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Generally speaking, when it comes to kitchen lighting ideas, or living room lighting schemes, spotlights are used as a functional, secondary lighting source as they provide a good, even distribution of light in a room. They should not necessarily be the first thing you see as you want this reserved for your more eye-catching 'statement lights' such as ceiling pendants or cluster lights hanging in the centre of the room or over a kitchen island, peninsula unit or dining table. Ceiling spotlights can be spaced around a room for an even spread of light or fitted on walls in specific places for more focussed tasking light.


1. Follow the 1m rule
For an even spread of light in a room and to avoid using too many spots that can alook ugly, a general rule of thumb for single, recessed spotlights is to place them 1m apart in every direction. Remember to place them 1m away from walls to avoid shadows.

2. Divide Your Ceiling Height by 2
Some lighting designers suggest another useful tool for working out the spaceing of single spotlgihts is to divide the height of your ceiling by 2. If your room is a standard height of 2.4m (7ft 10") you should space your spots around 1.2m apart. If you have high ceilings around 2.6m (8ft.6") then your spotlights should be 1.3m apart.

3. Create 'zonal' lighting.
As we use kitchens and living spaces for a multitude of activites such as cooking, dining, homework, entertaining and relaxing, it is useful to wire lights on different circuits so you can control the amount of light that is availale. You need brighter light for tasking jobs when cooking or prepping and less for eating and relaxing by.

4. Adapt to your space/scheme
Take into account the colour and level of natural light in your room. Kitchen colour schemes will impact how bright a room feels as darker colours absorb more light than lighter colours. You may need to add a few more spotlights to a north or east facing room or one with a darker colour scheme.

Single Curtis Spotlight




Nowadays, brightness is measured in lumens and lux. Lumens is the unit of measure of light that a source gives out. Lux is the light emitted by one lumen over one square metre. Different rooms need different levels of light. Typically, a kitchen needs 150-200 lux for ambient lighting and 250-400 lux for tasking. To work out how much you need in a space, you need to multiply the lux by the area.

eg: For ambient lighting in a 12sqm kitchen; 200 lux x 12 sqm = 2,400 lumens. Then use enough spotlights to add up to 2,400 lumens.

A standard LED spotlight will emit around 300-500 lumens, so if you take the mid point as 400 lumens, for a room of 12sqm you'd need around 6 spots (24 divided by 4 = 6).


For tasking light, it is important to choose a bulbs with a CRI level of 80 or above so you have better clarity of vision. The CRI describes how well bulbs reflect colour to the human eye when compared to sunlight. Sunlight has a CRI of 100, so bulbs with a CRI of 80 or more will show colours accurately whereas those with lower CRIs will not.

The colour of light is measured in Kelvin on a scale from 1,000 - 10,000. The lower the kelvin, the warmer the light and the redder it will appear. The higher the kelvin, the colder the light and the bluer it will appear. Bulbs that give off warm white light for ambient ligihting are around 2,700K, whereas bulbs for brighter/cooler levels of light are around 7,000k.


When designing a kitchen you will need to think about what you want to light. The best way to do this is to divide the space into zones with specific areas for tasking light and others for ambient light.

You will need bright light such over workspaces like a kitchen island, oven, cooker and prepping areas. Here you may want to consider spotlights with directional heads that can be angled where you need light, as well as individual or small bar spotlights that can be fitted on the wall for a focussed beam of light.

Elsewhere, for creating ambient light, you can use bar spotlights with directional heads that can be angled wherever you would like to boost the illumination such as to accentuate features like artwork, vaulted ceiings, or fireplaces.