Delicious light: how to plan the lighting in the kitchen-living room?

Delicious light: how to plan the lighting in the kitchen-living room?


  • Lighting of the living room combined with the kitchen

  • Reception area

    • Pendant lights

    • Track systems

  • Dinner Zone

  • Food preparation area

  • Bar counter

  • Features of the loft style

  • General recommendations: lighting the kitchen-living room

Lighting of the living room combined with the kitchen

Lighting design in the living room, combined with the kitchen, and even with the dining room in addition is not an easy task, but there are simple techniques that allow you to successfully cope with it without resorting to the help of lighting design luminaries.

Vibia lamps in the interior of a country house

In small Soviet-style apartments, the main place where they cooked, ate and received guests was the kitchen. In modern premium class houses, division into separate rooms is provided: kitchen, dining room, living room. Quite justified division, but in practice, not always convenient – when setting the table, the hostess has to walk a rather long distance, it’s time to hire a servant.

In modern business-class housing, as well as in the increasingly popular format of studio apartments, a more convenient option is used. Architects prefer to combine three rooms into one large, where zoning is provided. The kitchen, dining room and living room are a single room, divided in one way or another (partitions, furniture arrangement and, of course, lighting) into corresponding zones.

Reception area

The place where guests are received should tune in to relaxation. The classic version is a pendant lamp with one to three holders. The total luminous flux of the lamps installed in it is approximately 1000 – 1500 lm, the lower limit corresponds to furniture and wallpaper in light colors, the upper one – in dark colors.

Luminaires from the FOLIAGE series by Slamp

Pendant lights

In the spacious reception areas (more than 10 sq. M.) With a design in a classic or modern style, multi-arm (from 5 arms) chandeliers are used. A practical option is to use a luminaire with an adjustable suspension. Depending on the number of people at the table and the depth of the discussed topics, it is possible, simply by changing the height of the suspension, to easily adjust the illumination level and the size of the illuminated area.

Lighting fixtures from the Keglen collection of the Danish company LouisPoulsen

Some luminaires are initially available with fixed hangers, but they can be fitted with a separately purchased adjustable hanger. Finally, if some inner convictions do not allow you to provide a change in the height of the plafond, you should provide dimming of this luminaire. With a fixed length of the luminaire suspension, it is recommended to maintain a distance of 70 – 80 cm from the table so that guests do not touch the luminaire with their heads.

Lamps from the Gonzaga collection by Karman

Kitchen-dining-living room in the Sun Valley project of the Life / style studio

Living room and kitchen interior from Treetop House projects by Arent & Pyke studio.  Photo:

Track systems

In the event that the reception area is very small, has non-standard proportions (for example, it is strongly elongated) or its design is made in the high-tech style, then you can generally “throw out the pendant lamp from the ship of modernity”. A practical option is a track system with spotlights. In the event that the manufacturer of the luminaire took care of the customers and put the so-called cone diagram in the product box (or posted it on the website), the system can be calculated without special knowledge.

Track light from the Pista series by Modular Lighting Instruments

Track light from the Pista series by Modular Lighting Instruments

Track systems create cozy lighting while saving space

Example of a cone lighting diagram

The cone chart shows the illumination level (in lux) and the size of the light spot at various distances from the fixture. With its help, you can easily determine how the table will be lit. The illumination on the table in the living room is taken as 300 lux, taking into account the margin for aging and pollution of the lamp.

Dinner Zone

To illuminate the dining area, a variety of types of luminaires are possible: ceiling, pendant, recessed into a suspended ceiling. The listed options are selected based on your own taste. It is important to keep in mind that a pendant lamp installed above the dining table should radiate mainly downward, but some light should also go towards the ceiling. Otherwise, it will feel as if you are in a factory floor.

Ceiling lamp Gonzaga by Karman

Lamp from the Shutters Louis Poulsen collection

More “home” lighting allows you to get wall sconces aimed at the ceiling. Their number and location are determined experimentally. Another option to provide ceiling lighting is to place the LED strip around the perimeter. It must be strong enough, so it is recommended to place it on special aluminum profiles that provide heat dissipation.

With regard to the high-tech style, for a small dining area (up to 10 sq. M), you can use spots built into a suspended or suspended ceiling with an adjustable angle of inclination and a narrow angle of light distribution (no more than 30 degrees), which purposefully illuminate the dining table.

Luminaires from the Bibendum collection designed by Paola Navone for Karman

Fixtures from the Minude collection by Modular Lighting Instruments

For a dining table, the norm is 300 lux, but, taking into account the aging of the lamp, as well as the settling of dust and dirt on it, it is advisable to take this parameter with a margin of 400 lux.

In the absence of a cone diagram, the calculation can be made based on the recommendations from the previous article about lighting in an apartment. In the event that, according to modern fashion, a furniture set of very dark colors is installed in the kitchen, the norms should be increased by 1.5 times.

Food preparation area

Cooking is a complex manufacturing process. It is necessary to provide illumination of at least 500 lux, but this will create discomfort in the dining area and the reception area, since the people there will be annoyed by a bright light spot. Therefore, general lighting is built according to the same rules as for the dining area, local lighting is also added to it.

Linear LED luminaires from Lumines Lighting

The cooking counter is usually located under the kitchen cabinets. Special linear LED luminaires are available, which are often equipped with built-in dimmers and touch switches. They are designed to be mounted under cupboards. Such devices are better suited for the chef’s workplace than the sometimes used LED strip, since they are equipped with an optical system that distributes the light correctly. Since splashes of water can enter the space under the cupboards, for safety reasons it is recommended to use luminaires with a supply voltage of 48 V or less.

LED lighting from Lumines ighting

The illumination of the stove, as a rule, is carried out by means of halogen lamps built into the hood. It is not recommended to change them to LED ones, since the latter are sensitive to heat.

Bar counter

Often, zoning is carried out by using a bar counter. On it can be used pendant lamps installed in a row in the amount of 3 pcs., Each of which gives 200 – 500 lumens of luminous flux. The current trend is lamps without lampshades with oversized lamps with a special filament shape (the so-called Edison Bulb). These can be incandescent lamps or LED filament lamps.

Kitchen with an island bar in one of the projects of the Toledano Architects studio

A fragment of the interior from the Marnolia house project by the studio Arent & Pyke.  Photo:

Ceiling spots from the Minude series by Modular Lighting Instruments

Features of the loft style

Sometimes we can talk about a building that was once a factory, or was built according to the same principles as production facilities. In the loft style, combining the kitchen, dining room and living room into a single space is almost a prerequisite. This style is characterized by the use of lamps with metal shades. For such lamps, the light does not go up, it is advisable to install an additional sconce. A very successful alternative to the sconce is the now fashionable floor lamp in the form of a spotlight on a tripod, it is directed to the ceiling or to one of the walls.

Features of the loft style in the lighting of the kitchen-living room

General recommendations: lighting the kitchen-living room

The color temperature used for general lighting, as well as local lighting in the dining and living areas, should be in the range of 2400 – 3000 K, i.e. it is a warm white light. Correct lighting of the living room kitchen means the same color temperature in all areas, with the exception of local lighting in some places.

Linear lamps located under the cupboards can have a colder shade with a color temperature of up to 4000 K. If necessary, the bar counter can be illuminated with lamps with a color temperature of 1800 – 2400 K, i.e. a warmer shade than the entire room.

Luminaires from the Minude range of Modular Lighting Instruments

The minimum set of functions that the control system must provide is separate switching on and off of general lighting in the living room, in the dining room and kitchen areas, as well as local lighting of the cutting surface. It is advisable to provide dimming at least in the reception area.

The best option is a control panel with several ready-made scenarios, for example, “receiving guests”, “cooking”, “festive feast”, etc. Then the lighting in the living room kitchen will be switched by pressing only one button, to which a certain scenario is assigned.

Luminaires from the Cluster collection by Karman

Lighting in the kitchen of the living room by zones – this means the use of solutions that are optimal for each zone. But at the same time, the transitions between the lighting zones should be smooth, the presence of clearly visible stripes with low illumination at the borders is unacceptable.

See also  Peace of mind: How to equip a small living room?
About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.