Ideas + Inspiration

Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas

Finding the right lighting for a contemporary small kitchen doesn’t have to be a headache. In fact, there are many options to properly illuminate a small kitchen, while keeping the open-concept feel. Recessed lighting, flush mounts, and semi-flush mount ceiling lights are popular choices for small kitchens since they don’t take up too much room. Another option is to use lighting in often overlooked spaces, such as undercabinet lighting. Take a look at some of these fantastic lighting ideas to get some inspiration for your small modern kitchen.

Shine Light in Every Corner

Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas - Ylighting
Image Via @lightslightslights_au

The secret to adequate lighting in a small kitchen is to make the most of the area that you have. A small strip of track lighting with adjustable heads above the kitchen island will direct a lot more illumination around the room than a single pendant.

Capitalize on All Light Sources

Kitchen Flushmount - Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas | Ylighting
Image Via @amyklimp_architect

Choose modern kitchen pendant lights that are close to the ceiling so your field of vision is not overcrowded. Don’t obstruct windows either, since the soft glow of kitchen ceiling lighting and natural lighting can work in tandem to make the space feel light and airy.

Under the Cabinets

Undercabinet Lighting - Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas | Ylighting
Adorne 27″ Modular Track from Legrand Adorne

When space is at a premium, use areas in the kitchen for lighting that are often overlooked. Undercabinet lighting is a great way to add some much-needed task lighting to kitchen counters, without sacrificing room on the ceiling or floor space.

Love Linear

Linear Suspension - Small kitchen lighting by Ylighting
THIN Linear Suspension Light from Juniper Design

is another perfect option for small kitchens, especially if your floor space or countertops are long and narrow. A thin light bar will cover the entire surface area while elongating the look and feel of the space.

Creative Problem-Solving

4-light semi-flush light - small kitchen lighting by Ylighting
Bessons LED 4-Light Semi-Flush Mount Ceiling Light from ZANEEN design

Creative lighting solutions can allow you to properly light the entire kitchen, without taking up too much room. Semi-flush mounts ceiling lights are great for small kitchens due to their size. A semi-flush mount with four adjustable heads is even better so you can enjoy multi-directional lighting to cover cooking, serving, and dining areas- all with one lighting fixture.

Stay Clear

Selene Pendant Light - Small kitchen ideas by Ylighting
Selene LED Pendant Light by Swarovski

Lighting a small kitchen doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style. If love the look of pendants, search for translucent shades, like glass or crystal, which will keep that lightweight and flowy feel. Better yet, crystal accents are easy to add that extra touch of modern luxury to your kitchen.

Maximize the Minimal

Cloud3 LED Flush Mount for small kitchen lighting
Cloud3 LED Flush Mount Ceiling Light from Blackjack Lighting

Minimalistic design works very well for small kitchens. Look for pendants or flush mounts with minimal design elements, such as geometric patterns, clean lines, and thin structures. Install the light fixture in the center of your kitchen so illumination is evenly distributed.

Recessed is All the Rage

Dals recessed lighting - small kitchen lighting ideas by Ylighting
Pro Series 6 Inch Round LED Recessed Light by DALS Lighting

Recessed lighting is very popular for small kitchens thanks to its versatility and functionality. You never have to worry about your field of vision getting obstructed or uneven illumination coverage. Typically for the kitchen, you want to space each light about two to three feet apart.

When Oversized Works

Oversized pendant for small kitchen - Ylighting
Canopy Pendant Light from Oluce

While you might not think a pendant with a large, canopy shade can work in a small kitchen, sometimes the right design can really enhance the atmosphere. If your kitchen features a mid-century modern design, an oversized circular pendant above the dining area can maximize illumination while playing off other design elements in the room.

Solution for Galley Kitchens

Small Kitchen Lighting Designs - Ylighting
Image Via Leonora Mahle

If you have a long, narrow, or galley kitchen, look for light fixtures that match the shape of your space. Slender, rectangular LED flush mount ceiling lights are perfect for this because they fit well into the confines of the space while providing potent ambient lighting.

Right Round

Siena Flush Mount Ceiling Light
Siena Flush Mount Ceiling Light from Visual Comfort

Small circular flush mount ceiling lights can add some taste to your small kitchen, without taking up too much space as a modern kitchen chandelier would. Round flush mounts keep the style simple and elegant, yet, when evenly spaced, will provide more than enough ambient lighting.

Proper Placement

small kitchen light ideas - Ylighting
Image Via @katieleshdesign

One of the secrets to proper recessed lighting is getting the right positioning. Position recessed lights so they mimic the shape of your counter space or kitchen walls. Keep each light about two to three feet apart to make sure illumination will be even and uniform.

No matter what type of light fixture you choose for your small kitchen, it’s important to balance interior design, illumination coverage, and your personal style. Keep LED in mind, since it can provide potent lighting for the long haul while saving energy. When installing light fixtures in small kitchens, remember to keep light distribution consistently spaced throughout the room.

For more YLighting ideas, see our Kitchen Lighting Ideas.


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