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Bringing the Perfect Ambiance to Your Open Plan Kitchen Diner: A Guide to Lighting Design


The kitchen is the heart of every home, and when it is part of an open plan layout, it becomes an even more essential space. For those who love to cook, entertain or spend time with family, having an open plan kitchen diner can be immensely rewarding. However, with all the advantages that open plan living brings, there is always a challenge to make the space feel cohesive and functional. One of the essential elements to tackle this challenge is lighting. In this guide, let’s explore how lighting can transform your open plan kitchen diner.

Understanding the Space

Before choosing the lighting, it is crucial to understand the architecture and layout of your kitchen diner. Are there any natural light sources? How does the light change throughout the day? Are there any areas that require more light than others? Answering these questions will help you know which lighting fixtures and bulbs you should choose.

Natural Light

The first factor to consider is natural light. If your open plan kitchen diner has large windows or skylights, you can leverage natural light to create an uplifting feeling. During the day, the sun can illuminate the space, minimizing the requirement for artificial lighting. In this case, translucent window coverings can be used to diffuse the light efficiently.

The Right Intensity

When natural light is not enough, you can supplement with artificial lighting. One of the key factors to ensure is that the light is neither too bright nor too dim. In an open plan space, the lighting should feel uniform, avoiding any extreme variations in light and dark zones. One way to address this is by placing multiple light sources throughout the space.

The Three Types of Lighting

When designing lighting for your kitchen diner, three main types of lighting should be taken into consideration –

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is the primary source of light in any room. It creates a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, and in a kitchen diner, it can be done with the help of ceiling lights, sconces or pendant lighting. The goal is to ensure that the light emits uniformly throughout the space, illuminating every corner.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is typically directed at a specific area where a task is being conducted. For instance, lighting above the counters or stove area is a common example of task lighting. By providing brighter and focused light, it ensures that you can work with precision without straining your eyes.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is used to create a focal point or highlight a design element within the space. In a kitchen diner, it could be a painting, a backsplash or a kitchen island. LEDs and spotlight fixtures can be used to illuminate these areas, bringing out the beauty of the space.

Choosing the Right Lighting Fixtures

Once you have determined which types of lighting you require, the next step is to choose the right fixtures. Here are some popular lighting fixtures that work best in an open plan kitchen diner –

Ceiling Lights

Ceiling lights are the most commonly used light fixtures in any room, and they work well in an open plan kitchen diner. They can be mounted flush with the ceiling, semi-flush, or chandeliers or pendants. They provide ambient lighting and, when dimmable, can be used to adjust the room’s mood as needed.


Sconces are perfect for adding accent lighting to a specific area within the space. They can be mounted on the walls or installed underneath the upper cabinets to provide task lighting without taking up counter space.

Pendant Lights

Pendant lighting works great in an open plan kitchen diner, especially when used over an island or dining table. They provide functional light while also acting as a design element that adds a unique flair to the space.

Choosing the Right Bulbs

It is important to choose the right light bulbs for your lighting fixtures to achieve the desired ambiance. Here are some popular bulb options and their characteristics –

Halogen Bulbs

Halogen bulbs produce a bright and crisp light, making them perfect for task lighting. However, they are not the best choice for ambient or accent lighting, where softer illumination is desired.

LED Bulbs

LED bulbs are energy-efficient and last longer than any other bulb type. They come in a variety of color temperatures, making them perfect for ambient, task, and accent lighting.

Incandescent Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs are the oldest type of electric light bulb, and they emit a warm and soft light. They work best as accent lighting or for providing a warm glow to the space.


Good lighting is essential to any open plan kitchen diner, as it adds comfort, functionality, and style to the space. By following this guide, you can choose the right lighting fixtures and bulbs to set the perfect ambiance. Remember to choose the fixtures and bulbs that best suit the architecture, layout, and personal style of your kitchen diner to create a space that is both beautiful and functional.

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