When it comes to lighting, the sky’s the limit - literally! And that especially holds true for your kitchen. While the bathroom is subject to IP regulations on the type of lights and where you can put them, kitchen lights are under no such restrictions. You do spend a lot more time and energy there, though, so efficiency and utility - along with aesthetic appeal - are going to be the main factors in how to choose the best kitchen lighting.

Energy Efficiency

For a high-traffic area that also sees longer light usage than most areas of the house, your energy bill will be one of the things you appreciate most when it comes to the kind of kitchen lights you install. While it may be tempting to buy halogen bulbs because of the low initial purchase cost, LED lights will cost a lot less in the long run.

Premium LED bulbs can last for up to 50,000 hours of use while economy LED bulbs last for around 15,000 hours. Plus they put out considerably less heat - which will save on your air conditioning use, too.


LED kitchen downlights are going to be your best bet, especially if you want the bright, yet minimal look. They take up less space in the ceiling while producing maximum light levels. These can be paired with under cabinet lighting to get the most out of your space, making all your cooking and cleaning tasks easier while providing some nice ambience at the same time.

Lighting for Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets and corners can be tricky to illuminate as they come in bespoke shapes and sizes, but fear not! We stock LED strip tape that can be supplied in made-to-measure lengths for your project. LED strip tape can be cut down to size, each variant has its own cutting intervals which are usually 50mm or 100mm. This allows you to illuminate every area of your worktops.

LED strip tape operates on 12V or 24V DC and does require an additional power supply known as an LED driver. An LED driver converts the incoming mains voltage (230V AC) into the lower DC (Direct Current) voltage that it needs to power it.

We also have mains voltage strip lights which are easy to install and available in a selection of sizes and colour temperature choices, but LED tape offers far more flexibility. Its available in a wider range of colour temperatures as well as colour changing and colour temperature adjustable versions.

Aesthetic Appeal

When considering how to choose the best kitchen lighting, the overall aesthetics should play a large part in it. LED downlights provide a stylish but unobtrusive way to provide maximum light efficiency. There are many options available from our website and we're always happy to make recommendations to meet your project specifications. You might have existing hole sizes or a shallow ceiling void for example.

We're confident that we can find the perfect downlighting solution for any kitchen layout. If you have a modern, brushed steel effect, you can find the perfect downlights to match with the exact same finish. Or consider installing white downlights that will blend, less noticeably into your ceiling. White and matt white downlights are far more popular sellers for this reason.

Colour temperature is an important aspect of kitchen lights that can really enhance the aesthetic appeal if done correctly. Your three main options are Extra Warm White 2700K, Warm White 3000K, and Cool White 4000K. Extra Warm White will give a kitchen that traditional, warm feeling of incandescent and halogen lighting. Cool White has a cold and industrial look and feel, while the Warm White can produce something in between and is the most popular choice...Not too warm and not too cold.

The most important thing is to ensure both your downlights and under cabinet lights have the same colour temperature - this will prevent your kitchen lights from clashing. The last thing you want is a colour temperature inconsistency happening. I try to avoid this, even from room to room and prefer all of my lights to match throughout my home.

Our Recommendations for 2022

Bearing in mind that we'd recommend a matt white finish for a cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing look, the Aurora CX7 is a fire rated downlight that has a colour temperature adjustable switch. This allows you to switch from 3000K, 4000K and 5700K. Its also available in chrome or satin nickel and is IP65 rated as standard.

Aurora CX7 LED downlight
Aurora CX7 Downlight

Our best 2 recommendations for under cabinet lighting are both LED strip tapes. Starting with the technologically advanced Sunset strip. This is a colour temperature adjustable LED tape that dims in brightness and colour temperature at the same time. At full brightness it produces a clear 3000K effect, shown below and a warmer, more relaxing 1800K at low brightness; shown in the second image:

Sunset LED Strip 3000K effect
Sunset LED Strip at 3000K
LED Sunset Strip 1800K effect
Sunset LED Strip at 3000K

This LED tape doesn't require a special controller and can be dimmed using a mains dimmable LED driver and an LED compatible dimmer switch such as the Varilight V-Pro series. It has 120 LEDs per metre, with high colour rendering CRI 90 as standard. This helps to reproduce colours more accurately as they would appear under daylight conditions.

Our other recommendation is for COB (Chip On Board) LED strip tape. This relatively new product provides a seamless, dot-free and very bright lighting effect. A far superior alternative to the original SMD style chips with 30 or 60 LEDs per metre which can leave a dotty lighting array.

COB LED Strip tape 4000K effect
COB LED Strip 4000K

Buy Quality Products Every Time From the UK's Leading Low energy Lighting Supplier!

How to choose the best kitchen lighting 2022 is also about selection and reliability. We have a huge selection available from some of the best brand names in the lighting industry. With a stellar reputation for gold standard customer service, we value the needs of all of our customers. Browse the best kitchen lighting products at DownlightsDirect.co.uk or contact us for advice on: 01706 521188 or email to: [email protected].

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Marketing and technical director for Expert Electrical Supplies and Downlights Direct.