8 Common Lighting Ideas for Small Kitchens


There’s no place in your home where lighting is more important than the kitchen. In a small kitchen especially, the proper lighting will not only make the room safer but can help the space seem larger than it is. Planning out your light fixtures is essential, whether designing from scratch or upgrading your existing lights.

In a small kitchen, it’s essential for the lighting to be practical, but of course, you want it to look great, too. The best designs incorporate natural light with fixtures to create an enjoyable atmosphere and a functional, safe workspace. Choosing the right lighting can transform your kitchen, no matter how small the space is.

Here are eight lighting ideas for small kitchens:

Idea #1: Understanding Lighting Layers

When lighting experts design a room, they consider three layers of light. These are ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. The first, ambient lighting, is the general light that provides the overall lighting in the room.

Task lighting is what illuminates specific points like countertops and other workspaces. And lastly, accent lighting focuses light on a particular object or area.

Idea #2: Maximize Natural Light

During the day, natural light is often the best way to illuminate a small kitchen. The easiest way to take full advantage of whatever natural light your kitchen gets is to ditch the curtains. Consider blinds or lightweight white or off-white fabric if you have window coverings. Light colours will help to reflect any available ambient light.

Idea #3: Flush Mount Lights

Flush or semi-flush mount lights are a great choice in a small kitchen, particularly if the ceilings are low. With low ceilings, you don’t want to have light fixtures that hang down too far because that reduction in space overhead will make the room feel even smaller than it is. Flush mount lights allow you to choose a decorative touch without compromising the room size.

Idea #4: Pot Lights

Pot lights are perfect for small kitchens. They are sleek and small and can help your kitchen look bigger than it is with the correct placement. You want to position them around the outside of the room and directly above any key work areas.

If unsure, a residential electrician can help you determine the best locations to add pot lights. And one of the best things about pot lights? They are easily combined with other decorative lights for an overall lighting plan.

Idea #5: Track Lighting

Track lighting is a great, versatile lighting option for your small kitchen. Track lights are fully adjustable and allow you to aim light exactly where needed. Today’s track lights are much more stylish and appeal to the minimalistic aesthetic.

Because they aren’t visually substantial, you can use them to light rooms with low ceilings without making the ceiling seem lower, a problem that larger fixtures can cause. Track lighting tends to be relatively inexpensive, and one of the best things about it is that it can be mounted wherever you want to add more light.

Idea #6: Wall Sconces

Wall sconces are a great way to increase the ambient lighting in a small kitchen. They can also act as an accent or task lighting, depending on placement. Wall lighting can add style to your kitchen without occupying valuable floor or counter space.

Many wall sconces allow the light to shine up or down, adding to their versatility. You might even make a statement with a stylistic wall sconce by working it into your d├ęcor.

Idea #7: Pendant Lights

Modern and incredibly versatile, pendant lights are a fabulous choice in a small kitchen. Commonly hung in groups of three, pendants work great as task lights over an island or breakfast nook. Because you can typically adjust the fixture’s length, pendant lights are an easy way to add a focal point to your space.

If your kitchen is extremely small, consider mini pendants. Their tiny size will enhance the illusion of space while still making a statement.

Idea #8: Under Cabinet Lights

LED lights are the most popular choice for under-cabinet lighting and can be incorporated into the design of nearly any space. Because they are unobtrusive, they are an effective way to add task lighting to your small kitchen. Under cabinet, lights are easy to install, energy-efficient, and long-lasting. You can think outside the box with this type of lighting, too.

Use it over your cabinets as well or above any floating shelving. LED light strips also work well inside cabinets or around the kickboard to enhance the room’s ambiance.


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