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I want to know everything about task lighting for kitchens

Lighting ideas

Kitchen task lighting is designed to create a shadow-free work environment when you're doing things around the kitchen, like cooking at the hob or chopping at a work surface. But it needs to work with the style of your kitchen, and the rest of the lighting across the room.

To do that, you need to understand the different lighting options, and know where in the kitchen it's best installed.

Worktop lighting

Worktop lighting

Designed specifically for food prep, under-cabinet lighting is one of the most popular kinds of task lighting for ensuring the workspace is properly illuminated and doesn't have obstructive shadows cast over it. Helpful for whenever you're wielding a sharp knife.

LED strips are often the go-to in these areas, as they offer unbroken, bright white light across an area that makes for clear visibility. LED circular lights are considered a more modern option, as they are more compact, and can be used to create soft ambient light for dining. LED ropes are also available for anyone who is looking for a really simple installation.

Over-the-sink lighting

Over-the-sink lighting

If the room allows, placing the sink beneath a window can allow the area to be flooded with natural light during the day. It might look particularly beautiful for those with a rustic kitchen sink, as the layout pays reference to the traditional, country-cottage style kitchen – with the option of watching the world going by as you do the washing up.

For evenings and dark days, small pendant lights are a popular choice as they add a soft spotlight that can be tied into the rest of the room, while recessed LED lights in the ceiling are a subtler addition, which would suit a contemporary kitchen design or small kitchen that could become overwhelmed by pendant lights.

Hob lighting

Hob lighting

The same LED task lighting as you use for worktop lighting is an option over the hob. It will create cohesion across your worktops, and provide you with the necessary light to cook safely and easily.

A great alternative is choosing a cooker hood with built-in lighting. All sorts of hoods come with this feature, including canopy hoods that blend seamlessly into the kitchen. To make a style statement, consider the professional and modern effect of a chimney cooker hood.

Kitchen island lighting

Kitchen island lighting

Being in the centre of the room, you're unlikely to be able to use under-cabinet lighting over a kitchen island. But this opens a host of ideas that can define the style and design of your kitchen.

Pendant lighting is very popular, as they can make a fantastic design statement depending on the pendant shade you choose. Your primary concern would be to make sure you install enough pendants to create a spotlight that covers the entire work surface – which we cover in a dedicated pendant lighting guide.

If you have a low ceiling or beams that run along the area above the kitchen island, you can also consider focussing some of your main kitchen lighting over the unit. LED lighting can be implemented around the room, and a row of dedicated lights for the kitchen island will ensure that it's effectively illuminated.

Task lighting can make prepping, cleaning and cooking in your kitchen much easier and safer. To learn more about other types of kitchen lighting, we have tips on lighting design, where you can find out about pendant lighting, plinth lighting, track lighting and more!

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