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Kitchen Lighting Ideas

Lights on please, let’s see what’s cooking!

In our previous kitchen the lighting was pretty simple. The developer didn’t seem to bother too much with it in the design and construction phases. Since the kitchen and the meal area were sharing the same space there were basically two light points in the ceiling: one for the kitchen and one for the meal area.

What I had to do was to install the highest wattage globe I could find to provide enough light in the kitchen so we could see what we were cooking. And to be honest we had hard time seeing what were cooking.

With that experience in mind I was really keen to look at kitchen lighting from a more “strategic” standpoint since the design stage of our new kitchen.

Task lights for the island bench

To illuminate the island bench we use 3 pendant lights. We find these lights elegant and provide the right level of brightness for this area we use for many purposes:

  • Preparing meals
  • The kids have sometimes their meals at one end of the island bench sitting on their bar stools
  • There is a kitchen sink on the other end to wash and clean

Where to buy pendant light for your house? We found nice pendant lights at better prices on eBay.

Halogen downlights above the stove

The canopy rangehood has two halogen downlights which provide plenty of light to see what’s in the pots and pans. Very important 😉

Kitchen lighting - Providing light from above the stove
Two halogen downlights integrated in the canopy rangehood allow to see what's cooking

Under cabinet lighting

On either side of the cooktop we still have wide areas of working space (1 meter wide each side). The downlights from the canopy could not provide enough light for those areas nor the pendants above the island bench.

After some research we found a manufacturer called Megaman that made nice looking, slim under shelf lamps and use energy saving globes. That’s excellent since we decided to use mostly low energy globes in our house.

Those lamps are called Planex Recessed Downlight Luminaire. You can download the section on Planex Series from the Megaman catalogue in PDF from this website.

Megaman under shelf lamp
The Megaman under shelf lamp is comprised of a recessed light fixture and a low energy globe

If you want to buy these light fittings in a store I would recommend you print a photo of the picture above or from the PDF. What I noticed when I tried to buy them at a lighting store was that they didn’t have the recessed model. All the stores I visited had the light fixtures to glue on the surface not to go inside a shelf.

However they all had the compact fluorescent globes though not in the wattage I was looking for (13watt).

I ended up buying the lamp holders as well as the 13watt globes on the Internet at Greentopia.com.au. The prices at Greentopia including delivery were cheaper than brick and mortar stores or other online stores I could find. If you are interested in checking these out at Greentopia the product description is: Planex Recessed Downlight Luminaire, GX53, White Trim, Megaman.

This is how these Planex recessed under shelf look like once installed:

under shelf kitchen lighting
Megaman Planex under shelf kitchen lighting
kitchen lighting under cabinet
One 13watt low energy lamp provides adequate lighting for a 90cm wide work bench area

The kitchen company made a “cover shelf” to hide these light fittings. They were happy to work with these light fittings as they are slim and don’t produce much heat at all:

under shelf kitchen lighting
The recessed lamp holder is installed under the kitchen cupboard and concealed by a cover shelf
under shelf kitchen lighting
A cover shelf was made to cover the lamp fitting and allow for wiring. The whole thing looks neat and tidy

We find the Planex recessed lamp holder are great for illuminating work bench areas. When cooking you want to see what in the pots when they are on the stove but also when they rest on the bench.

The fluorescent lamps are fantastic since they are energy saving but also produce less heat than halogen lamps. I can assure you that when cooking food in a kitchen you wouldn’t need more heat than what already comes from the stove.


Our kitchen design also has a kitchenette in which there is no window. In order to have natural light into this room we bought a skylight at Bunnings and had it installed in the ceiling.

skylight inside kitchenette
The skylight installed in the ceiling brings plenty of natural light to our kitchenette
Skylight installed in the ceiling
We bought a 430mm diametre Skylight at Bunnings and had it installed before the wall covering stage

As a result during daytime there is plenty of light in the kitchenette. No need to switch on the lamp.

Read more about kitchen design ideas you can use
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  1. Love your work, good to see quality information, will pass this on to our customers as reference.

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