Small Kitchen Lighting: 18 Ideas That Just Look Great

A bright kitchen is a productive one, which is why lighting is crucial in this area of our home.

However, you don’t want to be blinded by brightness or just aimlessly place lighting fixtures all around. What you need is a practical and efficient way to incorporate lighting in your kitchen. It also wouldn’t hurt if it added to the aesthetic.

You can achieve a well-lit and stylish kitchen with these 18 kitchen lighting solutions. These ideas will work amazingly even in a small kitchen.

LED Strips For Backlighting

under cabinet strip lights

In this refreshingly modern kitchen, a subtle and elegant lighting technique can be seen. The lights line the insides of the cupboards and underneath them.

This creates a backlit effect, which illuminates the contents of the storage and the counter without being too striking.

It adds to the ambiance of the kitchen and makes it a more inviting place without compromising on brightness.

under shelves strip lighting

On the other hand, if you have more of an open storage situation going on, you can opt for this design for a similar effect.

Here, we can see how the lined lights enhance the shelf area and bottom of the cabinets. This type of lighting adds depth and shadows with its placement.

I adore how the backlighting technique keeps the fixtures hidden, so there are no obvious or bulky structures in your kitchen. It’s great for maintaining a luxurious and minimalist look.

LED on kitchen ceiling INSTAGRAM @truformtiny

This tiny kitchen lines its ceiling panels with light strips instead of around the counters. As a result, the brightness is more spread out around the kitchen instead of focused on the counter space.

The panels aren’t the only ones lighting up this kitchen. The design also lets in a natural glow with a lovely little awning window by the sink.

With this design, you get a well-lit kitchen and a nice view for when you’re cooking or doing the dishes.

Pendant Lamps

Cozy dining table with pendant light

This gorgeous contemporary home utilizes a Nordic design with its dining set with a large pendant lamp above it.

The kitchen is already quite bright in the daytime with the large windows and backlit counter. The pendant lamp can stand as the sole light source at night or when you want to grab a quick midnight snack. 

Pendant lights are a great alternative for switching light sources when you don’t want a fully-lit kitchen.

under kitchen cabinet lights INSTAGRAM @lovesimshome

Now, we have a fancier interior that highlights a sophisticated pendant light. The gold stem and glass cover elevate and complement the rest of the kitchen space.

The light’s placement also brings focus to another aspect of the kitchen: the stained glass window. It also illuminates the room while embellishing it.

To make things a bit more fun, consider stained glass window designs with different colors. They can radiate a colorful glow to your kitchen once the light hits them.

wooden kitchen countertop INSTAGRAM @diedrebowersinteriors

In this modest home, there are two large lamps and a humble window as the lighting for the kitchen.

This design helps you keep things simple and practical. To liven it up more, you can opt for more colorful choices.

I appreciate the thick curtains that let you block out the light for a moody ambiance in the daytime, and for maintaining privacy in the night.

wooden dining table with pendant lights

For a minimalist aesthetic, the refined design shown here strips the lighting down to three white, plain pendant lamps and a stream of pendant lights below the cupboards.

Pendant lights are perfect for making a statement in the kitchen without doing too much. Even this minimalist interior doesn’t appear too bare because of the lamps.

One of the best things about pendant lamps is that they come in so many different designs. You’re sure to never run out of options and will surely find the perfect fit for your kitchen.

Track Lights

Narrow kitchen with under cabinet lights

If the kitchen is where you create your culinary masterpieces, might as well make it a showroom! Track lighting is commonly used in museums to highlight the artwork but it works in the kitchen too.

This elegant space keeps the track lights under the cupboards and shines on the counters in an unconventional yet appealing way. 

I suggest placing them in clear display cases and open shelves where they can work best. You can also have them exposed or hidden.

kitchen with LED, pendant and scout lighting

In another example, this modern apartment kitchen also uses tracking lights pointed in different directions to delegate the shine evenly throughout the space.

Because track lights are simple and industrial in design, you can add other light fixtures like a similarly styled pendant light to emphasize your kitchen.

For a more flexible lighting solution, think about getting trendy standing lamps you can move around too!

wooden shelf with LED

Here, we can see a combination of lighting ideas: a track light mounted on the ceiling and strips for backlighting the counter space.

This graceful kitchen maintains a refined look with subtle but abundant lighting. Too much harsh white light won’t do this area any favors.

Sheer curtains are also amazing for maintaining privacy while keeping the kitchen bright when you have big windows. It doesn’t hurt that they have a chic touch to them too!

Big Windows

wooden kitchen with cozy lighting

This cozy cabin-inspired kitchen keeps nature close by giving you access to the majestic view of the forest with a large window.

The window occupies the upper half of the corner of this kitchen, letting a ton of natural light in and livening up the space without consuming electricity.

In my experience, I find that smart blinds are the better choice if you want to implement some kind of cover over the windows. They fit the aesthetic of this interior best.

Large Skylights

wooden kitchen with ceiling window

On the topic of windows, this lighting solution focuses more on the placement of your windows. A skylight is an excellent way to keep your kitchen stunning.

You don’t only get a bright kitchen but you’re also rewarded with an impeccable view of the sky. 

You can also choose to get tinted windows if you want a more delicate sheen. I recommend getting films with UV protection as well considering the amount of direct sunlight that will pass through.

kitchen under window ceiling INSTAGRAM @restore_home_

A romantic way to illuminate a rustic kitchen like this is to also have a vast skylight. It goes so well with the interior and establishes such a charming vibe.

You save a lot on electricity and are doing so quite stylishly. 

Kitchens with skylights are an amazing place to keep plants– so fill your kitchen with them! To turn it into a more practical space, you can also try incorporating a small herb garden.

Modern Chandeliers

kitchen with round pendant lights INSTAGRAM @lightsonline

Combine style and function with decorative light fixtures like this chandelier. Without it, this modern kitchen would be dim and bare.

Grand and elaborate chandeliers take up too much space in a small kitchen. So, it’s better to get up-to-date designs that are space-efficient.

You can totally set the overall mood of the kitchen by using warm-colored light bulbs. There are also several modern chandelier designs to choose from, so decorate your kitchen accordingly.

built-in kitchen cabinet shelf INSTAGRAM @nextluxurycom

For a simpler take on the chandelier, consider a fixture inspired by Nordic pendant lamps. They’re a better fit for a cool black kitchen like the one displayed here.

With the simple and subtle look, they don’t stand out too much in the kitchen, accentuating the entirety of the design.

This would work best for bachelors and busy individuals. They’re quick, easy, and lowkey but enhance your kitchen nicely.

Multiple Light Sources

LED under shelves INSTAGRAM @rumahnayyara20

When you have more space to work with, you can play around and designate different types of lighting for each area. This contemporary kitchen executes that concept excellently.

With strip lights on the shelves, track lights on the cupboards, and a small statement chandelier, this room is never going to run short on lights!

This design enables versatility. Switch things up and alternate the lights you use to induce a different mood and emphasis each time.

Decorative Lights

wooden kitchen with lightings INSTAGRAM @insearchoflights

Your kitchen lighting doesn’t have to stop at being just practical. Go the extra mile and get decorative ones to decorate your kitchen!

This sleekly hung tube light isn’t beaming with brightness but it serves its purpose in this kitchen.

Spread out your light sources with backlighting to evenly distribute the glow for a more elegant effect. The linear lights complement the tube lighting so you end up with a cohesive and cool aesthetic!

kitchen lights with disk INSTAGRAM @johnlewisofhungerford

Lastly, in this youthful retro space, three spherical wall lamps with reflective surfaces grace the kitchen wall for that extra pizazz.

You can be fun and adventurous when it comes to decorating your kitchen. The best part is you can do all that while being practical! 

These lamps are more than visual treats. They establish a luxurious, vintage aesthetic and illuminate the kitchen when necessary.

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