Indirect lighting of the kitchen island in black kitchen.
The kitchen is often a second living room and a hub of family life. Successful kitchen lighting should therefore not only fulfil practical functions but also create a homely atmosphere. Read on to find out the latest trends and ideas in kitchen lighting.

Good kitchen lighting has to meet high standards: it should make everyday kitchen tasks easier and minimize the risk of injury. At the same time, it should promote a sense of well-being and a relaxing atmosphere. With a few tips, you can achieve all of the above.

A contemporary kitchen with a muted color palette, featuring light wood cabinetry and a central island with shelving and a sink. The room is well-lit by natural light streaming in from large floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook a lush green landscape. The kitchen is accessorized with modern utensils and decorative elements, and there's a black-and-white striped rug on the wooden floor, adding a touch of pattern to the space. A round table with a dark chair sits in the foreground, suggesting a cozy dining area.
Optimum kitchen lighting combines functionality with comfort. Source: Beckermann

Planning kitchen lighting: what to consider

There are three components to good kitchen lighting: basic lighting, bright worktop lighting and cosy mood lighting. The trick is to tailor the lighting concept to the room and its different areas using a variety of light sources. Although the lighting concept can vary greatly depending on the specific conditions and furnishings, there are some general tips you can follow when planning: 

  • Indirect & direct light: Ideally, you should combine direct and indirect light sources in the kitchen. With indirect lighting, the light bounces off the ceiling or walls and appears softer and cosier. 

  • Easy-care materials: For freestanding, pendant or wall lighting in your kitchen, look for easy-care materials such as metal, plastic, or glass. Dust, kitchen fumes and grease are easier to wipe off of smooth surfaces. 

  • Optimal illumination: When it comes to kitchen lighting, it is important to consider how much light your lamps will emit. A guideline value of 300 lumens per square metre is recommended for kitchens. This means that the lighting in a 10-square-metre kitchen should provide a total of around 3,000 lumens.

Close-up of a modern kitchen cabinet detail with LED lighting. The warm light illuminates the worktop from underneath a wooden cabinet with a reflective black glass panel that showcases hanging glassware. The design blends functionality with aesthetics, providing both illumination and a sophisticated display of the cabinet's contents.
Warm white LED lighting provides perfect working conditions in the kitchen. Source: Beckermann

What colour temperature works best for LED kitchen lighting?

The choice of the LED bulb can influence the atmosphere and the effect the room has. Depending on the area, warm white or neutral white light may be appropriate: 

  • Warm white light, with a colour temperature between 2,500 and 3,300 Kelvin, creates a cosy atmosphere and is recommended for open-plan kitchens. 

  • Neutral white light, with a colour temperature between 3,300 and 5,300 Kelvin, promotes concentration and is ideal for illuminating the kitchen block or worktop.

What are the different types of kitchen lighting?

There are different lighting solutions for different areas of the kitchen: 

1. Cooking in the best light: planning the kitchen unit lighting 

As a basis for any good room lighting, choose a form of ceiling light that creates large-area general lighting. Multi-bulb spotlights that can be rotated or swivelled in different directions are a practical solution. 

If lighting is limited to a single central ceiling lamp, you will often be standing in front of it when working at the kitchen unit, casting a shadow on the worktop. Under-cabinet luminaires mounted below the unit can help. Make sure that the worktop is evenly lit and that the light doesn’t cause any glare when working.

An intimate and stylish kitchen corner featuring ambient lighting. A textured grey wall serves as a backdrop to a series of decorative and functional items, including a red illuminated branch-like sculpture, a magnetic knife holder with knives, and spice jars on a shelf. Black modern sockets and switches are visible on the wall, complementing the dark hues of the kitchen countertop and the cooktop with its reflection of the glowing sculpture. The scene is accentuated by soft shadows and warm light, creating a cozy atmosphere.
A warm light casts a glow on a textured wall, highlighting a tall glass vase with flowers and a set of magnetic spice jars on a dark kitchen shelf.

Choose under-cabinet luminaires for versatile cooking lighting. Source: Lechner

2. Atmospheric light: cosy lighting for the dining area 

Let's move on to the cosy part: especially in a modern, open-plan kitchen, the dining table is a hub of family life. It is not only used for eating together but also for crafting, playing, celebrating, and planning holidays. Pendant luminaires are ideal for illuminating the dining table perfectly. They create an atmospheric ambience and are also a visual highlight. The pendant should not hang too low over the dining table so as not to interfere with eye contact between people. The ideal height is around 60 to 70 centimetres above the tabletop. Ideally, the height should be adjustable. 

For even more creative freedom, dimmable lights are recommended, as you can adjust their brightness to suit the situation: a slightly darker light can create a cosy atmosphere for dinner. It can be brighter for crafting or playing Monopoly.

3. Stylish kitchen lighting: LEDs and spotlights in the kitchen 

LED spotlights or LED strips are a practical way of adding extra lighting to worktops. Coloured LED strips at the skirting board are also trendy, providing indirect light that adds a special touch. If you are replanning the electrical installation in your kitchen as part of a new build or renovation, you can also consider recessed LED lights on the wall above the kitchen unit. These LED spotlights are not only extremely energy efficient and durable, but also very easy to clean  – because they are built into the wall, dust, and grease can’t collect on them.  

Where there are not enough connections for all kitchen appliances and power plugs, you can retrofit sockets with the Gira Profile 55 without having to renovate. Your electrician simply attaches the aluminium profile to the wall where there is already a power connection. Battery-powered LED lighting for kitchen base units offers another option for kitchens that lack power connections. These can also be retrofitted without the need for extra wiring or mounting boxes.

More than just a trend: smart control of kitchen lighting 

Just like in all other living areas, smart technology is also becoming increasingly popular in the kitchen. Smart lighting control allows you to adjust your kitchen lighting to suit any occasion or requirement. You can easily control the brightness, light colour and colour temperature in your Smart Home using an app, voice commands or smart switches such as the Button for Gira One and KNX. The simple push-button made of robust stainless steel and shatterproof plastic is ideal for environments where it is used frequently. 

You can also use an app to program individual lighting scenes for several LED spotlights in the kitchen and switch or dim them simultaneously. Voice control is particularly handy when you're busy preparing food. 

A modern kitchen with dark cabinets and a central island, lit by natural sunlight with a cityscape visible through large windows.
Smart lighting is also beneficial in the kitchen, which is often the heart of the home. Source: Lechner

With the Gira G1, you can keep an eye on all the settings for your kitchen lighting. The central control unit allows you to make changes to your smart home at any time and operate other KNX devices at the touch of a button.

As you can see, it is important to get the kitchen lighting right because it is the central meeting place in the home. It fulfils both practical and aesthetic functions to create a pleasant, yet functional environment. This requires the combination of direct and indirect light, as well as the use of easy-care materials. Optimal illumination of the kitchen using the recommended 300 lumens per square metre is crucial. The choice of the right light colour, such as warm white or neutral white, helps to create the desired atmosphere. 

Different areas of the kitchen require specific lighting solutions, such as under-cabinet lights for worktops and pendant luminaires above the dining table. The integration of smart technology enables flexible control of your lighting and increases convenience. Careful planning and selection of light sources help to create a cosy and functional kitchen.