Don’t let pendants or spots hog all the attention – there are plenty of super-stylish kitchen wall lights to inspire
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Effective lighting for preparation and cooking areas is a kitchen must-have for safe working, but concealed designs that are all about function aren’t all that’s on offer. Neither are pendants the only solution for the dining area. Be inspired by some great-looking wall lights for both scenarios.
Think outside (the box)
Lights designed for the outside of a house can be a stylish choice for a kitchen wall. The owners of this new room opted for large metal dome fittings that definitely aren’t out of place on the original stone wall. They provide effective illumination for the oak worktops and range cooker below.
These lights are hung from an electrical conduit running along the surface of the wall. It’s not a choice that would suit every kitchen, but here, not only does it solve the issue of not wanting to chase electrical cables into the stonework, it’s also the perfect complement to the industrial elements in the room.
In this elegant kitchen, a twosome of wall lights matches the finish of the tap and cupboard handles, as well as the metal in the pendant lights, for a pulled-together look. The lights frame the sink as a symmetrical pair here, echoing the symmetry of the units either side and continuing the room’s traditional style. The classic fixed-arm shape of the design is part of the formal appeal, too.
There are a number of ways to visually connect wall lights to other decorative lighting. Colour is an obvious one, or material. But here, the link is more subtle but just as effective – exposed bulbs for both wall lights and clear glass pendants chime with each other. Ceiling spots, meanwhile, provide ambient light for the entire space.
Here’s a novel take on kitchen wall lighting. Articulated-arm lamps throw light downwards in this galley. If you have shelving providing wall storage, these make a characterful alternative to under-unit spots, as their reach means the light isn’t blocked by the shelves.
Three is a magic number for groupings in interior design, creating pattern that feels natural. But there’s a practical aspect to the number of lights here, too, as enough space has been left between the sizeable shades to avoid a cluttered feel.
Reproduce this room’s retro cool by incorporating some midcentury accessories or colours. Here, it’s the orange accents that are right at home with the vintage look of the lights.
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Go straight on
Square shades wash light onto the worksurface in this kitchen. Here again, their symmetry echoes that of the cabinetry below, and the two pairs mirror each other precisely, with the extractor positioned centrally in the same alignment, giving the whole an effect that’s smart and unfussy.
When you’re buying, bear in mind that the wall lights need to illuminate the entire depth of the worktop to create effective task lighting, not just the back.
Pick a design with a moveable shade and the light can be directed as required for individual tasks. In this kitchen, it’s Original BTC’s Hector lights that have been fitted beneath the shelves right along the run of units. The delicate appearance of the bone china shade is echoed by the textural finish of the splashback tiles here for a pleasingly tactile note.
Focus on a feature
Kitchen wall lights don’t have to be used as task lighting for food preparation. Here, it’s soft accent lighting they’re providing on the feature wall behind the dining table.
Unlike with task lighting, areas of shadow don’t need to be avoided – in fact, the contrast of light and shade is part of the appeal, adding variation as part of a lighting scheme. It’s achieved here with shades that direct the beam upwards as well as downwards.
Get a factory finish
Pendants may be the go-to lighting solution for dining tables, but there is another way… This kitchen has an industrial aesthetic with an exposed beam, steel windows and a polished concrete floor, plus flexible-arm, antique-style wall lights in the dining area and by the peninsular unit.
With a skylight above the dining area, pendant lights centred over the table aren’t a goer, but the three wall lights can perform the same task of creating an intimate pool of light at mealtimes.
A final look at the back of this large extension illustrates how matching isn’t important for the wall lights in the two different areas – the style and materials are sympathetic, and the different colours help to delineate the individual zones.
When you’re planning lighting for different parts of the kitchen, talk to your electrician about putting the lights on different circuits, so they can be operated independently.
See 10 wall lights that don’t need wiring in
Read and learn
Wall lights that look as if they’d be at home in a study or reading nook are part of the eclectic combination (rather than typical fitted kitchen look) the owners of this room were after. This pretty pair offer the benefit of sizeable and extendable arms, as the shelf would interfere with a shallower design.
Don’t be afraid to mix metals. This kitchen is a masterclass in how to make it work: the tap, electrical sockets and some of the decorative pieces are brass, but the wall lights pick up the finish of the stainless-steel cabinetry, oven and fridge, so there’s a balance between bright and cool tones.
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The wall light in this kitchen is an understated design in clear glass and metal. The beauty lies in the simplicity that stops the corner becoming cluttered. Note how the fixed design becomes part of the appealing grouping on the shelf – it’s hung close enough to feel part of the collection – and how it repeats the material of the jar and the colours of the frames and display objects.
Bend it, shape it
If it’s maximum manoeuvrability you’re after, an angled and jointed extendable wall light could be the answer. This design has period style that suits the room’s framed cabinetry, but a metal finish would work in sleeker contemporary rooms equally well.
Lights set high on the wall like these need to offer sufficient illumination for a more distant worktop, so check with your supplier before committing.
Which of these wall light designs would you consider for your own kitchen? Let us know in the Comments section.