Cook it until it’s golden brown. The words in every recipe book that’ll sweep Jamie-Oliver wannabees into a tornado of anxiety. What’s golden brown? Is my chicken wellington golden brown or marginally-yellow brown?

We’ve all done it. Undercooked dinner and super glued all our guests to their ceramic thrones after dark. It’s embarrassing. But guess what? You could’ve avoided all of it. Unfortunately, we can’t shape your culinary skills at Brightgreen. But we can teach you how to make golden brown look exactly like, well, golden brown.

In this article, we’ll spill the beans on how you can choose the perfect combination of kitchen lighting to add flavour to your kitchen and bring your food to life. Throw our world-class Tru-Colour® tech into the mix, and your golden brown (and any other colour) will appear as close to au naturel as possible. So say au revoir to undercooked dinners.

Your #1 rule for kitchen lighting

Kitchens are a special place in every part of the world. We prepare food, perfect our culinary skills, and entertain friends and family. And if you’re anything like us, it’s also the only place where we can frisbee Gordon Ramsay quotes at granny without getting a spatula to the buttocks. (Granny, your fish is so raw, it’s still finding Nemo!)

What’s the #1 rule? Function first. Form second.

You want your kitchen light fixtures to match your space’s range of functions.

Ask yourself: What am I going to use the kitchen for? Are you going to use your kitchen for cooking? Are you going to spend time working from your kitchen bench? Is your kitchen benchtop a substitute dining table?

Accurate colour judgement: Tru-Colour ®

Before we even jump into light layering in the kitchen, we should talk about light quality.

Whether it’s microwave meals or foie gras, everyone cooks in the kitchen. If you’re not cooking in the kitchen, you may as well replace your granite benchtop with a jumping castle.

When it comes to food preparation, colour judgement is critical. You don’t want to undercook your chicken or overcook a medium-rare steak. And so, when picking kitchen island lighting, you’ll need to consider your LED’s CRI or colour rendering index. CRI is a measure of colour accuracy. And the CRI of your kitchen LED lighting should be at least 80.

CRI also helps you appreciate the subtly different hues of your favourite vino. How? Under a high-CRI LED (ahem, Brightgreen Tru-Colour® LEDs are 98 CRI), not only will you be able to distinguish how well-done your steak is, but you’ll be able to appreciate the scarlet shades of red wines, too.

How to choose the perfect combo of kitchen lighting

Like a warm winter ensemble, it’s all about the layers when it comes to kitchen LED lighting (plus light quality, of course).

Avoid the one-bulb show

You need to strike a balance between different kitchen light fixtures.

What’s the worst thing you could do? Stick one bright bulb in the ceiling as kitchen island lighting. Kitchens are shiny places. So it’s a surefire way to meet our archenemy: glare. And everyone hates glare. So avoid the one-bulb show, and keep reading.

Ambient, task and accent kitchen lighting

To achieve layered kitchen lighting, you’ll need three types of kitchen light fixtures: ambient, task, and accent (or decorative). It’s the ideal combination of LEDs to get your food looking Michelin-star worthy.

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting is the general illumination in your kitchen. It’s the primary light source, and it will usually be the lighting that fills the room.

We recommend:

  1. Recessed lights: You know them. You love them. Yes, we’re talking about kitchen downlights. They are modest, often budget-friendly, and get the job done.
  2. Surface-mounted lights: If you think holes are overrated and want a kitchen downlight that stands tall, kitchen surface lights are perfect.
  3. Hanging lights: Moon pendant lights can be a suitable alternative to kitchen downlights and provide a diffuse, soft glow.

Task lighting

Task lighting is light that illuminates areas designed for specific tasks—countertops for food preparation, above the sink for washing dishes, or inside cabinets for easy visibility.

We recommend:

  1. Recessed lights: Kitchen downlights with gimbals are magic for task lighting, too.
  2. Pendant lights: Your elegant workhorses for task lighting—kitchen pendant lights and ceiling lights are aesthetic and functional.
  3. Strip lights: The cabinet lighting champs. Add strip lights inside and underneath cabinets to see all your pots, pans, and spices. Don’t stop at cabinet lighting. You can use them for orientation lighting on your staircases and light the path to the kitchen, too.
  4. Track lights: Your multi-talented magicians—adjust and reposition these as you please. Use kitchen ceiling lights as ambient lighting, or gimbal them all about for task lighting.
  5. Surface-mounted lights: Get kitchen surface lights that have gimbals so that you can get that 360° swivel for all your kitchen tasks.

Accent lighting

Think of it as lighting jewellery for your kitchen that still serves a purpose—it highlights the favourite parts of your kitchen. Accent lighting can up the drama and moodiness of a room with the flick of a switch. It’s the final touch that completes the kitchen lighting experience.

This one’s easy. We recommend kitchen wall sconces. They’re the ideal complementary feature to lighting’s main show.

Icing on the cake

You’ve nailed the layers…now what? It’s time to add the icing to the cake.

Shift the ambience and your mood with the turn of a dial and easily adjust lighting levels by adding dimmers into the mix. If you want to get fancy, you can add circadian lighting (like Day Shift and Night Shift®), and your lights will dynamically transition CCT and lumens throughout your day. So that means you’ll get a morning perk-up of high-energy light with breakfast, a soothing glow as you gossip over a glass of wine at dinner, and a relaxing hue as you prepare a cuppa before you drift off.

Okay, so what are you waiting for? Get in touch now.

Want someone else to do the cooking?

Want golden brown that just looks like golden brown? Press fast-forward and get in touch to bring your cooking to life with the world’s highest light quality and expert lighting design—for a magical mixture of kitchen light fixtures. You’ll score complimentary advice, lighting layouts, lux calculations, and more.