Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas Functional Lighting Solutions

27+ Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas


Black Tracking Spotlights and Flush Mounts for Modern Kitchen

Characterized by soothing blue cabinets and custom-design fluted wooden overhead cabinets, this modern kitchen imparts a sense of calmness to its users. Its dominant white color palette on the walls lightens up the space, supported by two layers of a lighting system. First, the black track spotlights that can be oriented in different directions punctuate the ceiling, providing ambient lighting. The second one comes with a duo of black flush mounts above the island. As the island’s corner is rather small, the homeowners choose to go with flush mounts instead of the pendants to avoid any clutter.


Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas for Minimalist Kitchen with Rustic Table

Clad in neutral and earthy shades, this astonishing minimalist kitchen chooses to go with a wall sconce that oozes to illuminate the rustic eating space. Its black sleek wall-mounted legs accentuate the plaster walls with a stylish touch. Behind, it is complemented by gray modern cabinets, a terrazzo backsplash, and sleek cream appliances, while the wood beams and wood-clad ceiling add extra interest overhead, enveloping the double-volume kitchen with a sense of warmth.

Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas

Providing any space with layers of lighting is essential to make use of the space to the fullest and not leave any dark corners. This even gets more vital in small kitchens as they are intensively used and filled with cabinets to maximize storage to compensate for the smallness of the square footage. Unfortunately, maximizing the number of cabinet units might end up darkening the space. To avoid that, what the space needs are small kitchen lighting ideas that encompass a variety of lighting systems, including recessed lighting, wall sconces, flush mounts, and pendants.

Depending on the needs of the space, the color palette, and how much natural light it receives, you may need to incorporate different layers of lighting and make the least light-receiving areas your main target. Particularly, it is the islands and perimeter countertops that don’t receive enough light, requiring more attention and task lighting. Besides, as lighting also improves our mood and well-being, we should extra invest in thinking and planning the lighting fixtures to ensure the wellness of the space and avoid any accidents that may occur due to the lack of enough lighting. This roundup offers you a list of 20+ small kitchen lighting ideas that introduce you to the different lighting systems and showcase how they help us make the most use of the space.


Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas for Monochromatic Contemporary Kitchens

For kitchens short on square footage, monochromatic color palettes work as a space-enhancing factor as here. Awash with white furniture pieces, including white flat-front cabinets, a range hood, and an island, this kitchen orchestrates a soothing design theme. It is only added contrast with black stools, stove, and hardware, while the herringbone pattern hardwood flooring injects a healthy dose of warmth to break up the uniform look. Lucky to have flush mount lights, this small kitchen also uses white and a statement accent lighting fixture for the island to enrich the brightness of the kitchen. The lighting fixture with white glass globes on the black linear metal adds a gentle touch, coordinating with the curved edges of the island and the hood.


Marble Backsplash with Brass Hardware and Wall Sconce

Sometimes what puts you at a disadvantage when designing your home could be the dysfunctional placement of windows, columns, and doors. This kitchen, for example, has a similar handicap due to the window but no need to despair as it can be turned into an advantage. First, with a marble-made floating shelf, the kitchen gains a new feature that serves as a windowsill and extra storage. Secondly, it is accompanied by another floating shelf positioned near the window. This shelf is supported by brass brackets and illuminated by a brass wall sconce as an accent lighting to put the exhibited personal decorations in the spotlight. This way, a dysfunctional zone transforms into something aesthetic and functional.


Scandinavian Kitchen with Black Wall Sconces and Flush Mounts

This achromatic Scandinavian kitchen already feels light and fresh thanks to the white cabinets and wooden shades that bring the right amount of warmth. And it is illuminated by two black sconces and a white flush mount. The two black minimalist wall sconces serve as accent lighting to punctuate the shelves. Flanking the hood, these symmetrical placements introduce order and a sense of clarity to the design, while the barely visible white flush mount feels camouflaged on the ceiling.

What type of lighting is best for a small kitchen?

Whether for a glow, warm ambiance, or pop of color, a good plan of lighting is required in small kitchens. Ranging from spotlights to backlighting, cabinet and drawer lighting, chandeliers, and wall lights, a wide range of lighting options is available for small kitchens. And each one is significant on its own, providing task, ambient, and accent lighting depending on the place and purpose they are used. Thus, what homeowners need to do is to understand the needs of the kitchen first and plan accordingly. Also, it is important to keep in mind that lighting fixtures are great decorative additions to add personality to the kitchen.

Small Kitchen Pendant Lights

Pendant lights are great options for accent and task lighting as a small kitchen lighting ideas. You can benefit from them over kitchen islands to illuminate the countertops and eating spaces. Whether minimal or oversized, the pendant lights are welcome in small kitchens and can be used as statement pieces with dimmers to create a pleasant atmosphere and visual drama.

Plus, as pendant lighting fixtures are easier to spot, they draw eyes upwards to give the illusion of a larger space. By using an oversized pendant over the eating space or the island, you can create a perception of space and define specific spots effortlessly. To enhance the impact, you can get them in coppers and metallics that will also enlarge the space visually.

Additionally, if you have a sloping roof, double-volume space, and wooden beams framing a gabled roof, pendant lights are extremely suitable for such dramatic spaces. You can get the ones with flexible joints and easily mount them on pitched roofs.


Rustic Modern Kitchen with Blue Cabinets and a Trio of Woven Pendants

This stunning kitchen proposes a modern interpretation of a rustic-inspired design that abounds in shades of blue. It is both distant and approachable thanks to the combination of both styles. The blue beadboard cabinets bring movement, while the black casement window opens up the small kitchen, serving as a visual connection to the adjacent room. Above, wooden beams enhance the rustic feel, supported by a trio of woven pendants. They add a minimal touch proportionate to the smallness of the space, providing enough light to illuminate the sink area.

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Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas for White Coastal Design Kitchen

This small open-plan kitchen benefits from the serene palette of shades of white that introduces brightness to the space, while the main kitchen zone is defined by a breakfast bar and a cased opening. And complementing them are the brass hardware, a duo of glass pendants, and rattan backless stools with sailor stripes that execute the essential flair of the coastal design. Especially, the display cabinets and the choice of glass for the pendants bring visual lightness to the design, while the pendants create a cozy ambiance over the island.

How do you light a small dark kitchen?

Illuminating small dark kitchens require cohesive layered lighting that is essential to make the space larger and the edges of the kitchen softer. To achieve that, you need three types of lighting: accent, ambient, and task. The accent lighting generally encompasses the inside-cabinet spotlights, track lighting, and wall sconces used to highlight certain features of the space and create a cozy and pleasant atmosphere.

Secondly, ambient lighting encompasses the ceiling-mounted spotlights and flush mounts that target the whole space to illuminate. Lastly, work areas like countertops and islands require task lighting that exposes the target area to direct lighting for a well-functioning work environment. Above-counter spotlights, counter lamps, and pendants over an island, peninsula, and countertop are all examples of task lighting, helping increase the efficiency of the space. By arranging layered lighting, you can customize the lighting system and use whatever comforts your working space during the time of the day.

Apart from that, if you have a kitchen island, you can consider lighting fixtures specifically designed for it, which come in various sizes and styles. Additionally, pendants are other stylish options that you can use to define the island zone. Depending on the size of the island and lighting fixtures, you can get a trio or a duo of them, which also gives a focal point to the kitchen.

Last but not least, while planning your lighting system, also keep your focus on the architectural features of the space (E.g., whether you have a sloping roof or tall ceilings). If you have a low ceiling, for instance, it is better to avoid the pendants that will occupy the overhead space already reduced to the slope. But for tall kitchens, pendants are great to add a decorative piece for a visual statement.


Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas for Farmhouse Kitchens

It doesn’t always happen to come across such fabulous farmhouse kitchen designs rich in textures, materials, and statement features. Starting from the cream discolored-looking plaster walls to the exposed wooden beams, open shelving, scalloped marble farmhouse sink, and marble countertops, each element orchestrates a country flair that feels casual and sophisticated at the same time. But of course, to highlight all these elements, what you need is an expressive layered lighting system. And here we have an industrial-style pendant over the island, two minimal white pendants illuminating the countertops, and a silverish wall sconce near the sink. Each one adds a new dimension both as physical features and by emitting lights. If you would like to expand the impact of the pendants, you can give a gloss finish to the countertops just like the glazed wooden countertop of the island.


U-Shaped Kitchen with Two Black Pendants and Terrazzo Backsplash

This contemporary U-shaped kitchen has a very ambitious design with a terrazzo backsplash and floor cladding, along with wooden countertops and cabinet shelves, and white cabinet doors. And each element is repeated and forms part of another piece of furniture to create a continuous design. The same goes for a duo of black pendants dropped over the peninsula for task lighting, which is coordinated with a black drop-in sink and black chips of the terrazzo backsplash and floor tiles.

Small Kitchen Recessed Lights

Recessed lights are one of the most functional small kirchen lighting ideas and are especially great for areas where no natural lights can penetrate. So, you can use them in areas that need light the most. To create an atmosphere, you can even get the ones with dimmer switchers. This way, you can use them for both ambient, task, and accent lighting according to your needs. Plus, as recessed lights don’t take up any space, they can confidently be used without causing any clutter. The top display shelves, cabinet shelves, and under-cabinets can feature recessed lighting, which can serve more than one function. Under-cabinet lighting, for example, first, functions as accent lighting to highlight the splash-back and counters, and second, as task lighting while preparing food.


Small Kitchen Recessed Lights for Gloss Cabinets and Glass Sheet Backsplash

Spotlights are popularly used lighting systems that have become better and better over time with the advancement of technology and the introduction of LEDs that save on energy bills. The kitchen designs employ them for ambient lighting to ensure the even distribution of light throughout and accent lighting to highlight certain features of the space. In this kitchen, spotlights are used as under-cabinet lighting, while the LED-strip lighting creates a cozy ambiance, and track spotlighting serves as ambient lighting. Gloss finish full-height cabinets and recessed light that put them in the spotlights couldn’t have been used in a better way to expand such a small kitchen. The door style, which is flat-front and handle-free, helps light diffuse smoothly without bumping into any barrier. The same goes for the under-cabinet lighting and a white glass-sheet backsplash that ensures the light flow throughout.

Small Kitchen Wall Lights

Kitchen wall lights are essential to create feature walls and accentuate the specific architectural features of the space. Often installed above the windows and floating shelves or flanking the range hood, wall lights are mainly used for accent and task lighting. But even more importantly, they are great additions as decorative pieces and inject personality into your kitchen. So, feel free to use different forms, colors, and materials with wall lights to make a statement. Also, keep in mind that the experts recommend wall lights be installed and pre-planned before the incorporation of other elements.


Modern Kitchen with Two-tone Cabinetry and Recessed Lights

Richly stained walnut cabinets with black base counters and a marble backsplash create layered materiality with a dramatic impact, which is enhanced by downlighting. The cabinet shelves and splash back are highlighted, which creates a cozy ambiance, drawing all the attention to the statement backsplash. To improve the effect, you can use reflective surfaces, which also help the kitchen look bigger.


Colorful Kitchen Design with Yellow Cabinets and Terrazzo Countertops

Working your scheme around colors in small kitchens, surely, works well. Here, the yellow cabinets with terrazzo countertops and flooring create a very sensible design. The blue and pink counter stools add extra pops of color. Overall, it looks playful and energizing, while the abundance of yellow cheers up the kitchen. Plus, the geometric patterns on the backsplash, the floor, and countertops add movement, highlighted by the recessed lighting fixtures that capture the beauty of the colors.


Warm Kitchen Design with Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas for Brown Cabinets

Seize the moment with LED strip lighting under the overhead cabinets. Stealing inspiration from this kitchen, you can effortlessly create a pleasant ambiance with wall sconces for warm task lighting and illuminate the base oak cabinets and quartz countertops. Thanks to the warm shades and warm lights, all that you will remember will be the coziness of the kitchen rather than its pint-size.

How many can lights for a small kitchen?

For ambient lighting, it is recommended to have a spotlight for every 4 to 6 square feet of ceiling space or in other words, space the recessed lights 4 feet apart for a well-illuminated space. Secondly, add task lighting for the perimeter counters; installing LED strip lighting along the perimeters will give you an efficient food preparation area. If you have an island, you can pair it with pendants. More importantly, if you get lighting fixtures with dimmers, you can adjust the light depending on the time of the day and create different moods when needed.

What gives the best light in a kitchen?

Ceiling recessed lighting and flush mounts are essential to ensure the even distribution of lights throughout the space. But they need to be supported by task lighting that illuminates the counters, sinks, and faucets. Such key areas need direct exposure to make use of most of the space, and under-cabinet lighting is one of the best ways to achieve that. This way, you can eliminate the shadow areas that might occur between you and the countertops.

For those looking for alternatives to recessed lighting, track kitchen lighting could also serve as a modern and very functional addition. This lighting fixture consists of a strip of lights arranged in a linear pattern, creating an excellent focus light. These adjustable lighting fixtures can be oriented in different directions according to the need, which is one of their most favorable features of them.

Apart from those, it is also recommended to ensure that the color temperature of the lamping in all the fixtures is the same for a sense of consistency. Additionally, if you want to improve the ambiance and create different moods for different occasions, you can get dimmer switchers. You can also decide the color of the light depending on the backsplash. If it has a neutral vibe, you can use warm light to soften it. And for cool backsplashes, you can keep the light white and cool.

How do I brighten up my kitchen?

The color palette and thoughtfully planned lighting system are two key strategies to brighten up the kitchen. Using shades of light, cream, and yellow lightens up the interior, enhancing the openness of the space.

Apart from those, minimizing the number of wall units and replacing them with floating shelves open up the space and make it breathe. But if overhead cabinets feel like a must to you, you can use glass-front cabinets to reflect the light. To complement them, you can use high-gloss finish walls and mirror installment in key points, which make a huge difference.

If the kitchen is not receiving enough light but the adjacent rooms do, you can add a window as a connecting piece rather than a full-height wall. This way, you can borrow some light from the adjacent room, letting ambient lighting spill in.

Also, the use of reflective surfaces, glass sheet backsplashes, and copper and metallic lighting fixtures expand the impact of the natural and artificial lights, brightening up the kitchen and letting lights bounce around the room.


Small Kitchen Wall Lights for Green Shaker Cabinets and White Countertops

The subtle color palette of this cozy kitchen springs from the green shaker cabinets and white quartz countertops. And all that it needs is a touch of glow and warmth, which comes with brass wall sconces and hardware. Two bell-type wall sconces flank the green range hood fixture, giving the illusion of hood earrings with a sense of playfulness.


Minimalist Kitchen with Zigzag Design Wall Lights for Dark Cabinets

The dramatic impact of dark modern cabinets merges with the soothing aesthetics of the white shades in this minimalist kitchen. The marble backsplash running short on the wall and the lack of overhead cabinets encourage the kitchen to feel larger and leave plenty of room for wall lights to make a statement. And here we have a duo of zigzag design wall lights that suit the minimalist and contrasting theme of the kitchen. The fixtures’ swivel-like brackets add flexibility, allowing homeowners to alter the direction of the lights conveniently, while the asymmetric white glass and black shade bring even more interest to it.


Multi-colored Backsplash with Terrazzo Countertops and White Glass Wall Sconces

What a cheerful design this modern kitchen offers with a multi-colored backsplash and terrazzo countertops! Ranging from shades of yellow to red and salmon hues and button-like wooden hardware, it showcases a design that experiments with colors and patterns. And it is championed by the white globe wall sconces aligned over the window introducing task lighting and curvaceous forms to synchronize with the round cabinet handles.

Are spotlights good for small kitchens?

Without taking up any place, spotlights create a sleek look, serving different lighting functions. For example, you can install them above the counter and sink to provide task lighting or on the ceiling as ambient lighting to distribute lights evenly. The strategic spots like counters and sinks don’t get blocked thanks to the spotlights because as you move you can happen to block the light source and create an undesired shadow.

Also, if you don’t like pendants dropped down, you can just stick to the spotlights that save a lot of space. Contemporary kitchens, particularly the small ones, incorporate spotlights not to compensate for the sleek outlook of the space, adding another layer of a decluttered line of lights with the help of spotlights. So, spotlights are an excellent choice for small kitchen lighting ideas.

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Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas for White Cabinets 

What colors this otherwise too-white kitchen is the brass wall sconces and the farmhouse sink that create statement corner, drawing all the attention to the sink zone. The rest is complemented by white shaker cabinets and sleek stainless-steel appliances that make for a well-balanced look.


Scandinavian Kitchen with White Cabinets and Black Wall Light

Minimalist and classic, the black wall light just brings the right amount of contrast to the white walls and cabinets, coordinating with black appliances. The streaming lights and hardwood floor warm up the space, while the all-white background just serves as a white canvas for the black wall light to own this space.

Small Kitchen Ceiling Light

Ceiling lights encompass track lighting, flush mounts, and recessed lighting features that ensure the whole space is well-lit. Depending on the style of the room, you can choose between the smal kitchen lighting ideas what suits the overall look better. Track lighting, for instance, is getting more and more popular in contemporary kitchens, accentuating the ceiling, whereas recessed lighting features emphasize the sleek character of the space. As for flush mounts, they execute a more basic form that is simple yet stylish.

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Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas for Achromatic Kitchen and Black Hardware

What breaks the uniform look of this achromatic kitchen are the black cylinder-shaped flush mounts and black hardware. Offering task lighting for the island, these flush mounts accentuate the ceiling, adding a punch of contrast that defines the island zone.


Black Track Lighting for Yellow Backsplash and Wood Cabinets

Track lighting is a great alternative to ceiling spotlights, bringing a modern appeal to the space. Plus, as it can be oriented in any direction, it allows homeowners to easily navigate where the light source is heading. In this small kitchen, for instance, the black track lighting offers ambient lighting to complement the wood cabinets and a yellow stacked backsplash, while the glowing surface of the backsplash provides the perfect background for the lights to bounce off, helping enhance the brightness of the kitchen.

Where should you put lights in the kitchen?

Lights should be evenly distributed throughout the space to eliminate any dark corners, which can be accomplished with ambient lighting. And for that, what you need is a chandelier, flush mount, or spotlights at the center of the ceiling or above the island. If you decide to go with spotlights, try to position them above the countertops to eliminate any possibility of shadows.

For task lighting, LED-strip lighting under the overhead cabinets is another essential lighting feature that will create an efficient and well-lit working space for you. So, decide which spots you use most to cut onions or prepare food and add extra lighting for these most-used countertops. You can even place a countertop lamp if you have some space on the worktop.

The LED strips can also be used in deep corner cabinets to find what you are looking for easily. Also, those who would like to display their essentials on the floating shelves or display cabinets can use wall sconces to put them in the spotlight.


Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas with Flush Mount and Busy Pattern Floor Tiles

If you are looking for something other than track and recessed lighting for your ceiling, flush mounts can be your thing. Though they seem to be very basic additions, they still deliver a great amount of light throughout for consistency. To highlight it, you can add an accent feature to the ceiling. Here, for example, wood panels are used to create a false ceiling of sorts. Also, if you wish to give special treatment to it, you can make the floor a visual focal point of the design by using a busy pattern floor finish like in this particular kitchen.


Cream Cabinets with Black Appliances and Black Ceiling Lighting

Looking for a statement piece to draw attention to the ceiling? What about this black linear lighting fixture that features light bulbs? It beautifully complements the black appliances and black hardware that portray a solid contrast to the cream cabinets, bringing a modern and industrial feel to the design.

Small Kitchen Island Lighting

Kitchen islands are used for preparing food, cooking, and entertaining, thus needing a pleasant atmosphere that will make it more welcoming. To achieve that, all you need is well-planned kitchen island lighting to create a visual focus. Ranging from chandeliers to linear sleek lighting fixtures, spider pendant lights, slim LED lights, and a row of pendants, a kitchen island welcomes a wide array of lighting fixtures. The smallness of the space doesn’t necessarily become a handicap, but to avoid clutter, you may use sleek and minimalist forms. However, if you want to make a statement, you can also get an oversized pendant or chandelier to define the island zone with a statement feature.


Small Kitchen Island Lighting for Modern Kitchen Design with Waterfall Island

When choosing a lighting fixture, paying attention to the material makes a huge difference. Here, for example, curvaceous terracotta pendants add a visual drama overhead. Especially given that the white waterfall countertop falls over the edges of the island, bringing the design down to earth to the wood floor finish, terracotta suits the complete theme. Overall, the combination of timber floating shelves with sleek black appliances and white modern cabinets endows this modern kitchen with a soothing yet engaging aesthetic tinged with a rustic feel. The wood textures, traditional rug, and of course, the terracotta lighting fixtures over the island add a touch of character and warmth that gives the kitchen a traditional spin.


Dramatic Kitchen Design with Glass Island Lighting and Marble Countertops

Featuring a dark earthy color palette, this dramatic kitchen is crowned by a linear pendant lighting fixture with glass balls, which captures a moment of transparency. The overall scheme executes a design that slows down the time that feels like an escape from the dense schedules of urban life. And what proposes this escape is the profundity of brown cabinets and fluted-design island bottom, complemented by the built-in spotlights and track lighting that compose another layer of a lighting system to constitute a well-lit space.


Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas Contrasting Contemporary Kitchen

The contrasting shades of white and black are used throughout this contemporary kitchen to designate the different functions of the specific areas. For example, the island and perimeter counters are all kept black, while the cabinets are all white to signify the storage cabinets. And what complements them is the linear pendant over the island that provides efficient task lighting, bringing a simple yet stylish touch.

Small Kitchen Light Above Sink

Small kitchen lighting ideas above sinks are essential to provide task lighting, add a stylish element, and define the sink zone. Whether you use pendants, wall sconces, or chandeliers, as long as they supply the light necessitated to work efficiently, your kitchen will not have dark corners. Plus, their aesthetic value injects extra personality into the kitchen. Depending on the style of the room, you can choose sleek, retro, industrial, or more elaborate design lighting fixtures to give a facelift to the kitchen.


Modern Farmhouse Kitchen with Wooden Beams and Sink Pendant

In this modern farmhouse kitchen, placing the sink on the window side is a smart decision to benefit from the natural lights in such a busy spot, lessening the need for artificial light at least during the day. At night, the lack of sunlight is compensated with the small pendant mounted on one of the exposed ceiling beams, hanging over the sink. Additionally, the achromatic color palette serves as another illuminating factor of the space, expanding the impact of the lights. What breaks the uniform look of this kitchen are the wood floating shelves and wooden beams that lend a rustic feel to shield the space from looking jarring and sterile.


Brass Wall Sconces for Butler Sink and Off-White Cabinets

Brass wall sconces above the butler sink provide task lighting for this linear kitchen layout. Dotted by off-white cabinets, this farmhouse kitchen uses brass wall sconces not only as task lighting but also to spice up the design and create a focal point above the window. However, to create a sense of continuity, the brass sconces need another warming element that comes with the oak floors, bringing the design together.

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