Kitchen Lights

Electrician visiting tomorrow for a couple of jobs.
I want the kitchen lights changed.
Nothing fancy but a bright replacement for the Neon Strips which continued to be more than adequate until recently.
Are Led flat panels the way to go? There is a light from the cooker hood.
A busy day would see me cooking and washing up less than half an hour daily in a darkened kitchen.

LED is the way to go for sure but make sure they’re ‘warm’ white and not too bright / high output as they can look a little clinical and cold.


Why not just replace your current fluorescent strip tubes with a LED alternative using the same fittings.
As said above get warm white

I’m assuming here that you are referring to the fluorescent tubes in ceiling lights. You can get led tubes that go in the same fittings. Just make sure they are ballast compatible.

On colour temperature, I much prefer neutral white (4000k) in kitchens and bathrooms, but warm white in lounge and bedroom. Re warm white, you need to be careful with LED interpretations, as they are done simply by adding yellow/orange filtering, and the result not infrequently is, at least to my eyes, an unpleasant imitation of the tungsten light I grew up with – and different brands can be quite different, making for very odd lighting if you source from different manufacturers, or have to replace one later.

In kitchen I use LED broad coverage downlights with flat cob source, slightly angle adjustable which maximises light on worksurfaces. For bright and very even lighting I don’t recall the light intensity, but they were either 12 or 15W, 4000K. Positioning ensures no significant shadowing when working. I will try to remember to photograph when at home tonight.

In my hall I have flat circular inset LED panel lights, which are the same depth as plasterboard, so although only the outer bezel is proud of the ceiling surfa can be positioned as desired regardless of joist positions. Mine are 15cm, 15W, 4000K. My son wanted similar but it is a 3-storey house and needs fire rated, and we couldn’t find any. Instead he has much the same but sits on the surface. He chose fewer higher power (but then he has higher ceilings) 21.7cm diameter 1.5 deep, 18W, selectable colour temperature, 1300-1400 lumen) though I think would have been better only 12W but one more. Either of these hall approaches would work well in a kitchen, with appropriate spacing to give even intensity at worksurface.

Pics in later post this evening


Thanks. The fittings are like me …past their best.

I am allowed to upgrade in the pursuit of inheritance enhancement so now I know leds are the way to go I best ask her for her thoughts on style.

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I would probably go for downlighters recessed into the ceiling for work areas. Why people use these extensively for general lighting is beyond me, as they do a great job of illuminating worktops, desks, floors or other horizontal surfaces but are useless for anything else.
Traditionally these tend to use GU10 fittings, but permanently wired LEDs are common.

(A word of warning for the paranoid! Most LEDs emit high levels of EMI. This could theoretically reach your HiFi and degrade sound quality. It probably won’t cause any problems in most cases, but something to be aware of……or not!)

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Get him to put some Leds under cabinet lights in at the same time. They come on a roll and you cut it to length, the stick them under the cabinets, just need the right joining bits and transformer .

If you go for downlighter, dont underestimate how many you need. You can always use lower Watt LED bulbs if needed. My electrician recommended 8 x 4W bulbs. I suggested 11 x 5W, which he did and was perfect in the end

We changed quite a few fluorescent tubes in our garage and office. Exactly the same size, no painting required, covered the same dimensions👍

I prefer daylight balanced colour in the kitchen. Warm white makes it hard for your eyes. Brighter the better at 6000K.


Whatever you fancy, personally I don’t like my kitchen to feel like an operating theatre.

Just looked in Screwfix, and the 5ft Fluorescent tubes are 5200lm, and the Led equiv is only 3300Lm. Had people who have swapped noticed this reduction?

We have two of these in our kitchen, which take standard ES bulbs and can be pointed to where you want the light. Those flush things that everyone seems to have are far less attractive. We also have LED strips under the wall units.

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They look very smart but remember I am forbidden step ladders to keep them clean.

The list of Cannots and Doonots grows weekly.

I’ve cleaned ours three or four times since they were installed in 2016. Just don’t look too closely!


6000K is harsh white light, bluish. 4000 is natural white light - very similar to daylight without direct sun - and 3000 and below is warm white, distinctly yellow. These days all three are commonly found. Some LEDs come selectabke between them, generally more expensive but allows final choice in situ, or some can even be selected remotely, allowing choice of light “warmth” to suit room use etc.

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Perhaps it depends what you do in the kitchen! I find best food prep, indeed any detailed wirk, is natural white - however ours is a combined kitchen-dining room. When eating, especially when entertaining, top lights go off, the over-table light is warm white, and kitchen end lights under wall cupboards provides a balancing glow and enough light fir serving.

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The alternative, of course, is to use a colour changing light so you can set the warmth/coolness of the bulb to suit either by an app on your phone, Alexa, or a seperate remote.

I get the contrast every week, at home, the kitchen is just that, so LED fluorescent.
Weekends I cook for mother in law, there is a three bulb ceiling light, G9 bulbs that are are so yellow a candle is better. Absolutely nowhere you can stand without casting a shadow over work surface, drawers or cupboards. It is lethal.