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Kitchen lighting

For dark days and wintery months

Winter calls for a more thoughtful approach to lighting. With a little tweaking – or considered planning if you’re investing in a new kitchen – your kitchen can still be superbly functional and warmly atmospheric for winter-time gatherings.

A winter’s afternoon, when the weakened sun begins to dip low in the sky, can be the perfect time to put your kitchen illuminations to the test. That’s when you’ll spy any corners or recesses that are not as well lit as they could be. In summer, they might not be an issue, as the natural sunlight streams in. But, come the milkier light of January and February, certain areas can descend into an impractical murkiness. Which is not what you need in your most important, welcoming and most practical room the house.

A room like no other

Your kitchen sets the bar extremely high for lighting, requiring everything from spotlights for prep areas to mood lighting for dining. On such an overcast afternoon, take a walk around every part of your kitchen, noting where things could be clearer, or where more controlled light might be needed. Do you struggle to see what’s at the back of the larder? Does cooking on the back rings of the hob ever prove tricky? Then read on for our top tips for dark-day lighting.

1 Powerful pendants
The pendant is the star of the show and the perfect location for a row of them is over an island or a kitchen table. While they work hard, pendants are also a key way to make a style statement. A row of Byron or Tennyson pendants makes an eye-catching centerpiece.

2 Architectural light
These are the subtle, unassuming players in your lighting repertoire. They work within the existing structure of your kitchen and room, for example LEDs that can be fitted inside a cabinet, or a strip inserted into a recess the very back of a worktop or shelves. As well as emanating an attractive wash of light, they make it easy to find that special ingredient or favourite mug. With worktop-level lights, you can also turn down your other lighting sources and enjoy a pretty glow that still enables you to prepare food or mix drinks with ease.

3 Soft-touch spotlights
Task-style lighting doesn't have to dazzle when used sparingly. Our Coates ceiling lights are the staple of a kitchen lighting design, working in collaboration with more obvious stars. So arrange them around a row of pendants and then bring them out into other areas of the kitchen.

Ours are specially designed to cast a soft and warm white light that falls in controlled shafts and can be directioned as you wish. This is a lighting trick borrowed from the theatrical world – but it won’t cause any dramas. Meanwhile, wall lights with character, such as the Brompton and the Keats are superb at pouring a pool of light into sometimes-overlooked areas.

4 Looking up
Uplighters can be hidden inside the top of a wall-hung cabinet to highlight a collection on this top level, be it a pretty array of bottles or ceramics. It can also bring out the texture of a wall as it washes upwards. It’s particularly effective if you have high ceilings.

5 Occasional lighting
A reading corner or window seat adds a further dimension to a larger kitchen, but needs its own lamp to complete the area, such as the handsome Brompton. Not only does this make it truly functional for browsing the newspapers, but encourages further brightness. Think of it as a little bubble of light to read by.

6 An ambient glow
Adding LEDs to a cooker hood is a touch of brilliance. Similar to spotlights, they cast a necessary glow over proceedings as your food simmers. But glimpsed from a distance, they also mean that a cosy glow spills from the cooker area, creating the warmest of welcomes.

7 Think in circuits
If you set your lighting up on two (or more) separate circuits it’s easier to adjust it all according to the season. It’s most useful to have one electrical circuit for a central table or island and another for the recessed spotlights set around the perimeter of your room. A separate dining area could benefit from a separate circuit, too, for added control.

8 Candles in the kitchen
Candles are an absolutely necessary part of any lighting discussion. In a kitchen, a simple pillar candle, on its own or grouped in a huddle, make a lovely addition to a wintery window ledge. They sit quietly in the background, and yet will always be noticed. (Remember to blow them out before you adjourn to another room, for safety’s sake.)


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Kitchen Lighting