to see more of. Integrating lighting into kitchen joinery allows your cupboards to act the same way as a fridge, where the lights switch on as soon as you open the door. This means you do not need as much lighting in the ceiling.

Soft, Concealed Lighting

Harsh lighting is out, while gentle, concealed illumination is in. Discreet and diffuse light hidden in the ceiling and/or bulkheads is a magical way to light a kitchen, and it keeps your ceiling clean and uncluttered.

Asymmetrical Positioning

Forget the middle of the kitchen island – the latest pendants are resolutely off-centre. The result? Lighting that provides a gentle wash of illumination not just to the benchtop, but into neighbouring dining and living spaces too. Choosing a dramatic, statement light and hanging it asymmetrically over your island allows you to transform the way you open-plan living area looks and feels after dark.


Smart lighting is becoming easier and more commonplace in kitchens. You can turn your lights on and off in different rooms with a simple voice command, as well as adjust light strength and colour temperature from you phone. Smart lighting has made significant leaps in recent years. The biggest advantage is scene setting: smart lighting allows you to transform a room at the flick of a switch into different modes, such as cook, party or chill modes. As well as the many hard-wired options available, you can now find simple plug and play systems too, which give you total control over your lighting from your smart phone.

LED Strips

Today’s kitchen designers are using versatile, concealed LED strip lights to up the luxe factor in kitchens. They are a simple addition but can really add a sense of luxury to the space. As LED strips can be used almost anywhere, they are very practical too. Add them to the underside of your overhead cabinetry to softly illuminate your benchtops. Or use them on open shelves to showcase beautiful glassware or dinnerware. Alternatively, make your kitchen island appear to float by putting them in the gap between the island and floor. But while its tempting to light multiple features, we urge people to be discerning. Just use restraint and resist the urge to light everything!

Maximum Flexibility

Rather than an ill-considered spotlight on the ceiling, the latest trends favour tailored lighting that provides task illumination exactly where you need it. Think focused light over a benchtop with different switching options that allow you to change lighting levels and mood, depending on how you are using the kitchen. With the rise of open-plan kitchen/living/dining rooms, lighting is also being used to zone spaces and highlight architectural features. We are also seeing fixtures of the same material or colour being used in the kitchen and adjoining spaces to create a sense of flow between the different areas.

When planning your kitchen lighting, think beyond cooking and consider exactly how you use the space. Add in additional switches and dimmers so you can alter the atmosphere and choose lighting with warm colour temperatures.

Refresh Interiors is a boutique refurbishment and project management company that delivers tailored solutions based on our client needs, budget and style - contemporary, heritage or minimalist.

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