Kitchen Downlights Don't Have To Be IP Rated!
Unlike in bathrooms where specific guidelines apply such as bathroom zones and IP (Ingress Protection) ratings, kitchens have no such rules. Anything goes!
There is actually no such thing as a kitchen downlight; you can use any type you like. When installing downlights into a kitchen they don't have to be water resistant / rated at IP44 or IP65. Splashing water from a sink poses very little risk of reaching the downlights and causing damage.
Your key considerations for choosing kitchen downlights should be:
Do you Need Fire Rated Downlights?
Fire rated downlights are recommended for domestic use. They are safer to use and will slow down the spread of a potential fire – sealing off the hole and blocking its path. Most fire rated downlights are also acoustic rated and moisture resistant which is another advantage of using them...So the short answer is YES you do!
Aesthetics of the Kitchen
Which finishes and styles do you like the look of? Or more importantly which fixtures are going to match the style of your kitchen? If you've got a brushed steel effect, then why not complete the look and ensure your lights match your door handles?
Most customers opt for matt white downlights because the colour matches the ceiling. Around 70% of customers choose the matt white finish due to the cleaner, more minimalist look.
Halogen downlights were cheap to buy but expensive to run. LED downlights cost more to buy but cost very little to run meaning you get your money back by paying less in your electricity bills over a period of time. The time period depends on how many hours per day you have your lights on for.
How Many Downlights Do I Need In A Kitchen?
The kitchen is the most difficult room in the house to illuminate. This is because it contains cabinets and obstacles that need to be considered. Some kitchen cabinets go right up to the ceiling and need to be classed as a wall. We've written a dedicated article about how many downlights but the short answer is:
One downlight per square metre. With one metre spacings between each downlight and half a metre from the walls/cupboards. You then adapt this grid layout to meet the shape of your room. With brighter downlights and wider beam angles you can install fewer downlights.
What Lights Are Best For Kitchen Ceiling?
Your three main options are recessed downlights, surface mounted ceiling lights such as spotlights or an unsightly LED batten fitting.
The recessed option provides a more discrete lighting option that blends into your ceiling space while fulfilling its main purpose of producing the bright and even lighting distribution that your room demands. Complimented with the right under cabinet lights, your kitchen will be pleasantly illuminated.
The best downlights for a kitchen would be:
Aurora EFD Pro - These popular GU10, fire rated downlights have push-fit wiring connectors, meet the latest standards, offer good value for money and look great. As they're GU10 fittings, you can replace the LED and choose from a wide selection of brands, light outputs, colour temperatures and beam angles.
JCC V50 - One of the best integrated LED downlights on the market. It's bright, supplied with a proper wiring connector and has a colour temperature switch. The switch is conveniently located behind the bezel which provides easy access and allows you to switch from 3000K warm white to 4000K colour white whenever you like.
If you want a more decorative look, the surface mounted spotlight is another popular choice of kitchen light. Available in a wide selection of styles and finishes, they come with 1 to 6 lights.
While I wouldn't personally recommend the third option of an LED batten, the Collingwood Borealis can successfully illuminate any room with a nice and bright lighting effect with minimal costs and wiring effort. Surface fittings don't produce that clean, modern effect like recessed downlights.
Which Colour Temperature?
There are three main colours to choose from:
- Extra Warm White 2700K
- Warm White 3000K
- Cool White 4000K
Choosing the most suitable colour temperature for a kitchen is very important. If you like the warmer effect of a traditional light bulb or halogen then extra warm white would be more suitable. Or if you like a clearer, colder appearance then cool white could be the way to go. Warm white 3000K is somewhere in-between but LED lighting is clearer than the lighting effect you may be used to.
Each colour temperature will have a dramatic and different effect on your room. If you've got under cabinet lights already fitted then it's important that the colours match or it won't look right! Don't fear, if you order the wrong colour temperature at Downlights.co.uk or are not satisfied with your purchase we'll be happy to swap them over for something more suitable.
If you're not sure about which colour temperature to choose, or don't want to commit to a lifetime of cool white, we now offer a selection of colour temperature adjustable lights. These types of lighting products allow you to switch colour temperatures whenever you like! Some have a switch located directly on them, with warm white and cool white options. Some fittings also have extra warm white or daylight. Some fittings are switchable with a light switch or App.
If you're looking for a way to illuminate your kitchen work tops so you can optimise your culinary skills, we also stock a vast selection of under cabinet LED lighting products.
Looking for further information or advice about kitchen lighting? Take a look at our extensive lighting guides below: