Best Kitchen Lighting Options for Low Ceilings

Best Kitchen Lighting for Low Ceilings. Wondering what light fixtures to use in a low-ceilinged kitchen for maximum function and style? These amazing light solutions for low ceilings will create a bright and spacious kitchen feel. Plus, learn a few tips and tricks to select kitchen lights confidently!

best lighting for low kitchen ceilings

Nine And Sixteen

Are you struggling to find the right lighting options for your low kitchen ceilings? Many older homes (including our 1993 builder-grade) have standard 8-foot ceilings or even lower! 

When faced with the additional challenge of low ceilings, lighting solutions that serve both a practical necessity and design element become even more essential.

Many people don’t realize that light fixtures are one of the best ways to personalize their homes. Proper lighting is well worth the investment and will make their homes feel more luxurious, too.

In this guide, we’ll explore various lighting options tailored for kitchens with lower ceiling heights, including pendant lights, flush mount fixtures, track lighting, and more. 

Best Kitchen Lighting for Low Ceilings

Valeria Jacobs

Guidelines for choosing the right light fixture

Kitchens are primarily task-oriented spaces and require more intentional planning than other rooms. Before we explore the vast array of kitchen lighting options, there are a few helpful guidelines to remember as you plan.

Types of Kitchen Lighting

  • Direct Lighting: a directed beam of light (pendant light, track light)
  • Indirect lighting: lighting reflected from a surface, like a wall or ceiling (wall sconce)
  • Diffuse lighting: lighting filtered through a shade or film (lamp lighting)

Direct lighting is ideal for a task-oriented space like a kitchen. You want plenty of direct light while you chop those veggies!

However, adding indirect and diffuse lighting is essential to creating a warm and inviting ambiance.

Many of these examples overlap. For example, a track light could be used for direct lighting or indirect lighting, depending on how you plan to use it.

Light Hanging Guide

  • Hang pendants 30-36 inches from the countertop surface
  • When hanging multiple pendant lights, space them around 1.5 times the width of the lampshade.
  • Hang at least 6″ from the edge of an island or table.

Things to keep in mind

  • Darker or opaque shades will not allow as much light to penetrate so that the light beam will be directed upward or downward. 
  • Patterned or perforated shades will cast light unevenly and create shadows. 
  • Colored shades, such as red or blue, will cast a colored hue of light. 
  • Clear shades will brighten a room but not diffuse the lighting, which may feel harsh on the eyes. Try to mix clear glass with diffuse shade options. 
  • A white shade covered in fabric will reflect the white shade more than the fabric covering it.

Best Kitchen Lighting Ideas for Low Ceilings

Source: Lark & Linen

best kitchen lighting for low ceilings

Source: The Interior Collective

1. Picture Lights

Yes, you read that right! Picture lights aren’t just for the living room anymore.

While kitchens are definitely task-oriented spaces, incorporating unconventional light fixtures, like picture lights, can make the kitchen feel more homey.

Picture lights create indirect lighting that adds to the overall ambiance of the kitchen. Use them as accent lights to highlight features like open shelving, a piece of art, or an open hutch.

Having a few indirect light sources creates warm, low-intensity light for early mornings or evenings. 

Source: Chris Love Julia Blog

2. Table Lamps

Lamp lighting may surprise you as an option, but it’s a really great way to add some diffuse lighting to your space.

Adding lighting sources at different levels creates a layered feeling in the room. If the only lights in a home were overhead, how harsh and overstimulating would that be? We need lights under our eye line, too, but this is often not the case in kitchens.

Under-cabinet lighting is an exception; however, unlike under-cabinet lighting, a lamp adds an extra design element. A small, easy-to-clean lamp out of shot of grease and grime will add a warm, luxurious feel to your kitchen! 

Best Kitchen Lighting for Low Ceilings

Valeria Jacobs

3. Pendant Lights

Pendant lighting is a popular choice in kitchen designs, and you will be glad to know that it is not off-limits for low ceilings.

The key is to opt for visually lightweight pendants so they don’t feel overwhelming. Visually lightweight could mean smaller or clear glass pendants to create an airy feel. Also, choose custom-cut or adjustable-height fixtures to ensure they hang at the right level above your kitchen island or dining table.  

The general guideline for hanging pendant lights is at least 30 inches from the bottom of the fixture to the surface it hangs over.

Pendant lights not only provide excellent task lighting but also serve as a focal point, adding a design statement to your space without overwhelming it.

best lighting for low kitchen ceilings

Source via Pinterest

4. Flush and Semi-Flush Lights

A Flush or Semi-flush Mount Fixture is designed to sit close to the ceiling, making them an excellent choice for low-ceilinged kitchens.

These fixtures are a perfect choice for diffuse lighting or adding to the general lighting of the kitchen. Choose a fixture that directs light upwards to give the feel of tall ceilings, or opt for a white shade to provide a soft glow around the room. On the other hand, fixtures with clear glass should be considered to maximize light output and create an even spread of light.

Depending on your needs, flush-mount light fixtures can blend in really well with the ceiling or stand out as a design statement. 

Nine And Sixteen

Quorn Stone

5. Wall Sconces

Wall sconces are a must-have for every kitchen, regardless of style. They are a great way to add ambient lighting and enhance the overall design.

Sconces may serve as indirect lighting or highlight a feature like open shelving. In a small kitchen, a sconce with an adjustable arm can create visual interest and double as task lighting when needed.

With many styles and finishes available, sconces are a classic lighting solution that works with any home style.

6. Interior Cabinet Lighting

Adding interior cabinet lights as accent lighting is a great way to highlight glass cabinet doors or open shelves. Not only will it increase the room’s overall brightness, but it can also highlight beautiful dish collections!

Page Summers

7. Chandelier 

Chandeliers are a perfect fit over a kitchen table or even an island. They add beautiful, diffuse lighting that enhances the kitchen’s ambiance. Although chandeliers don’t offer the best lighting for tasks, they are a great additional light source and add a stunning design statement.

best lighting for low kitchen ceilings

Image via

8. Recessed Light

Recessed lighting is standard in newer homes and can be a great way to provide general lighting in the kitchen. As the name implies, these lights seamlessly blend into your ceiling, saving you valuable headspace.

While they should not be relied on for direct task lighting, recessed lights add to the general brightness.

Personally, I prefer my lighting solutions to double as a design statement, so recessed lighting is not my first choice.

Overall, recessed lighting is a popular homeowner favorite and a low-ceiling-friendly choice.

9. Under Cabinet Lighting

Illuminate your countertops and workspaces with under-cabinet lighting.

These small fixtures are discreetly installed beneath your cabinets, providing task lighting for food preparation and cooking activities.

Under-cabinet lighting is a great addition for smaller kitchens, where utilizing every inch of counter space is essential! They also provide warm indirect light, perfect for early mornings and evenings.

best lighting for low kitchen ceilings


10. Track Lighting

Track lighting is an excellent option for a modern home and offers flexibility and versatility. It allows you to direct light exactly where needed.

Install track lights above your kitchen sink or along dark corners to provide additional lighting where needed most.

I’ll be honest: As a personal preference, track lights are not my favorite. However, this beautiful kitchen pictured above definitely changed my perspective.

Track lights have clearly come a long way since the ’70s! With slim, low-profile options in various styles, track lighting is a practical and stylish solution for low-ceilinged kitchens.

best lighting for low kitchen ceilings

There are plenty of options for lighting a kitchen with low ceilings. Whatever your needs or preferences, the key is to find the right balance between functionality and style.

Adding lighting is the best way to personalize your home and save money because lighting doubles as a design statement! With the right lighting solutions, you can make your low-ceilinged kitchen feel bright and spacious! 

You May Also Like:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *