Your kitchen has always been one of the most important rooms in your home, and these days with families rarely gathering around the table to eat, it’s become even more important. But when was the last time you actually thought about your kitchen lights?

Your kitchen is the hub of the home where the family can gather to plan their days, and later review their triumphs and tragedies. A place where friends can gather around for weekend dinner parties with a glass or two of wine. That’s why it’s crucial that your kitchen lights match everyone’s moods, and be both practical and beautiful.

If you’re thinking about replacing or upgrading your kitchen lights, you’ll need to engage a qualified Home Electrician such as Hit The Switch. This is why are a proud to present this article about how you can – and should – replace or upgrade your kitchen lights.

There are two mistakes people make when they decide to replace their old kitchen lights or upgrade their old oyster lights and fluoros…

The first mistake is they install recessed downlights literally everywhere. Just because contemporary downlights are relatively inexpensive, doesn’t mean your kitchen should be lit up like an operating theatre.

They are called “spot” lights for a reason – if all the spots converge, you’ve got one massive light, and no light and shade.

Having said that, kitchens do require a higher level of brightness than most other rooms in your home, so you may need a few more lights or brighter lights than you’d use in other rooms of the same size.

The second mistake is fitting lots of moody decorative lights and forgetting all about task lights. Let’s face it, a lot of long hard work takes place in a family kitchen and if the lighting isn’t right, you can suffer from eye strain or, worse still, do yourself an injury with a sharp implement or hot saucepan.

How much task lighting you need depends on the size and shape of the kitchen and the number & layout of the general lights you have.

You should have good task lighting under cabinets, above the stove and cutting benches, over the island and the sink; unlike other lighting there is no need to align task lights in a pattern.

If possible/feasible, Hit The Switch recommends putting the tasks lights on a separate switch.

Ideally, your kitchen lights should be a mix of both mood lighting and task lighting. If you are on a budget, replace the overhead ceiling lighting with some strategically placed dimmable downlights.

In a small kitchen these should provide enough light to allow you to perform all your preparation and cooking tasks, and the fact that they can be dimmed will provide a softer light – perfect for today’s open plan living.

Upgrading a kitchen in an older Melbourne home? Download our Free Checklist…


Your old oyster lights and fluoros have served their purpose – now it’s time to replace them. Not only are they very expensive to run – the ballasts are massive energy drains – but they are also:

  • less efficient at lighting your kitchen
  • hot to touch
  • dangerous if broken, and
  • unattractive.

On top of that, harsh fluorescent lighting can often make you feel tired and irritable, so resist the temptation to take the “cheap” option.

On the other hand, LED lighting (short for Light Emitting Diodes) are brighter, come in a range of ‘colours’ (such as warm white or cool white), are more durable, and so energy-efficient, they last tens of thousands of hours longer than traditional incandescent bulbs… while only using a tenth of the electricity.

It really is a no brainer, especially with Hit The Switch’s Special Offer on Downlights.

Furthermore, they are much safer than other lights. Even LED lights that have been left on for hours are cool to the touch, and as the chip is embedded in an epoxy resin housing, they have no fragile glass or filaments that can be damaged.

On top of all that, they also allow you to achieve innovative and dramatic kitchen lighting effects.


If your kitchen cabinets don’t reach all the way to the ceiling, it could be a great idea to install lights above the cabinets. That way the light will spill up the wall and bounce off the ceiling increasing the light and the ambience.

Kitchen Lighting_3Similarly, under-cabinet lighting will help create both mood lighting and task lighting; again choose LED lighting rather than fluoros for a superb ambience.

What about lighting at your feet?

If you’ve ever seen strip lighting at the base of a kitchen island, you’ll know what a terrific contemporary look it can help achieve. For example, if your kitchen overlooks a pool or water you could add a slight blue tint to the light to draw in the view, or if it looks out onto a verdant garden, try a light with a soft green hue.

Up-lighting is another great tip for your kitchen lighting. This is perfect if you have a recessed cove around the top perimeter of the kitchen. It will wash the ceiling with light making it brighter, and the bounced light will be reflected throughout the space without glare.

When looking to see what you require when upgrading your kitchen lighting, don’t just look at the ceiling; instead look up, down and all around.

The final tip is if your overhead lights have a dimmer, use it. That way you can match the light to whatever you are doing – full power when you are prepping and cooking, and far more subtly when your kitchen is not in use.

For more expert information and invaluable tips about replacing or upgrading your kitchen lighting – or to arrange a free quote to have your kitchen lights installed – call the friendly, ever-helpful team at Hit The Switch on 1300 205 205, or simply click here to contact us.