3 Types of Outdated Kitchen Lighting to Avoid — and What to Choose Instead

Bring your kitchen out of the dark ages as the experts tell us which types of lighting are best left in the past

A black kitchen with lighting above the island
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lighting can help set the mood of a room, from dark and moody, to warm and inviting. But the wrong light fixture can quickly date your kitchen, preventing the timeless appearance we all desire.

There's plenty of kitchen lighting ideas that remain timeless, but a matter of preference, but there are other types that many interior designers are leaving behind.

We've consulted the experts to help us decipher which light fittings will always be in, and which you might want to avoid going forward.

1. Fluorescent ceiling fixtures

A kitchen with recessed lighting above the counter

(Image credit: Getty Images)

No-one looks their best under harsh overhead lighting, and your modern kitchen is no different.

Julia Mack, founder of Julia Mack design, says: 'Large ceiling mounted fluorescent fixtures are outdated because the quality of the cool light creates strong and unflattering shadows on work surfaces and dining spaces.'

Opting for a warmer, soft light instead can help to create a more welcoming glow to your kitchen.

Yam Studios director Kashi Shikunova agrees. 'I prefer using warm lighting in the kitchen to establish a cozy ambiance.'

'Utilizing high-lumen bulbs with dimmer capabilities to ensure flexibility, allowing the light to be adjusted to different brightness levels as required,' Kashi Shikunova suggests. 'The warm light temperature not only fosters a welcoming atmosphere but also harmonizes with the overall ambiance of the house.'

2. Three in a Row

A kitchen with pendant light above the island

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Effective lighting can help shine a focus on your kitchen island, highlighting it as the centrepiece of your kitchen.

'I think there is a subtle change in preference in the number of lights installed above islands,' notes Kashi Shikunova. 'Previously, the use of three smaller pendants was popular, but nowadays, it's often replaced with two larger lights or even one statement light bar.'

These are not the only trend progressions Kashi Shikunova has noticed: 'There has been a shift in preferences towards softer, streamlined light fittings, departing from the industrial metal shades that once dominated the scene.'

3. Matching metals

A kitchen with metallic light above the island

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's easy to get caught up in the perceived need to make everything match when designing your kitchen, but this can create a flat, monotonous look. Stepping out of your comfort zone and introducing new textures and finishes through light fittings can help to push your kitchen into the modern age.

'Metal finish trends come and go,' says Julia Mack. 'So look at the metals tones that are the most dominate in your kitchen and aim to work with them by introducing a more matte or conversely a more shiny addition.'

Offering one such example, she suggests: 'If a kitchen has lots of polished brass already, add a new light fixture that has warm matte or brushed metal warm tones to compliment the existing materials.'

Maya Glantz
Trainee writer

Maya is a freelance writer and Magazine Journalism master's student at City, University of London. Her undergraduate degree in History of Art at the University of Bristol helped form her interest in interior design and architecture. Maya is a lover of curved arches, green kitchens, and all things mid-century modern and can often be found scouring the web for vintage finds.