Kitchens are right at the heart of the home, so kitchen lighting must be the most flexible of any room in order to satisfy all demands. Start by considering the task lighting, you may find that it is enough to provide general lighting too, and thus avoid unnecessary fittings.
The best kitchen island lighting depends upon your ceiling height. For low and standard height ceilings, LED recessed downlights provide a striking yet subtle solution. Locate them to ensure optimum lighting levels and, if the island is to be used for dining, consider choosing dim to warm luminaires for the most pleasurable ambience. To further improve task lighting and create a strong visual statement, simply suspend a series of LED pendants - look for a good length of cut-to-size cable to ensure optimum height.
In kitchens with vaulted ceilings, use tilt adjustable downlights to ensure that the light is directed where it is needed, whilst surface mounted spotights can also work well in properties with beams. Remember to ensure that your preferred light has suitable anti-glare features, since any light on an angle could well cross the eye line.
For kitchens with high ceilings, the tops of cupboards may be fitted with LED strip lights to bounce their light off the ceiling and reduce the number of downlights required. These same strip lights, with an IP rating of 44 and higher for protection against water ingress, are also excellent for providing an even wash of light under the cupboards and onto the work surface below, or to wash light behind an opaque splash back. Alternatively, equally dramatic effects can be achieved under wall cabinets using downlights with a narrow beam - perfect for painting with light in small spaces.
Whatever the ceiling height, small recessed wall or uplights and strip lights also work superbly fitted as plinth lights in the kitchen. The latter will make the units appear to float, just remember to fit the strip behind a profile with an opaque diffuser in order to maintain the illusion. The former work best directed across a floor with texture to highlight its visual appeal.
LED lights are extremely efficient, but that is no reason to fill every corner of your kitchen with light. Instead use it to focus attention on the room's best features. Group lights on different circuits for the most flexible approach to ensure that your kitchen can turn from working zone into an intimate area, quite literally at the flick of a switch.