Utility room lighting ideas – ceiling, wall and task lights for a well-lit laundry room

Get the lighting right to ensure a serene space in which to undertake everyday chores
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  • Don’t overlook the importance of exploring good utility room lighting ideas. Small but might utility rooms may not be the top priority when it comes to decorating, but should be – as one of the most used rooms in any home.

    Because utility rooms are often hidden away behind a closed door the hard working space is overlooked when it comes to planning, especially finer details such as lighting. This is one of the biggest design crimes when it comes to utility rooms, considered a necessary yet secondary overflow space off the kitchen which requires less of project planning and budgeting. But we speak to experts in the industry, who are quick to shine a light on the importance of a well-lit laundry space.

    See all our design-led utility room ideas for inspiration

    Utility room lighting ideas

    ‘Laundry rooms are often smaller spaces and have a specific function. Brightness is key, so flush lighting is ideal for providing plenty of light’ explains Niki Wright, founder of Lights and Lamps.

    ‘If your room doesn’t have access to natural light, consider installing lighting with low energy bulbs (LEDs)’ suggests Mary Buchanan, on behalf of Laura Ashley Lighting at Där lighting. ‘Whilst we’d normally recommend a warm white light bulb in most of the house for a cosy feel, the utility room calls for a more crisp, cool white lamp, which gives slightly better colour visibility.

    1. Light under the cabinets

    Utility light idea with down lighters

    Image credit: Higham Furniture 

    Think of your utility room lighting scheme as an extension of your kitchen lighting. ‘Functional lighting such as recessed LED strips or spotlights are great for seeing what you are doing,’ says Niki Wright. But it is also worth planning how you want the room to look when you are not actually using it for its intended purpose. ‘A combination of practical and decorative lighting can really make all the difference in the most used room in the home.’

    Discover on layouts: Utility room design – ideas on how to organise your laundry space

    2. Position useful task lighting

    ‘The utility area is a space where task lighting is vital’ explains Mary Buchanan at Där lighting. Given task lighting is vitally important the source of directional light should take centre stage. Consider where you are most likely to require extra light for completing tasks – such as above the sink, where you may be dealing with stain removals etc.

    Have a task lamp fitted to add more focal light, but you can also enhance the decor with your choice. This country utility room idea incorporates a number of classic country design notes – from the sage green cabinetry to the traditional butler sink and ceramic wall pendant light.

    3. Layer the lightning scheme

    cream utility room with spotlights

    Image credit: Mereway Kitchen & Bathrooms

    Use overhead lighting to set the scene then place wall lights and lamps to create different levels of lighting throughout the room. ‘Layer your lighting at different levels to suit your activities’ recommends  Mary Buchanan. ‘Bar pendants will produce a strong downwards steam of light, while wall lights can boost specific task areas such as folding and ironing zones.’

    4. Change direction with moveable designs

    walk through utility room

    Image credit: Mel Yates

    If you’re looking for classic lighting but want to create a sense of freedom with the flow, choose traditional fittings which can be moved. Such as overhead spotlights or focus wall lights that can be titled in different directions. This is especially useful in a sizeable room where you might want to change the layout in future – as your household grows, so does the purpose of such rooms.

    5. Coordinate the look

    white utility room with wooden flooring

    Image credit: Berry Alloc

    ‘You needn’t lose the glamour when creating a boot room or utility room; these rooms are often an extension of the kitchen area’ explains Mary Buchanan. ‘Keep the lights and style coordinated with your kitchen. Choose designs that won’t get in the way but that will still offer a good amount of light.’

    6. Incorporate lighting into bespoke cabinetry

    blue utility room

    Image credit: Future Publishing Plc

    If you’re building bespoke cabinetry for your utility room, consider having the lighting built-in to enhance the layout. Directional spotlights under shelving helps to make a feature of the design, while also directing light onto the space below which is prime placement for mirrors and noticeboards – as demonstrated in the utility room above.

    7. Expose the bulbs to bounce light

    White utility room units with woevn baskets on open shelves

    Image credit: Neptune

    ‘One way to add a little more style to your utility room could be to consider lighting,’ advises Amber Greenman, Home Designer at Neptune. ‘As it is often a smaller space, the more light the better.’ As well as adding more lighting you can enhance the light quality by painting the cabinets in a light colour which helps by reflecting light around the space – a great small utility room idea.

    8. Make the light go further with elements of glass

    To add a luxurious touch, choose a design with bevelled glass that will elevate your scheme and reflect light around the room’ suggest Mary.

    9. Keep it simple with static spotlights

    narrow utility room with sink washing machine and tumble dryer

    Image credit: David Still

    Spotlights are the faithful, functional lighting choice that never fails. Covering the entirety of the room and not taking up any valuable space, it’s easy to see why this humble lighting design is so highly favoured. To make them even more functional install a dimmer switch to enable a change of warmth and brightness for the space.

    What is the best lighting for a laundry room?

    ‘Laundry rooms rarely have space for specific decorative lighting,’ says Niki Wright of Lights and Lamps. The advice when choosing designs is to look for designs which are both pretty and practical. ‘Try pairing a flush ceiling light with specific task lighting, wall lights work well as they do not take up any room. Try a wall light with an adjustable bulb holder, such as our Lever wall light, this will allow you to direct the light to a specific spot you want to illuminate.’

    How many lumens do you need in a laundry room?

    ‘Lumens equals brightness, and a laundry room needs to be bright! ‘ Niki Wright explains. ‘However, it is more important to concentrate on kelvins – this is the warmth of the light. For a warm glow in a living room, for example, we would recommend around 2700-3000 k. So, for a laundry room, a more neutral rating of around 4000 k. This will produce a cooler light, helping you see when your laundry is whiter than white!’

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