open plan kitchen

Lighting in open plan spaces such as a bedroom or a dining room is relatively straight forward when you consider the purpose of a room. Especially if each room has a different style or theme.

But lighting an open plan space has a few design elements to consider. While it’s easy to see where a kitchen ends and a living room begins, knowing how to light each area for different tasks or atmospheres can be a bit tricky.

Let’s look at how we can create ambience without sacrificing design. In this blog we explore the different ways you can light your open plan space to define areas and moods.


While it may seem easier to simply light an entire open space using downlights, you risk interrupting a cosy ambience. Relying only on downlights creates shadows and removes the glow that comes from a well-placed pendant or floor light.

open plan kitchen downlights

However, downlights certainly have their place. They are fantastic task lights and are best saved for the kitchen. Not to mention this is a great way to define specific areas of an open plan kitchen dining space.

By using downlights, particularly CCT downlights you can separate the space between kitchen and dining room. This means using a cooler task light for the kitchen, and a much warmer ambience light for the dining room.  

Pendant Lighting

Pendant lights are a great addition to downlights. They offer a warm glow from a different height, something that complements the light given by a downlight. Hung above a dining room table, a pendant light defines the dining room space by adding a focal point.

lighting open plan spaces

Furthermore, since wall space may be short supply in larger open plan space, pendant lights also eliminate the need to find space and add fittings to walls.

Floor lights and table lamps

As we move from the dining room through to the living room, we should look at a new way to light a space and define the living room from the dining area.

Using floor lights and table lamps is especially effective in areas where wall space is limited. This means you can light specific areas without lighting the entire open space.

Floor lights work beautifully in living rooms and even open plan bedrooms, not to mention these handy lights can be moved wherever and whenever needed and add a cosy element to the relaxing space of a living room.

open plan living room

Pairing table lamps around the sofa or side tables allows for another dimension in your lighting, lighting from lower down than the high pendants and downlights of the more task-based areas of the space. This gives further definition to the areas within your open plan space and create a more cohesive and relaxing living room.

Ready to create the ambience in your open plan space? Check out our lighting by types to find the perfect lighting for your home and design a perfectly balanced space.

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